You will love these little crab and pork meatballs with sweet and spicy sauce. Our second Baltimore Supper Club event is focused on showcasing dishes from around the world. I was originally going to make pork and crab dumplings but let me be honest, I got super lazy and realized I didn’t feel like folding dumplings all night, so I took that delicious filling and fried up cute little crab meatballs and tossed them in a sweet and spicy glaze.
These little pork meatballs with crab are doused in a sweet, spicy sauce. I used a store-bought sweet chili sauce to save time – though you can make your own, and I added a bit of water, chili oil for more heat, and a little touch of soy sauce.
Our supper club event starts in about an hour and I can’t wait to see if these are a hit or not. I couldn’t help but sneak a few of these crab and pork meatballs and oh my gosh, I could eat them all night.
My secret ingredient in these are perilla leaves which adds a faint anise flavor to the dish. It’s very subtle, but noticeable. If you can’t find perilla leaves, simply omit them since these crab meatballs will be delicious on their own regardless.
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Crab and Pork Meatballs with Sweet and Spicy Sauce
- Sheet pan
- Aluminum foil
- Frying pan
- Crockpot, optional
- 1 pound ground pork
- 8 ounces lump crab meat
- 8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat
- 4 scallions minced
- 8 perilla leaves thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger freshly minced
- 2 tablespoons shao-xing cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs plus more, if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Neutral cooking oil for frying
Sweet and Spicy Sauce
- 12 ounces store-bought sweet and spicy chili sauce we used Ginger People brand
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons chili oil more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons honey more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce optional
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Prepare the Meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, shao-xing cooking wine, perilla leaves, minced scallions and mix to combine.
- Add the pork to the bowl and season it with salt.
- Add a few splashes of water to the bowl and use a fork to mix the pork into the ingredients.
- Next, fold in the jumbo lump and lump crab meat. Keep some of the jumbo lump pieces whole if possible and mix the lump meat into the mixture. This will ensure there will be crab in every bite but create some textural contrast with the larger pieces of jumbo lump crab meat. Add the panko and use your hands to combine until incorporated.Note: At this point, you can take a teaspoon sized portion of the meatball mixture and fry or microwave it to taste test it before forming into meatballs!
- Form into tablespoon sized meatballs and set aside.
Fry the Crab and Pork Meatballs:
- In a wide pan or skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of neutral cooking oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs in an even layer and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until browned all over. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a foil-lined sheet pan. Continue cooking the rest of the meatballs.Once all the meatballs are on the sheet pan, transfer to the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through.
Prepare the Sweet and Spicy Sauce:
- Pour the bottle of sweet chili sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Add the water and whisk to incorporate. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch and stir to combine. Taste and season to your preference.
- Add the cornstarch to a small bowl and add a few tablespoons of the warm sauce and whisk to combine to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until needed
Finish the Crab and Pork Meatballs:
- If taking to a party, transfer the cooked meatballs to a crock-pot and pour the sweet and spicy sauce over them and keep on warm setting until ready to serve. Otherwise, transfer the meatballs to a serving plate and pour the sauce on top and enjoy immediately! You can also serve the glazed meatballs on top of bed of perilla leaves, if desired. Enjoy!