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These panko-crusted meatballs will be the hit of the holiday party with the zingy addition of Asian flavors, pickled garnishes, and spicy mayo that we'd dunk just about anything into. You'll transform your basic pork meatballs by flavoring with bold ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, and garlic and serving them with homemade Spicy Mayonnaise, fresh basil, and Pickled Cucumbers. One Test Kitchen professional warned: "Careful, you're going to overeat." We don't know about you, but we think we'll take our chances!

Karen Rankin


Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: William Smith

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
1 hr
Serves 10


Pickled Cucumbers
Spicy Mayonnaise
Additional Ingredients


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Pickled Cucumbers: Very thinly slice cucumbers lengthwise with a mandoline or a sharp knife, making 40 slices. Stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumber slices, and toss to coat. Let stand 20 minutes; drain. Chill until ready to assemble meatball bites.

  • Prepare the Spicy Mayonnaise: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir to blend. Set aside.

  • Prepare the Meatballs: Combine pork, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, and vinegar in a large bowl; mix gently with hands until incorporated, and form into 40 balls (1 tablespoon each). Spread panko in a shallow dish. Roll Meatballs in panko to coat, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook meatballs, in batches, until cooked through and panko is crispy, turning often to brown evenly, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  • To assemble: Spread Spicy Mayonnaise on bottom of a large serving platter (or serve on the side in a bowl.) Fold 1 Pickled Cucumber slice, and skewer with a wooden pick; add 1 basil leaf, and 1 meatball. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place picks, meatball side down, into mayonnaise.