Sesame Pork Meatballs

Sesame Pork Meatballs are the perfect appetizer, hors d’oeuvre, main course, or snack… delicious and healing!
sesame pork meatballs

If it’s getting close to dinner time and I still have no idea what to make or what I’m in the mood for, my go-to is oftentimes some kind of meatball. I always keep a variety of organic ground meats in my freezer just for times like this. This recipe for sesame pork meatballs was born on one of these nights.

I go through phases with foods and cooking. Sometimes I will make the same type of ethnic food for weeks at a time, just because that’s what I’m feelin’ at the time. I learned long ago that when I cook what I’m in the mood for and what my body is craving, the food comes out awesome. If I make something that I really have no interest in… ummmm…. it can come out really bad. And yes, I too have some epic kitchen failures.

Asian food is one cuisine that I have a love-hate relationship with. I can go for months without touching it and then… bam… I have to have it. A lot.

Last week, when I was hot and tired and didn’t feel like cooking but I also didn’t feel like going out, I opened my freezer and peeked in. I did what most of us do: I stood there and stared. I moved some things around as if by doing so something new would appear. Needless to say, it didn’t.

I really do keep several packages of ground meat in the freezer. I’ve got ground lamb, bison, beef, pork, and chicken in there right now as I write this post. When I know the flavors I’m in the mood for, ground meat can become my canvas for those flavors. That’s what happened here. These sesame pork meatballs have a slight Asian taste and that’s exactly what I wanted. And the sesame seed coating makes them a little crunchy… yum… just perfect.

I didn’t use any grains in these meatballs. Instead, I used chickpea crumbs. This is an awesome invention — they are sold in bags in lots of markets now and I just love to substitute them for breadcrumbs. (See the recipe below, for  details on the chickpea crumbs I used.)

These are not messy balls. They can be eaten with your fingers. And that is my favorite way to eat everything. The sesame seed coating helps keep the moisture and juices inside the meatballs… kind of like M&Ms. Well, not exactly, but I think you get the picture. Pick one up, dip it in your favorite Asian dipping sauce, and pop it in your mouth. Perfection.

If you’re a meatball fan like I am, you should also try my recipe for Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch.

sesame pork meatballs

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. Let me customize a meatball recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

sesame pork meatballs

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this recipe for sesame pork meatballs:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. You can use black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, or a combination of both for this recipe.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular. I used chickpea crumbs instead of breadcrumbs in these meatballs.

sesame pork meatballs

If you make these Sesame Pork Meatballs, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Sesame Pork Meatballs
Recipe type: meatballs, appetizer, hors d'oeuvre, finger food, main course
Cuisine: Asian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-15 balls
These meatballs have a slight Asian taste and they are crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside... delicious and healing!
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp tandoori spice (or use your favorite Asian spice)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup chickpea crumbs (or substitute your favorite crumbs)
  • ½ cup raw sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a large bowl.
  4. Mush it up with your hands until it's combined.
  5. Form the mixture into golf-ball size balls.
  6. Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate.
  7. Roll the balls in the seeds so they are coated on all sides.
  8. Arrange the balls on the tray so that they are not touching each other.
  9. Bake for 10 mins, then flip them over and bake for another 10 mins or until they are cooked through.
  10. Serve alone or with your favorite Asian dipping sauce.
  11. Enjoy!

sesame pork meatballs

Dumpling Meatballs

dumpling meatballs

I love all meatballs. For some reason, anything that can be made into a ball just tastes good to me. I remember when my kids were young, I would get them to eat foods by making them bitesize and sticking a toothpick into each one so they could easily grab whatever it was. And, that’s my favorite way to eat these meatball…  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, when I saw a great recipe from Nom Nom Paleo for a meatball I hadn’t yet experimented with, I just had to try it. So, thank you Michelle… these dumpling meatballs are awesome!

For those of you who know me, you know that for the month of October, I changed up my diet and I ate plant-based. I learned so much, and I enjoyed so much of that experience. Staying away from animal proteins forced me to be so much more creative with my plant-based meals, and now I love those meals even more.

But, now it’s November. And, while I do intend top stay probably about 80% plant-based, I was looking to cook up a very different type of meal. These dumpling meatballs are made with a combination of shrimp and pork. So, haha, my first non plant-based meal had both seafood and meat in it. You’d think it might be a shock to my system, but you’d be wrong… these were awesome.

Oh, and the reason they are called dumpling meatballs, is because they taste like the inside of the steamed dumplings you get at Chinese restaurants. Yum.

And, they are grain free and dairy free. And have so many healing ingredients. Win-win for me.

For another great healthy meatball recipe, try my Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs.

dumpling meatballs

dumpling meatballs

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these dumpling meatballs:

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used dried shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Many of my friends used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. In Chinese medicine, shrimp are actually recommended as a food to promote longevity because they nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the key to life. Shrimp are great to boost libido, lessen some lower back pain and weakness, and they can help new moms with lactation.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

dumpling meatballs

Dumpling Meatballs
Recipe type: meatballs, Asian, Chinese, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Nom Nom Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
These meatballs taste like the insides of Chinese dumplings! And there's a bunch of healing ingredients in them!
  • ¼ oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water for about 30 mins, then stems discarded and caps finely chopped
  • ½ lb cleaned raw shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos (or substitute liquid aminos or soy sauce)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste (I used a lemongrass paste with chili sauce, so option here to mix in some spicy hot sauce or chili peppers)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and smush it all up with your hands.
  4. Form the mixture into largish balls (I made 15 balls).
  5. Place the balls onto the lined baking tray and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. Eat with pasta or on top of salad, or my favorite way -- on top of a big bowl of steamed fresh greens.
  7. Enjoy!

dumpling meatballs

Pork Chili With Bok Choy

This pork chili with bok choy has a great traditional chili taste will some awesome added extra healing ingredients!

pork chili with bok choy

Chili is awesome. It’s warming and delicious and there are about a bazillion different ways to make it. Yes, a bazillion.

I love to open the fridge and put whatever catches my eye into my chili pot.

Right now we are in the process of moving, so sometimes it’s challenging to cook dinner, because half of my things are in the new place and half are in the old place. Sometimes when I start cooking dinner, I forget what’s where and I end up using kitchen tools that really don’t work for the job I need. But chili makes it easy… one pot… no special tools.

There are white chilis and red chilis and hot ones and mild ones. There are meaty versions and veggie versions. There are ones that are sweet and ones that are tangy. OK, now my mouth is watering and my mind is already coming up with another pot I have to make. Soon.

And, it just so happens to be football season now. There’s no better tradition than a big pot of chili for the upcoming playoffs and Superbowl…

When I created this chili I looked in my crisper drawer and saw a few heads of beautiful fresh bok choy. Yes, I know, bok choy is not a traditional chili ingredient, but I figured what the heck, let’s try it.  And the combination of bok choy with pork is just perfect. I’m telling you, this amazing veg is perfect in this meaty chili. I decided not to put any beans in this pot so the bok choy would stand out more, but feel free to add beans if you’re in that kind of mood.  If you’re in the mood to try another really unique but amazing chili, try my Sweet Potato Chili With Goji Berries next time.

pork chili with bok choy

I bet you didn’t know chili could be so healthy, but here are the stats for this one:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. (See the recipe below for the awesome ready-made bone broth I used in this soup recipe.) It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. And feel free to add more chili powders or spicier ones if you’re a spice-a-holic. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

I also added some raw Chinese Herbs to the pot. My favorite thing about cooking things like soups, stews and chilis, is that it’s a great vehicle for my Chinese herbs because they get lots of time to infuse their healing capabilities into my food. I added Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) for energy.

pork chili with bok choy

Pork Chili With Bok Choy
Recipe type: chili
Cuisine: mexican, american
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
This is a great bowl of healthy chili. It's spicy and refreshing at the same time. The bok choy is an amazing addition! Touchdown!
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of a hot pepper, minced (I used an Anaheim chili)
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (This is a good organic one)
  • 2 medium heads of bok choy, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • raw Chinese herbs (I used Shan Yao and Huang Qi) (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pork and saute until most of the pink color is gone.
  3. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, hot pepper, salt and pepper to taste, chili powders, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until the meat is coated with the spices and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the can of tomatoes and the chicken broth. Add raw Chinese herbs if using. Bring to a boil. Add the bok choy, cover the pot, and cook 20 minutes. Then, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chili is the consistency you like.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado.
  6. Enjoy!