Gochujang-Glazed Meatballs

STOP! Before you scroll down to see how many ingredients are involved in this recipe and then immediately skip it because there are too many (yeah--I know the trick. We all do it sometimes...), let me say this first:

The meatballs themselves are pretty involved (but worth it if I may say so), BUT the glaze is super simple, so rather than skip the recipe altogether, just use the glaze on store-bought meatballs (or really pretty much any protein). That way, this whole situation becomes delicious AND super simple! But if you're so inclined, the combination of the homemade meatballs AND the crazy amazing glaze is kind of magical. So. Do as you wish. You have several options here. :-D

For the meatballs:


1 pound ground beef (80 - 85% lean)
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg, beaten
4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled (not gonna lie, I usually use a little more than this)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground chile powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoond ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and combine well. (Get a cheap pack of kitchen gloves, 'cause it's really best to do this with your hands.) Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow ingredients to bind together. This will keep your meatballs from falling apart as they cook.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet. You can just spray it with non-stick cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, or line it with foil (and spray with non-stick cooking spray.) I prefer that last option just because it makes for much easier clean-up.

3. Roll meatball mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls and place on baking sheet about 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, depending on size. 

For the glaze:


1 tbsp gochujang
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated


1. Add all ingredients to small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until well-combined and slightly thickened.

2. Brush liberally onto meatballs as soon as they come out of the oven and serve warm.