Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce

One curious question for you: Do you have a bottle of Sriracha sauce in your fridge? If you do, the next question is: What do you usually do with it?

Like ketchup, mustard, now Sriracha, to some extent, harissa, is occupying the precious real estate in my fridge. Sriracha, once considered “exotic,” has become the go-to condiment whenever heat is called for. (Before that, we used Tobasco sauce from Louisiana.) Sometimes it sits out on the table when more spiciness is needed, in dishes, from eggs to chicken wings. It’s the new normal in my kitchen.

The use of Sriracha seems to be on the rise. This Asian chili paste is not only spotted in Asian restaurants; it has become super trendy. It has gone mainstream in the US, seen prominently in restaurants and bistros everywhere, or at least on the east and the west coast.

Spicy meatball is the dish of the week at Cook-the-Book-Fridays, the online community of wonderful cooks who are making their way through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. David found his inspiration of this spicy meatballs dish from the merguez sandwich, stuffed with sausage and fries, eaten on the sidewalks in Paris.

The recipe has that North African influence all over it. Fennel, coriander and cumin seeds are toasted until they smell fragrant and then crushed. The toasted spice mix is combined with cilantro, garlic, paprika, harissa, salt, cinnamon, allspice and sumac, before adding the ground meat. I used a 50/50 mix of beef and lamb. After refrigerating the sausage mixture briefly, they were shaped and rolled into meatballs the size of unshelled walnuts. Instead of frying the meatballs in hot oil, I baked them in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes. I got about 20 meatballs with one recipe.

The finishing sauce can’t be easier. One tablespoon of Sriracha sauce is mixed in three-quarters of a cup of mayonnaise. If heat is not your thing, David suggests a cooling yogurt tahini sauce to serve with the meat balls.

This dish makes for a fantastic appetizer if you are looking for a meat dish. On the other hand, serving the meatballs with pasta, couscous, grains or rice would make it into a substantial meal. I spiralized some zucchini to make veggie noodle to go with the meat balls for dinner one night. I found the meatballs to be a little dry and dense. If I make the meatballs again, I’ll put in some fillings, like panko or breadcrumbs to lighten the texture.

Spicy beef and lamb meatballs

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 2, 2016 at 7:02 am

    I think panko or breadcrumbs should do the trick! Lovely close-up pictures!

  • Reply
    Mardi Michels
    September 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I found mine a little dry too but put that down to my lean meat. I want to try baking in the oven next time too (it was just too hot when I was making them).

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    Nana
    September 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I really should have baked these too, but I was in a hurry. My grandson was coming over and I needed a taste tester, so I fried them.
    Happily, he enjoyed them. Yours look really wonderful and tender.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    September 3, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Baking is definitely the way to go. While they cook, you can prepare the rest of the meal I loved the flavors in tihs one. Delicious!

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    September 4, 2016 at 1:52 am

    I didn't feel that my meatballs were at all dry. Maybe that's because I smothered them in Sriracha Sauce or maybe it's because I used 100% lamb that had its fat left intact! I also made my meatballs larger but don't think that would have made any difference. I came to Sriracha late into the trend but now always have a bottle in my fridge. I enjoyed your write-up. As always, so informative and well-written.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    September 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I used lamb, and my meatballs came out perfect in texture. I used my cast iron pan to fry them on the stovetop. The flavors were wonderful! Yours look delicious! Nice post!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    September 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I've used ground pork for the meatballs and they are not dry. We love it, a definite repeat and great for family get-together!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    September 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I've used ground pork for the meatballs and they are not dry. We love it, a definite repeat and great for family get-together!

  • Reply
    heidi
    September 5, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Great post! I love sriracha sauce and find that it has become a staple at our house. This recipe will made again at our house too!

  • Reply
    KB from Prof Who Cooks
    September 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Beautiful photos, as always! When I used ground lamb only, mine weren't dry, though I did make sure not to use lean meat when I made it with 1/2 beef. I also preferred the oven cooking method. This one was pretty dang good!

  • Reply
    Natascha Beutner
    September 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Wow, your photos are excellent! I agree that these make great appetizers or a great meal with some rice or couscous.

  • Reply
    Natascha Beutner
    September 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Wow, your photos are excellent! I agree that these make great appetizers or a great meal with some rice or couscous.

  • Reply
    Karen @ From Scratch
    September 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I have only recently started keeping a bottle of Sriracha in the fridge (I guess I am "on-trend"!). One of my favorite ways to use it is to drizzle a little on fried eggs served with sauteed greens. Your meatballs look delicious!

  • Reply
    dulceshome.com
    September 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Sriracha in the refrigerator. Yep! Great post. Your meatballs look delicious!!

    We loved them too. I made mine with some fresh ground lamb that I picked up, and I think that made the difference. I baked mine too. I thought they were a great surprise. Happy that you loved them!!

  • Reply
    lisa brown
    September 13, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I have sriracha in the refrigerator, all because of David! I use it with meat dishes and love it. Your meatballs look great, I pan fried them and thought they were a little dry too- but I attributed that to my use of grass fed beef.

  • Reply
    lisa brown
    September 13, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I have sriracha in the refrigerator, all because of David! I use it with meat dishes and love it. Your meatballs look great, I pan fried them and thought they were a little dry too- but I attributed that to my use of grass fed beef.

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