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Niku Dango

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

12 Minutes


2 Servings



About the Recipe

Niku dango (literally "meat balls") have a long history in Japan. "Dango" were originally not made of meat nut of nuts and ground barley. Using pork is a more recent development said to have started in the early twentieth century. Like a lot of Japanese grilled foods, its the sauce that is the key to success - in this case, the sauce is a sweet spy blend this is the perfect complement for the rich savoury flavours of the pork. As you might imagine, Niku Dango are also very good prepared on skewers and grilled over a barbecue - just remember to keep the balls well brushed with oil while they are grilling over the coals.


for the meat balls:

300g pork mince

60g onion, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cornflour

1 small egg, beaten

for the sauce:

1 tbsp water

1 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

some veg oil for shallow frying


to make the meat balls:

mix the minced pork, onion and salt well in a bowl

add the cornflour and mix again

add the egg and mix one more time

oil your hands and form the pork mixture into 15-18 meat balls

fill a frying pan with 5mm of veg oil and fry the meat balls for 2-3 mins

turn the balls over and fry for another 2-3 mins -  make sure they are cooked well but don't allow them to burn

remove the balls to some kitchen paper

to make the sauce;

put the brown sugar, mirin, soy sauce, water & cornflour in a pan and mix

add the meat balls and coat with the sauce

your "niku dango" are ready - serve with bowls of Japanese rice

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