Easy to make, super juicy, and full of the BEST spicy, sweet and smoky flavors! These baked Spicy Gochujang Chicken Meatballs are delicious as a party appetizer or main, and fantastic for meal prep too!
Prep: Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a large baking tray with a sheet of aluminum foil (or parchment paper) and lightly brush with canola oil (or spray with oil).
Make the meatballs: Combine all the ingredients for the gochujang chicken meatballs except the canola oil and garnish toppings in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands until combined well. Roll into 20-21 balls and line them evenly apart on the prepared baking tray.
Bake: Place the tray on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes.
Make the glaze: While the meatballs are baking, combine all the gochujang glaze ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well with a spoon until evenly combined.
Brush with glaze: Remove the meatballs from the oven. Preheat the broiler on high (or switch on the grill setting and set to high). Brush the meatballs with the glaze on the tops, sides, and bottoms by gently sliding the pastry brush under the meatballs.
Broil: Broil for 2-3 minutes on the center oven rack. Transfer the tray to a wire cooling rack.
Garnish: Garnish with the toasted white and black sesame seeds and chopped spring onion green parts. Transfer the meatballs (silicone tongs work well here) to a serving plate or individual tasting snack plates/bowls.
To Serve: Serve as a party appetizer on its own, or with steamed rice or cooked noodles as a main dish.
Gochujang and gochugaru. Gochujang is a fermented Korean chili pepper paste that comes in small tubs. In spite of its deep dark red color, it’s not super spicy. It has a spicy-sweet and smoky flavor. It can be found in the Asian aisle most mainstream supermarkets and in Asian and Korean supermarkets. Gochugaru is a coarse ground Korean chili pepper powder. It’s available in Asian and Korean supermarkets and online. Gochugaru can come in varying heat levels depending on the brand. Adjust quantity to taste, or substitute with chili powder.
Adjust spice level to taste. Since gochujang is a little spicy, feel free to use less (1-2 tablespoons instead of 3 tablespoons) in the meatball mixture and glaze/sauce. You can also use less (or omit) the fresh red chilies, gochugaru, and ground cayenne to make them milder.
Protein options and cook time/temperatures. You can use ground pork, beef, turkey, or lamb instead of chicken for the meatballs. Use a digital kitchen thermometer to check on the internal temperature of the meatballs to make sure they’re cooked through. Chicken and turkey is cooked once the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C. Pork, beef, and lamb is cooked once the internal temperature reaches 145°F/63°C and only need to be baked for 18-20 minutes before applying the glaze and broiling.
Storing and reheating leftovers. Store leftovers in a foil or parchment paper lined sealed airtight container and consume within 3-4 days. Reheat 3-4 pieces at a time in a bowl in the microwave on high for 20-25 seconds until hot throughout. It’s best to reheat in small batches as a big batch will require more time in the microwave which may cause the meatballs to harden.