Beef Satay Meatballs

For when you want something a little sweet and a little spicy, but all you have is some boring ol’ ground beef, make these beef satay meatballs! I was slightly inspired by the satay-marinated beef tri-tip I saw Food Wishes post a month or so ago (listen to my podcast interview with Chef John here!) but rather than take a small thing and make it big, I wanted to take a small thing and make it smaller in a way.

beef satay meatballs

These beef satay meatballs are seasoned with satay marinade, but instead of soaking the meat, the seasoning is mixed right in there. Pretty much all the same ingredients as in my chicken satay, made into balls and served hot on a bed of crisp salad greens and chilled rice noodle. Make a lil peanut sauce in the blender (or just buy a jar) and you’re set.

The meatballs freeze perfectly. Shape and lay them on a wax-paper-lined sheet. Freeze until solid and store in a freezer container. Bake as directed below, but add 3-4 more minutes. Ready for a fast dinner any old time!

(And I know, I know, the ingredients list is long as the day — way longer than a usual recipe on here — but you could omit half the ingredients from the meatballs and they’d still be pretty damn good.)

beef satay meatballs


Beef Satay Meatballs

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  • Author: Hilah
  • Yield: 4 1x




  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh lemongrass (or 1/2 teaspoon lime zest)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (omit if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2” chunk fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 4 ounces green beans, blanched
  • 4 cups chopped lettuce (Romaine)
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, basil, green onions and/or parsley)

Garnishes: lime wedges, Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, fish sauce


Mix meatball ingredients well and shape into 12 small balls. Arrange on a baking rack and refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 400ºF/204ºC. If you prefer, you can fry them in a skillet instead (teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat, turning three times, until cooked through).

While the oven heats, mix together the sauce ingredients. Puree in the blender or shake in a jar until smooth. Taste and add more salt and lime juice if needed. Set aside at room temperature (also can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated).

Prep the salad: Start a pot of water boiling. (Blanch the green beans for 60 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and drop into ice water) Add the noodles and cook according to package. Drain and drop into a bowl of ice water. Toss with fingers to separate and rinse and drain completely.

Divide vegetables into 4 serving bowls: lettuce, carrot, cucumber, green beans, herbs. Top each bowl with an equal amount of noodles. Refrigerate.

Bake the meatballs for about 10 minutes until browned and firm.

Serve hot meatballs on cold salad with peanut sauce and any other garnishes you like

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beef satay meatballs


  1. Kathi Peacock on July 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Please, where is the recipe for this dish? I’ve been searching…it looks fantastic and I want it for dinner!!! 🙂

    • Hilah on July 9, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Sorry Kathi! I’ll try to get it back up tomorrow. We just redid the site and some recipes got lost in the shuffle

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