How to Make Beef Meatballs

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Asian (or more specifically, Chinese) meatballs are rated on how “bouncy” they are when you bite into them, so they’re very different to the meatballs you get at Ikea. The traditional way to make meatballs (ie. beef balls, pork balls, chicken balls, fish balls etc. etc.) is to mince the meat very finely, season it, add some tapioca or cornstarch, and then you need to pound it by picking it up and slapping it against the side of the bowl until the the texture is firm and “bouncy” (alright, I’m not a professional food writer, so it’s really hard to describe some of these techniques).

I found out years ago when making fish paste for stuffed vegetables (yong tau foo) and fish balls for my restaurant that you can often achieve this bounciness without the pounding, so here’s another recipe, this time for Beef Balls, that also yields the same result.

By the way, I don’t own a food processor hence why my steps are for a Thermomix or Thermocook but since I’m really only using the food processing and dough mixing function in these units, you should be able to replicate the steps with a regular food processor plus dough mixer.

Beef Meatballs Recipe


  • 500g beef mince, kept in freezer for 1 hour before use
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ¾ Tbsp chicken powder
  • ⅔ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsps tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Water for boiling


  1. Combine all ingredients in a Thermomix or Thermocook. Process for 30 seconds at Speed 9. If using a food processor, increase processing time to 1 minute, on high speed.
  2. Change to kneading function and knead for 1 minute.
  3. Half-fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
  4. Using your hand, squeeze the mixture between your thumb and index finger, mould into balls and using a spoon, drop them into the water.
  5. Cook until they float to the surface, then continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat with rest of mixture.
  6. Beef balls can be chilled or frozen until use, and they are traditionally served with beef broth and noodles.

beef meatballs


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