• A low-alcohol rice wine, mirin’s sweet flavour adds balance and brightness to savoury dishes

    Recipe, styling and photograph by Hein van Tonder

    Sticky mirin and ginger pork meatball noodle bowls

    Serves: 4
    Total Time: 1 hr



    • 500g pork mince
    • 45g (1/2 cup) panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • large thumb fresh ginger, grated
    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsp sesame seeds
    • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 1 egg, lightly whisked
    • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • vegetable oil, to fry

    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 80ml (⅓ cup) mirin
    • 80ml (⅓ cup) soya sauce
    • 100g honey
    • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
    • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • TO SERVE

    • 340g medium egg noodles, cooked according to packaging instructions
    • steamed vegetables such as pak choi, edamame beans and broccolini bean sprouts, to garnish



    For the meatballs, place the pork, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds, spring onion, egg and seasoning to taste in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.


    Roll the pork mixture into 24 balls (half the size of a golf ball). Place on a large plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes.


    For the sticky mirin sauce, place the sesame oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, mix to combine and set aside.


    Pour a little vegetable oil into a large pan over high heat. Fry the meatballs in batches, turning halfway through, until browned, about 5 minutes.


    Turn down the heat, return all the meatballs to the pan, pour in the sticky mirin sauce and gently toss to coat the meatballs. Cook until the sauce is reduced and sticky, and the meatballs are cooked through, 10 – 15 minutes.


    Serve immediately with the noodles and steamed vegetables, garnished with a few bean sprouts.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com