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Ankake Meatballs

Ankake Meatballs

  • serves 3-4
  • 30 minutes

Fabulously indulgent, Ankake Meatballs are great for a night in with a movie, or a rainy day bento lunch. With juicy pork meatballs and a thick, sweet and sour sauce, you’ll be hard pressed to find a time you won’t want to whip up a batch!

Although the sauce in our recipe is sweet and sour, ankake can mean just about any dish with a thick, flavourful sauce. Why not try making your own ankake atsuage tofu, ankake yaki udon or ankake fried rice?


For the meatballs:
• 400g Pork Mince
• A pinch of Salt
• 1/3 tsp Ginger
• 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
• 1 1/2 tsp Cooking Sake
• 1 Beaten Egg
• 1 tbsp Katakuri Ko Starch Powder
• Vegetable Oil
For the sauce:
• 1/2 tsp Chicken & Pork Stock Paste
• 100ml Hot Water
• 2 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
• 2 1/2 tbsp Sugar
• 2 tbsp Vinegar
• 2 tsp Katakuri Ko Starch Powder
• A splash of Sesame Oil
• A handful of shredded Spring Onion
• 1 sprig of Coriander
• A sprinkle of Sesame Seeds
Suggested Drink: Taru Cask Sake.

How To Prepare

  1. In a large bowl, break up the pork mince. Next, add the salt and mix in well. Then mix in the soy sauce, ginger and cooking sake, followed by the egg.

  2. Keep mixing until the pork starts to become a thick paste, but don’t worry if your meatballs are a little bit gloopy at this point. Next, quickly stir in the katakuri ko starch.

  3. Lightly oil your hands to prevent the pork from sticking when you mould your meatballs. Using a spoon scoop out roughly tbsp sized portions of the pork mixture and form into meatball shapes.

  4. In a sturdy pan heat some oil until it reaches about 170°C. Fry the meatballs in the oil, rotating them after approx. 20-30 seconds to make sure they are evenly cooked. Fry until the oil reaches 185°C and the meatballs have turned golden brown.

  5. In a wok add all the ingredients for the sweet and sour ankake sauce, except the katakuri ko starch powder. Mix the katakuri ko with 1/2 tbsp of water, then add to the wok.

  6. While mixing the sauce, heat the wok over a medium flame until it has started to thicken. Next, add the meatballs and a splash of sesame oil, making sure the meatballs are evenly covered with sauce.

  7. Serve your meatballs and garnish with the shredded spring onion, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a few sprigs of coriander. Enjoy with a warm glass of taru sake. Matured in cedar cask, its rich taste is a great match to the full flavoured sweet and sour ankake sauce.

Tips and Information

• If you are watching your weight, you could try pan frying, roasting or boiling the meatballs instead of frying. However they may not keep as well, so if you are making them for a bento keep the sauce separately until you want to eat them.