Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

meatballs recipe 1 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Meatballs are called gogi wanja in Korea. Traditionally, meatballs are pan-fried and either used in soups or hotpots or served as is (sometimes with a sauce). They were an essential ingredient in Korean Royal Court dishes such as sinsello, an elaborate Royal Court hotpot.

A popular version of Korean meatballs are egg-battered and pan-fried. They are called wanjajeon and commonly served on holidays and special occasions. 

meatballs recipe 2 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Here, I braised the meatballs in a soy based sweet and savory sauce (jorim jang) commonly used in Korean cooking. For the meatballs, I like to use a mixture of beef and pork. Of course, you can use all beef or all pork depending on your preference.

Typically, Korean meatballs include tofu, mushrooms, carrots, onions and/or scallions as well. I used mushrooms, onions and scallions in this recipe. They add a lot to the flavor and texture of the meatballs without being overpowering. Whatever you use, take extra time to finely chop the ingredients for a smoother texture. Then, your children will never know there are mushrooms and onions in the meatballs.

These meatballs are very tender and packed with lots of great flavors! I hope you try this recipe and experience meatballs the Korean way!

meatballs recipe 3 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Makes about 30 – 32 meatballs (1 1/4-inch)

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
5 – 6 fresh shiitake (or any) mushroom caps, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons corn starch (more for dredging)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) and pepper to taste

For the sauce (jorim jang):
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
3 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pieces thinly sliced ginger

Optional garnish:
chopped peanuts or pine nuts

meatballs recipe 4 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Finely chop the mushrooms, onion, and scallions. Combine all the meatball ingredients well by hand until evenly blended.

meatballs recipe 5 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Shape the mixture into about 1 1/4-inch balls. Dredge the meatballs in the cornstarch or flour to lightly coat.



meatballs recipe 6 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs to the pan. Turning as necessary, fry until all sides are golden brown but not cooked through, 5 – 7 minutes. The meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

meatballs recipe 7 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Add all the sauce ingredients to another pan. Boil over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes.

meatballs recipe 8 - Gogi Wanja Jorim (Glazed Korean Meatballs)

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the sauce becomes a thick glaze, turning to coat evenly, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the optional garnish. Serve warm with your choice of vegetables.