Pork Ramen w/ Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

5 from 1 vote

This pork ramen recipe includes sweet and spicy meatballs and tender veggies flavored with Chinese five spice powder. Make it for dinner in only 30 minutes!

asian pork meatballs drizzled with sauce in white bowl with noodles and vegetables

Noodle dishes are popular all over the world. Among other pasta dishes, Italians have spaghetti. Germans have spaetzle, Turks enjoy egg noodles known as erişte, and Americans? Well, there may not be a specific type of noodle that America is known for, but we sure do enjoy eating them!

Asians view noodles differently than most other continents do. For Asians, the noodle is much more than the base of a delicious stir fry or soup.

All Asian noodles, but especially longer ones like ramen, represent a long life.

For this reason, it’s considered good luck to eat ramen and other Asian noodle dishes during the Chinese New Year holiday.

Pork Ramen Recipe

Cuisine: Chinese / Asian

This pork ramen recipe starts as a basic veggie stir fry but the flavors of the dish are quickly elevated, The meal includes ramen and sweet and spicy meatballs seasoned with Chinese five spice powder.

detailed map of china and surrounding countries

Course:
Main dish

Preparation:
Stir Fried and poached (pork meatballs)

Difficulty: Easy 🥄

Description:
Chinese five spice seasoned pork meatballs are poached, then stir fried with vegetables and served over ramen noodles.

asian pork meatball ramen in white bowl

Ingredient notes and substitutions

For the sweet and sour meatballs

  • Ground pork– If you aren’t a fan of pork, the sweet and sour flavors of the dish also work well with ground chicken.

    If you’d like to skip using meatballs, another option is to use premade meatballs . Or, feel free to slice or dice boneless pork chops to use in your pork ramen.
  • Panko breadcrumbs– I like the texture of meatballs made with panko; they tend to hold up better to poaching. If you don’t have any panko, regular breadcrumbs are fine.
  • Egg– The eggs serve as a binder for the meatball mixture. If you need another option, a flax egg makes a great substitute.
  • Chinese five spice powder– My Chinese five spice recipe is very simple to make, and it has a long shelf life, but you can use store bought if you’d like.

For the ramen

  • Vegetables– Feel free to use any stir fry veggies you’d like. I use carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, and scallions (green onions). Mushrooms would be a great addition!
  • Ramen noodles– You can use dry ramen noodles (without the seasoning packets) if you want. Otherwise, fresh and frozen ramen noodles are both available at most Asian grocery stores.

HOW MUCH RAMEN TO BUY

This pork ramen recipe serves 5 people. If using packages of dry ramen, use 5 or 6 of them. Fresh ramen is usually sold in 1-pound packages, which should be plenty to serve 5 people, unless you want a larger amount of noodles in the stir fry.

white bowl of sweet and spicy meatballs in pork ramen

Making the pork ramen recipe

This dish comes together really quickly, thanks to the high heat cooking of a wok. If you don’t own a wok, that’s fine; just use a large, shallow skillet.

KITCHEN TIP:
Cast iron skillets are a great replacement for a wok!

  1. Prep the ingredients.
  2. Make the meatball mixture.
  3. Poach the pork meatballs.
  4. Cook the ramen noodles.
  5. Stir fry the vegetables, then add the sweet and spicy meatballs and ramen.

Tips for making sweet and spicy meatballs

  1. Preventing dry, tough meatballs

A common mistake when making meatballs is over mixing the ingredients. You want to combine everything together, but working the mixture too much will cause them to be dry and tough. We want juicy sweet and sour meatballs for the best pork ramen!

  1. Poach, don’t boil.

Poaching is a method of gently cooking food in a simmering liquid. When you poach the pork meatballs, be sure that the water isn’t boiling. This is another way to ensure that the meat stays juicy.

Poaching tips

Although it can take some practice to perfect poaching food, it isn’t difficult. There are just a couple of important things to keep in mind when you’re making this pork ramen recipe.

  1. Keep the liquid between 160° and 180° F.

    Again, you don’t want the liquid to come to a boil. When the poaching liquid reaches the right temperature, there should be a slight shimmer on the surface and you’ll see tiny bubbles around the edges of the pan.
  1. Fully submerge the food under the liquid.

    In the photo above, you’ll notice that the meatballs are not fully submerged under the surface of the chicken broth. That is NOT how to correctly poach food! I shot the photo that way simply so you could see the meatballs cooking.

PRO TIP
To help keep foods fully in the poaching liquid, cover the pan with a sheet of parchment paper.

Pork ramen recipe tips

  • Storing and reheating leftovers

Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator and use them within 5 days.

Reheat leftover pork ramen over medium heat on a stovetop, or at 50% power in a microwave. This helps prevent the sweet and spicy meatballs from drying out.

Still Hungry?

Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.

asian pork meatballs drizzled with sauce in white bowl with noodles and vegetables

Pork Ramen w/ Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
This pork ramen recipe is made with sweet and spicy meatballs and tender veggies flavored with 5 spice. Make it for dinner in only 30 mins!
Servings: 5
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Total: 31 mins

Ingredients 

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice

Ramen

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 green onions sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini sliced thin
  • 1 yellow squash sliced thin
  • 1 carrot peeled & sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups ramen noodles cooked

Garnish

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds garnish

Instructions 

  • Mix all meatball ingredients in a bowl and roll into 20 meatballs. Set aside.
  • Thinly slice the green onions and vegetables or use a mandolin. Set aside.
  • Pour chicken stock in a wok and heat on high. Poach meatballs, 10 at a time, in chicken stock for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from wok, set aside and repeat with remaining 10 meatballs. Pour any remaining broth in with cooked meatballs.
  • To the wok add the oil and quickly stir fry vegetables for 2 minutes. Season with pinch of kosher salt. Add the noodles, meatballs with remaining broth, tossing to incorporate and cook for 4 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve in bowls with a healthy drizzle of hoisin sauce and sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 740kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 2814mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2311IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image: close up of sweet and spicy meatballs and stir fry vegetables

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

Free Bonus
Kevin's Guide to Amazing International Cooking
My secrets to authentic & delicious international recipes

Explore More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made it with ground chicken because I couldn’t grind ground pork at the grocery store. Was a bit skeptical about sesame seeds inside meatballs, but trusted the process and was blown away. So good the hubs requested it again for his birthday dinner!

    1. Ahhh, another convert! Love it and reading comments like this. Thanks for being brave and coming back to let me know Julie!