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Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad. This dish incorporates a variety of flavors and fresh summer produce. It’s a delicious mix of cozy and healthy, and a great way to use up garden cucumbers and fresh basil. It’s made with tamari, plenty of ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and served over steamed rice. Top with spicy cucumber mango salad and you’ll have a super delicious bowl that’s ready in under an hour. 

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s taking something kind of boring, like chicken and meatballs, and reinventing the dish to be exciting and extra delicious. I’m often bored with recipes. So looking at a type of meat like chicken, and trying to come up with a way to reinvent it, is always a nice challenge.

These meatballs aren’t over the top or crazy different. But for someone who’s used to cooking only Italian-style meatballs, these are a fun twist. 

I did my best to use ingredients I had easy access to. And when I was finished, I had such a yummy Asian rice bowl-style dinner. My family’s favorite! 

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

With peaches coming into season, cucumbers growing in everyone’s garden, and mangos now plentiful at the grocery store, I chose to highlight these three as my summer produce. 

I love the fresh flavors, sweetness, and color they add! 

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

The details – I always begin with the meatballs 

You can use ground chicken or pork for these meatballs. I actually think I prefer pork, but both options work really well. Mix the ground meat with cilantro, green onions, garlic, ginger, and my secret, Worcestershire sauce. It adds a really delicious, salty, and almost umami-like flavor. You don’t know it’s there, but it adds so much.

The meatballs are seared up in a skillet for super-quick cooking. 

While the meatballs cook, you’ll want to mix the sauce. It’s tamari (or soy sauce), lots of chili sauce, more garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame seeds. 

The sauce is poured over the meatballs. Then a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder is added to help thicken it just so slightly. 

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

The Mango Cucumber Salad

To be honest, this was the idea that got the whole dish going. I want to make a spicy cucumber salad, but I wanted to incorporate summer fruit, fresh mango, and peaches. I thought the mix sounded perfect to serve along with meatballs!

It’s easy, just mix everything together with gochugaru flakes

Then serve over rice, and top with additional green onions and basil. These were the perfect toppers since we have so much growing in our garden right now! 

A great family dinner that’s easily ready in under an hour! 

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

Looking for other quick weeknight dinners? Here are some favorites:

Coconut Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce

30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Spicy Chipotle Honey Salmon Bowls

Lastly, if you make this Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 458 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.




  • 1. To make the meatballs. Add the chicken, green onions, 1 clove grated garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of pepper to a bowl. Mix until just combined. Coat your hands with a bit of oil and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs).
    2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and sear until crisp and mostly cooked through, about 5-8 minutes, turning them 2-3 times.
    3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a glass jar, combine the tamari, 1/3 cup water, 3 cloves grated garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, chili sauce, honey, and sesame seeds. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water.
    4. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Simmer 2-3 minutes, then add the cornstarch, and cook until the sauce lightly coats the meatballs.
    5. Add the cucumbers to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let sit 5 minutes, then drain out the water. Add the mango, gochugaru flakes, tamari, and sesame seeds.
    6. Spoon the rice into bowls. Add the salad, the meatballs, and a handful of green onions and basil.
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Sweet and Spicy Sesame Meatball Bowl with Mango Cucumber Salad |

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    1. Hi Leslie,
      Sorry about that! I like to use sriracha for this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  1. 3 stars
    I made this and it was okay but I think the recipe needs some tweaks! First, the meatballs hardly stick together and fell apart in the pan. I definitely will be adding and egg next time to keep them molded together. I also don’t recommend salting the cucumbers at all! There is so much saltiness with the soy sauce. Lastly, just for fun we added shredded carrots and red onion to the mango salsa.
    All in all, still an incredible recipe but just needed a couple minor changes.

    1. Hey Leah,
      Thanks so much for giving this dish a try and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear about your meatballs, I think an egg would definitely help next time! xx

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Sure, I don’t see why not! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it turns out well for you! xx

      1. Turned out great! I wasn’t sure how long the Instant Pot would take so I did them in the skillet as instructed. Do you know how long the Instant pot would take to cook these?