Japanese Meatballs in Sweet Soy Sauce (Niku Dango)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins

The full name for this is 'niku-dango no amakara-ni'. This appetiser/side dish is very simple to make. The presentation is lovely since the sauce acts also as a glaze...and its sweet coating makes these meatballs a kid-pleaser too! For fans of Asian street food these meatballs can be presented 'yakitori-style' by putting them on wooden skewers, with 4-5 balls on each skewer.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl. Knead the mixture until the ingredients are well combined. The beaten egg should give a stickiness to the rest of the mixture, holding it together.
  2. Take a small amount of the mixture -slightly less than a tablespoon) in your hand and mould it into a ball. Continue until the meatball mixture is used up.
  3. Fill a pan about one-third full of cooking oil. Heat oil to 350ºF and deep fry the meatballs until brown, about 5 minute (Turn meatballs halfway to ensure they are browned evenly.).
  4. Remove meatballs to plate lined with absorbent paper, to drain off excess oil.
  5. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan. Mix them together over a low heat, stirring until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Add the meatballs to the pan and roll them around in the pan until they are all covered with the sauce.
  7. Pour the meatballs with sauce onto a serving plate and serve!
Most Helpful

My husband and son loved these meatballs. When making the meatbals I used dry sherry in place of the sake. When I made the sauce I used sherry in place of the mirin and found that I needed to add about 1/4 cup of water so the sauce was not too thick. I made these in the food processor and baked them in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the recipe.

Cilantro in Canada February 16, 2006

I think that this is a wonderful idea! I needed an extra side dish quickly, so I used store bought meatballs and the same sauce ingredients, with honey, orange juice, and honey barbecue sauce added- I did use a lot more water as I wanted a thinner sauce. They turned out awesome- I received several compliments on them!

Random Rachel May 22, 2007

great treat or meal, but it came out dry.thought that might be my fault.lol

saternoutlaw April 18, 2007