Photo of Chinese chicken balls by WW

Chinese chicken balls

Total Time
55 min
15 min
40 min
Here’s an Asian twist on Italian meatballs. Great hot or at room temperature, with just a drizzle of a bold-flavored sweet and savory sauce. Serve them as a party appetizer and pair them with decorative toothpicks or turn them into main dish a partner them with stir-fried vegetables. We used ground chicken but you could use ground turkey breast if you’d like. To make them ahead, prepare the meat mixture, roll it into balls, and place the balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a day. Remove them from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.


Cooking spray

1 spray(s)

Peanut oil

1¼ Tbsp


3 clove(s), minced

Fresh ginger

¼ cup(s), fresh, minced


1½ cup(s), sliced, finely diced

Less sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp

Sherry cooking wine

2 Tbsp


1½ cup(s), chopped, chopped


½ cup(s), fresh, minced

Uncooked 93% lean ground chicken

2 pound(s)

Apricot preserves

¼ cup(s)


2 Tbsp

Fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp

Fish sauce

1½ Tbsp


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add mushrooms; stir to combine and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Add soy sauce and sherry to deglaze skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more. Add scallions; cook, stirring, until wilted. Stir in cilantro; turn off heat.
  3. Place chicken in a mixing bowl; add mushroom mixture and combine thoroughly. Fill each muffin hole with about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture shaped into a ball with your hands (or you can use a large ice cream scoop to shape balls).
  4. Bake until juices bubble up clear, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to prepare dipping sauce, in a small bowl, combine preserves, water, lime juice and fish sauce.
  6. Serve chicken balls with dipping sauce on the side. Yields 1 chicken ball and about 2 teaspoons of sauce per serving.