Chinese Five Spice Meatballs

Kanchan KoyaBy Spice Spice Baby  , , , , , , ,

March 3, 2016

Science Corner
The virus-fighting compound shikimic acid from star anise, ginger and fennel and quercetin from red onion and apple makes these delicious meatballs anti-viral bundles of deliciousness. Studies have shown that these two molecules together have potent virus combatting effects - in fact, shikimic acid is the starting point for the production of the world's best known anti-viral drug, Tamiflu! The next time the unwanted viral visitor shows, you know what to make. (Our Spice Spice Baby signature Pho recipe is also a delicious option)!



  • Yields: ~20 Meatballs


For the meatballs

1 slice whole wheat bread crust removed or 1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

1/2 apple peeled and grated

1 carrot peeled and grated

125 g / 4.5 oz minced pork

125 g / 4.5 oz minced beef

1/2 teaspoon salt (skip for babies)

1 teaspoon homemade Chinese Five Spice (1/2 teaspoon if using store-bought)

1 egg

For the glaze

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey (swap to maple syrup for babies under 12 months)

Juice of 1 small orange


Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Pulse the bread in a food processor into bread crumbs. Set aside.

In a pan, heat the oil on medium until shimmering. Soften the onion and ginger for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, apple, carrot, meat, salt, spices and egg into the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon or, if you don't mind, your hands. Mould the mixture into 3/4 inch diameter meatballs, placing them onto the lined baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the glaze.

Remove the meatballs from the oven at the 15 minute mark. Brush each meatball with the glaze and return to the oven for another 5 -7 minutes (skip for baby led weaning). Transfer onto a serving platter and enjoy.

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