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Sweet and Spicy Asian Meatball and Broccoli Noodles

By Cindy Rahe
This saucy noodle dish packs a one-two punch of flavor and protein, with roasted meatballs, broccoli and a umami-packed no-cook sauce.

Noodles and meatballs are one of my tip-top, all-time-favorite comfort foods. I mean, what could be better than tender, savory meatballs in a saucy nest of carbs? These meatballs and noodles are not your standard spaghetti and red sauce fare. They have a decidedly Asian twist, with the flavors of ginger and garlic, but it’s the addictive coating of sweet and spicy sauce that really makes this noodle dish sing. 

The sauce combines a few funky-ish ingredients, fish sauce and garlic-chili paste, that can be easily found in the international section of most well-stocked supermarkets. I was easily able to locate both in my standard-American grocery store. The fish sauce and chili paste add a pungent, umami background to the sauce and play wonderfully with the salty soy, tart lime, fragrant garlic and ginger and sweet maple. It’s a sauce that hits all kinds of flavor profiles for a sweet, salty, tangy, spicy flavor party. 

To begin we make some meatballs using ground turkey, an egg, panko bread crumbs, onion, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.


We’re making little meatballs here so we can roast them with some broccoli florets on a single pan. Fewer dishes to wash are always a good thing, right?


While the meatballs and broccoli roast, we mix up the sauce. Soy, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, lime, maple syrup and sambal oelek (garlic chili paste) are the foundation. Got to love that no cooking’s required!


Then, it’s just about boiling some noodles up, draining, and tossing with the sauce, meatballs, and broccoli. Time to dig in!