This pork meatball stir fry is a flavorful and colorful dinner that is perfect for busy weeknights! With crisp vegetables, long tender noodles perfect for slurping, a sauce that doesn’t get everywhere, and perfect pork meatballs, this Asian inspired stir fry recipe is a winner.
One of the best way to get kids on board with trying new things is starting with something they love. I know my kids will eat basically anything if it looks like a meatball, so you can be sure I serve a lot of different meatballs.
This stir fry recipe is great because it has tons of brightly colored produce, which not only makes the meal look pretty but it gives great texture and flavor to the meal, too. The long udon noodles are fun for kids to eat and a good alternative to the typical rice in a stir fry. The sauce is flavorful without it being sloppy and messy. All around, this is a fun meal for families to enjoy together!
How to make this stir fry with pork meatballs recipe
These Asian inspired meatballs are a simple and quick meal to make. For the full recipe and directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card, but here is a basic overview:
- Cook a package of udon noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
- Mix the ingredients for the meatballs and form them into equal balls.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with just a little bit of vegetable oil.
- When the oil is hot, cook the meatballs. Make sure to not crowd the pan so that each meatball gets browned all over well. Do this in batches if you need to.
- Remove the meatballs to a plate and keep them warm.
- To the same skillet, add the shredded carrots, diced mushrooms, purple cabbage and snow peas. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened and brightly colored, about 5 minutes.
- In a small jar, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.
- Add the meatballs and the udon noodles to the pan. Pour the sauce over and toss to coat. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until heated through.
- Serve with green onions and sesame seeds.
Recipe Note: Don’t have Udon noodles? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Asian Noodles to see what you can replace it with.
How to prep this meal ahead of time
This meal is easy to prepare any night of the week, but there are steps you can do to make this meal come together even faster.
- You can cook the meatballs ahead of time, they reheat really well!
- Use pre shredded cabbage and carrots from the produce section of the grocery store.
- Clean and prepare the snow peas and mushrooms so they are ready to be thrown in the stir fry.
- The noodles only take a few minutes to cook in hot water, but you can cook them ahead of time and then toss them into the skillet to warm when you are ready.
- You can mix the sauce together (all except the sesame oil) and store in an air tight container in the fridge until you are ready to use. Give it a good shake before you pour it in.
How to make this stir fry kid friendly
This stir fry is a fun kid friendly meal. The colorful vegetables with different textures give a lot of variation in the plate, and make it pretty. The long noodles are fun to slurp and eat, and the thin sauce delivers a flavor punch without making a mess all over. The ginger pork meatballs are flavorful and tender, and are great to eat.
Whether or not a recipe is “kid friendly” has less to do with the actual recipe and more to do with how a kid perceives it. Keep reading for ideas on how to get your kids interested and involved in this meal.
Dinner conversations with kids
The dinner table is the perfect time to help expose kids to the world of food in an easy way.
To help get kids interested in trying their meal, get them involved in exploring the different aspects of a meal in an analytical way – discuss the colors, textures, smells, and tastes that are present.
Try these conversation starters:
- Colors – talk about the different colors that are present in the stir fry
- Textures – discuss the different textures of the vegetables, meatballs, and noodles. Which ones are soft, which are crunchy, etc.
- Which tastes can you detect (sweet, sour, bitter, etc)
- What part of the meal do you like the most? What should we do different when we make this again?
Learn more about how to explore taste with kids.
How to serve this meal to your family
These pork meatballs are a really easy meal to serve to your family!
- For toddlers: Pull out the meatballs and serve them in their own separate pile in bite sized pieces. Separate as much of the noodles as you can from the veggies and serve them separate, too.
- For younger kids: Serve the meatballs on the side of the noodles with vegetables.
- For older kids: Serve this meal in a bowl as one dish.
How your kids can help you cook
Getting your kids in the kitchen is an amazing way to help them be more interested in trying new foods. This stir fry recipe is perfect because it helps them learn to sauteeingand they get to practice produce prep.
This recipe is perfect for beginner cooks because it is so easy! And it is a great recipe for kids to experiment and become more comfortable with new flavors – which means they are more likely to eat it!
- Kids aged 1-3 can help you wash and prep the produce and help you measure the sauce ingredients. Ask them to help you garnish the finished meal as well.
- Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above, plus help you slice the mushrooms and mix the sauce together.
- Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you saute the veggies and mix the meatballs, with supervision.
*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.
Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1.5 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 package udon noodles, cooked
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 cup snow peas
- 3/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1.5 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 1.5 teaspoon goguchang
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespon of vegetable oil to the skillet.
- In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for meatballs together, being careful not to overmix (overmixing causes tough meatballs).
- Add the meatballs to the skillet, and cook on all sides, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
- When the meatballs are cooked through and browned on all sides, remove to a plate.
- Cook the udon noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Add the carrots, mushrooms, snow peas and cabbage to the skillet. Sautee the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened.
- In a glass, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables.
- Add in the meatballs and the noodles and toss to coat.
- Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through.
- Serve, garnishing with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
The meatballs can be made ahead of time and reheated.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 794Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 49g
Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.