Tropical meatballs perfect for a 4th of July celebrated outdoors

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

You can cook these meatballs in a skillet or in the oven, but why not try something out of the ordinary and delightfully outdoorsy?

These tropical inspired meatballs are perfectly complimented with smoking, and when served with plain or fried rice of your choice, they will be a winner at any get-together.

Smoked teriyaki meatballs

Smoked teriyaki meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 small mango, peeled and diced small
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

 Tropical Teriyaki sauce

1 1/2 cups orange juice, divided
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried ginger
4 cups warm plain or fried rice, if desiredAdd first nine ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Form into meatballs (1 1/2-inch diameter shown in image.) Get your smoker ready or toss a cupful of hydrated wood chips in your grill, on top of your gray coals or use a foil pack, tightly sealed, to produce smoke.

Place the meatballs in a foil pan and on grate in cooker or barbecue grill. Make sure you have the lowest setting of heat if using propane and level out charcoal if using briquettes to place wood chips. When smoking, close all vents and smoke meatballs for about 30 minutes, according to the size, or until well done throughout.

Remove, douse with your Tropical Teriyaki sauce and serve immediately.

To make the Tropical Teriyaki sauce, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup orange juice with cornstarch until smooth, making slurry; set aside. Place remainder orange juice, soy, brown sugar, garlic and ginger powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and whisk in cornstarch slurry until smooth.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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