Cookin’ in Korea: Pork Meatballs / Pork Burgers / The BEST 4-Ingredient Tomato Sauce EVER!

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Ground beef can be quite expensive here in Korea so to save money, I started buying ground pork instead. Of course, with a sudden influx of 1kg of ground pork in the apartment, I set out to find a variation of recipes to use it with.

To the Googlemobile!

And so I found this. Well, kinda. This is an adapted version of one of the most fantastic recipes I managed to find. It’s a combination of a few recipes I came across and I would say I make it almost twice a month. I usually make a big batch comprising of burgers for one day and meatballs for the next.

Personally, I find the pork burgers less heavy in my stomach than I do beef burgers but then again, I dooooo love some good old-fashioned beef cheese burgers every so often.

Pork Meatballs / Burgers

1 egg, beatence9a1ee0a27111e1b9f1123138140926_7

1-1 1/2 slices of bread, in breadcrumbs. (I usually blitz it in the blender for a few seconds)

1 garlic clove, crushed (or finely chopped if you don’t do crushing)

1/2 tsp each of parsley, thyme, salt and ginger

Pinch of ground black pepper

1 small onion, finely chopped

350grms ground pork

1. Preheat oven to 190C / 375F (for meatballs).

2. Mix 1 slice of bread in breadcrumbs, pork, parsley, ginger, thyme, salt, onion and garlic together in a large bowl.

3. Add egg a little at a time until you get a consistency whereby it all binds together nicely and isn’t too wet. If you find you’ve added too much egg, add some of the remaining breadcrumbs.


For Burgers: Make large ball and flatten into a patty. I usually get 2-3 large patties per batch (maybe 5 if I didn’t also make meatballs with the same batch). Heat frying pan over a medium heat with some olive oil. Fry patties for 10-12 minutes, flipping mid-way to make sure both sides of the burger cooks. Be careful not to have the heat too high or else you’ll burn the outside of the burger while the inside remains raw.

Meatballs and Burger


To Serve: Construct your burger with toasted sesame seed buns, slices of cheese, ketchup, fried onion, mayo, lettuce, tomato…the possibilities are endless.

For Meatballs: Roll mixture into small balls and arrange on a greased mini muffin tray. Bake for 30 mins. (I’m sure you can also fry them…or put them on a baking tray and into the oven, I’ve just never done that)

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To Serve: Once cooked, you can either wait until they cool and pop them in the fridge or pop them straight into your pasta sauce. I usually make them a day in advance, pop them into my pasta sauce and let them reheat in the sauce.

For the sauce: You can use whatever sauce you want to use but I use a four-ingredient tomato pasta sauce I found on smittenkitchen and adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ‘Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking’. I often use this sauce sans meatballs too as it’s so simple and easy and takes really no effort at all but the results, ohhhhh the results are A-MAZ-ING!

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Four Ingredient Tomato Pasta Sauce (or Tomatoes with Onion and Butter)

Serves 4

800grms whole peeled tomatoes. Personally, for just me and The Canadian One, I use one can of whole plum tomatoes.

5 tbs of unsalted butter (again, for two, I use 2 tbs)

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and HALVED

Teeny pinch of salt

1. Add tomatoes and butter into heavy saucepan. Place onion into sauce, cut side down.

2. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every so often and crushing up the tomatoes.

3. Once cooked, remove onion and discard. Add salt to taste. I’ve never added salt but that’s just me. My tomatoes sometimes come already salted. If you want, and you’re like me and hate throwing away food, you can chop up the onion and serve in a small bowl for people to optionally eat.

And that’s it!! If you’re adding meatballs to the sauce, add them 10 minutes before the end until they’re heated through. If you like things spicy, you can add a little chili flakes to your dish ala The Canadian One.

Enjoy with a cold beer or chilled glass of wine and the sunshine outdoors!

For more Cookin’ in Korea, check out:


13 thoughts on “Cookin’ in Korea: Pork Meatballs / Pork Burgers / The BEST 4-Ingredient Tomato Sauce EVER!

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