A couple of weeks ago, I started a low-carb diet in order to get my weight and health back on track. It was supposed to be a short-term stint. But I saw such amazing results in only a week so I decided to keep going! Unfortunately, with low-carb diets you are heavily restricted in the types of food you can eat AND the ingredients you can use in your recipes. I had to switch to low-carb options of all my favorite ingredients. After the initial transition, I realized you can pretty much turn any recipe into a low-carb one with a few twists. These Low-Carb Korean Meatballs are no exception! Read on to learn a few tricks I used to fit them into my low-carb routine.
EATING MEAT ON A LOW-CARB DIET
Meat in general is usually a big part of low-carb diets. It’s full of healthy protein and fat with very little carbs. Limiting your carb intake requires you to increase the amount of fat you consume so that your body still has something to burn without you falling into a malnourished state. The main ingredient in these meatballs is perfect for meeting these terms because it consists of semi-lean ground beef (about 85/15 on the fat content).
REPLACING BREADCRUMBS FOR A LOW-CARB INGREDIENT
In traditional meatballs you’ll usually mix in a hefty serving of breadcrumbs. They help hold the meatballs together and add some extra flavor. Unfortunately, breadcrumbs are a major no-no when you’re trying to stay low-carb. Some breadcrumb brands can have almost 40 grams of carbs per cup! For this recipe, I decided to substitute breadcrumbs with almond flour instead. Almond flour is incredibly low in carbs and for this recipe it functioned the same way the breadcrumbs would have. Plus, the subtle hint of almond flavor was a great addition to the “sweet and spicy” essence I was going for.
LOW-CARB GLAZE FOR LOW-CARB MEATBALLS
Sugar can be tricky when you’re on a low-carb diet. Since the glaze for these meatballs needed to be “sweet” as well as “spicy”, I had to find a way to add sweetness without all the extra carbs that come with traditional sugar. Brown sugar is a staple ingredient in these kinds of recipes because it compliments the saltiness of the soy sauce quite well. To avoid the extra carbs, I made sure to use a brown sugar substitute with zero net carbs. More specifically I used Swerve Brown Sugar. Out of all the sugar substitutes I’ve tried, Swerve is BY FAR the best tasting and closest flavor to regular sugar. It also comes in granulated and powdered varieties as well.
The finishing touches of the sweet and spicy glaze poured over the perfectly baked meatballs makes this dish incredibly irresistible! You’d never guess it was low-carb if I didn’t tell you. Other than the fact they’re low-carb (and dare I say, healthy for you) these meatballs are so savory with the most amazing flavor. Serve them up with a Healthy Salad or some Bacon Brussels Sprouts! I promise you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything if you decide to go on a low-carb diet. So read on for the full recipe for these Low-Carb Korean Meatballs and enjoy!
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER LOW-CARB RECIPES NEXT!
Low-Carb Sweet & Spicy Korean Meatballs RecipeCourse: Main CourseDifficulty: Easy
Incredibly savory Korean Meatballs smothered in a mouthwatering sweet and spicy glaze! So good that you won’t believe they are low-carb!
- For Meatballs
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup almond flour
1/2 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs parsley, minced (plus more for topping)
2 tsp hot sauce of our choice
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
- For Glaze
1/2 cup Swerve brown sugar (or any other brown sugar substitute of your choice)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, add the almond flour, onions, garlic, egg, parsley, hot sauce, garlic salt and black pepper. Mix until well combined
- Add the ground beef to the bowl and mix with the other ingredients until well combined (it’s best to mix with your hands at this point to make sure everything blends evenly)
- Form the mixture into about 34 separate meatballs either by rolling them in your hands or using a cookie scoop. Place the meatballs side by side on the prepared baking pan about 1 inch apart
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes
- While the meatballs are baking, start preparing the glaze. Put the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot sauce and butter in a small pot
- Bring to a rapid boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes, whisking occasionally until the glaze begins to thicken
- Once meatballs are done baking, remove from oven and pour the glaze over each meatball until well coated
- Sprinkle with more minced parsley as desired
- Calories & Nutritional Info may vary based on different brands and ingredients used. Nutritional Info below was calculated using Very Fit Well’s Nutrition Calculator.
34 servings per container
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 1g 5%
- Cholesterol 30mg 10%
- Sodium 248mg 11%
- Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
- Potassium 125mg 4%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
- Sugars 3.8g
- Protein 9.3g 19%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.