This recipe is here to blow up everything you think you know about meatballs. All dramatics aside, these meatballs are truly game-changing thanks to a certain onomatopoeic sauce. What exactly is “firecracker,” you ask? Well, mystery asker, it’s a creamy, spicy, sweet, and savory (yes, all those things!) sauce so good, it’ll make your taste buds explode! Once the meatballs are baked, they’re tossed in the magical condiment, then plated atop sesame-seed-flecked rice along with roasted carrots (AKA more things to dip in sauce). Don’t be surprised when you find yourself swiping up every last drop.
Produced in a facility that processes eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.
Soy Sauce(ContainsSoy, Wheat)
Korean Chili Flakes
• Adjust rack to top position (top and middle positions for 4 servings) and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. • Trim, peel, and cut carrots on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick pieces. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens; mince whites. Peel and mince ginger. • In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, 2 tsp soy sauce (4 tsp for 4), and sriracha to taste. (You’ll use the remaining soy sauce later.) Set aside.
• Place carrots on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Toss with a drizzle of oil, salt, and pepper, then push to one side of sheet. (For 4 servings, spread carrots out across entire sheet.) • Roast on top rack for 10 minutes (you’ll add the meatballs then).
• Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add half the sesame seeds (save the rest for serving); cook, stirring, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. • Add rice, ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4 servings), and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. • Keep covered off heat until ready to serve.
• While rice cooks, in a second large bowl, combine beef*, panko, ginger, scallion whites, remaining soy sauce, salt (we used ½ tsp), and pepper. (For 4 servings, use 1 tsp salt.) • Form into 10-12 (20-24 for 4) 1½-inch meatballs.
• Once carrots have roasted 10 minutes, remove sheet from oven and carefully place meatballs on empty side. • Return to top rack until meatballs are cooked through and carrots are browned and tender, 14-16 minutes more. (For 4 servings, leave carrots roasting; add meatballs to a second lightly oiled baking sheet and roast on middle rack.) TIP: If carrots are done before meatballs, remove from sheet and continue roasting meatballs.
• Fluff rice with a fork; season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls or plates. • Carefully add meatballs to bowl with sauce; toss to coat. • Top rice with meatballs and drizzle with any remaining sauce. Serve carrots to the side. Garnish with scallion greens, remaining sesame seeds, and chili flakes to taste.