Meatballs is a popular and accessible round and bite sized dish that is not only simple to make but affordable as well. A highly versatile dish where it can be made using different kinds of minced meat such as chicken, beef, pork, fish or mutton. There are however different types of meatballs that is why in today’s post, let we have gathered the different types of meatballs for you to be familiar with. Continue reading this article for more details.
Different Types Of Meatballs
Meatballs can either be served as a side dish to a main dish and you can eat them as plain. Listed below are the different types of meatballs. Each regions has its own different versions of a meatball which we will also tackle in a little while.
Italian American Meatballs (America)
The US does not have its very own version of a meatball but meatballs are still available in that country but most of the meatballs in America comes from Italian Cuisine, hence it is called an Italian American meatball or Italian meatballs.
Individuals in the United States usually consume meatballs mixed in either spaghetti (Spaghetti meatballs) or Pizza. Meatballs are either mixed with the ground pork of the pizza or the spaghetti and then to enrich the flavor of the fish, spices and herbs are also added. After which, it is then cooked using a sauce then finally used as toppings on spaghetti.
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Meanwhile, meatballs on pizza are usually sliced (no longer round) so that it becomes smaller. Meatballs slices for pizza are either minced meatballs, sliced in half and topped on pizzas.
Albondigas is a traditional Mexican meatball made using minced meat of either pork, beef or veal. Often, it is added with rice or even potato.
Cooking process involves pan frying the meatballs and then sauce such as tomato sauce or beef braised broth is added allowing it to simmer for a few minutes. Mixed with different varieties of vegetables. It is then garnished with either white rice or cilantro leaves.
Albondigas can also be a Mexican meatball soup where meatball is added to soup.
Ragout de Boulettes (Canada)
Canadians have a different way of enjoying their meatballs, specially in Quebec where meatballs are usually eaten as a form of a stew that is why the types of meatballs in Canada are called Meat ball stew or Ragout de Boulettes.
Similar to other meatball recipes, ragout de Boulettes is made of minced pork meat. Other ingredients includes cloves, onions and cinnamon.
Meatballs in Brazil called Almondegas is usually serve as a delicious appetizer. Most of the time, Almondegas meatballs are served with tomato sauce on the side. Meatball Almondegas recipe is very easy to make, you will be needing few ingredients such as ground beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, parsley (chopped) and an egg.
Albondigas (Puerto Rico)
Similar to Ragout de Boulettes in Canada, Albondigas is another stewed-style meatballs. These types of meatballs are usually cooked in very rich Sofrito sauce (made from sautéed peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes). Making the sauce does not need to cooked for a very long time to avoid sauce becoming too pulpy. Perfect sauce achieved is one that is slightly thick.
Other ingredients used to make Puerto Rico meatball version includes bread crumbs, carrots, eggs, parsley and olives among others.
Swedish Meatballs known as Kottbullar are usually made by mixing the pork and the beef. Pan frying is the preferred cooking method the Swedish Meatballs Kottbullar meatballs. There are instances where meatballs are coated with white gravy. The white gravy is typically made of flour, dairy and stock.
Swedish Meatballs Kottbullar is usually cooked and mixed with different herbs and spices: chopped onions, white paper, breadcrumbs, Jamaican pepper and salt. After meatballs are brownish after cooking, it is usually simmered on beef broth, butter, heavy cream, flour, Worcestershire sauce and mustards as well.
To enrich the flavors of Swedish Meatballs Kottbullar, add some boiled or mashed potatoes on the sides or pressed cucumbers.
These are small and bite-sized morsels made of cooked shredded beef mix with seasonings and stock.
Across Europe, Bitterballen or Dutch meatballs is a popular dish. To make this type of meatballs, the meat is mixed with spices. After mixing, it is then dipped in breadcrumbs then deep fried until meatballs is golden brown in color.
Most of the time, Bitterballen is served as a snack drizzled with mustard to enhance its flavors.
Faggots Meatballs (Great Britain)
In Britain, Faggots also means Uncase sausages. It is a type of meatball made from pork. Other ingredients includes liver, fatty meat and heart of the pig then herbs and spices are also added.
Faggots are usually baked in thick gravy made of butter and onions.
Keftedes meatballs are usually served as an appetizer and not usually served as the main dish. This type of meatballs is a popular meatball variation in Greece.
Keftedes is made of minced meat of either lamb or beef . Meat is mixed with other ingredients such as oregano, garlic and soaked bread. After mixing it is then deep fried. Best served with Tzatziki, a popular Greek dipping sauce.
While Americans likes to turn meatballs into a meatball spaghetti, Italians on the other hand likes to eat meatballs and spaghetti separately.
Polpette Meatballs, an Italian Origin meatball variety is made using ingredients such as: Beef or pork, and poultry. It is usually mixed with other ingredients such as pepper, salt, olive oil. cheese, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, and parsley.
A typical meatball shaped like a small sized ball. Cooking process involves frying in oil and then simmered on tomato sauce.
A Polpettine is an Italian meatballs are much smaller than a regular size meatballs.
Frikadeller is a popular meatball variety in Denmark. Characterized as having a texture of fluffy and light. The meat used in making Frikadeller can either be ground pork of veal. Additional ingredients mixed to the meat includes pepper, onions and eggs.
Other places in Europe also have different meatball varieties that includes:
- Albanians: meatballs are made from frying meatballs using feta cheese.
- Belgium: meatballs are made by mixing the pork, beef, onions and breadcrumbs and they call the type of meatballs as Balleks or Bouletten.
- Serbia and Bosnia: meatballs are popularly known as Cufte. Their meatballs are made of beef and then served it with potatoes on the side.
In Iran, there are different varieties of meatballs. It can either be stewed meatballs or broth meatballs or fried meatballs.
Stewed meatballs are called Kufteh while Fried meatballs are called Kale Gonjeshki. Most of the time, Iran meatballs are served as a part of the main dish either with rice or with bread.
Kufteh Meatballs are unique types of meatballs simply because the meatballs are filled with either a dried fruit or eggs.
Ktzitzot is a type of Hebrew meatball. The recipes for making this type of meatballs can vary however the typical ingredients commonly used are meats of either ground beef, turkey and or chicken.
A typical meatball is round shape, but with Ktzitzot, it is often shaped as flat meatballs.
Cooking process includes pan frying the meatballs and then cooking it in tomato sauce.
Kofta (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh)
Kofta is a type of meatballs originating in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In India, meatballs are usually cooked in spicy masala sauce and added with boiled eggs. A famous meatball variety in Pakistan is called Chorba. There are also instances wherein eggs are filled inside the meatballs together with the meat.
Lions’ head Meatballs (China)
There are different types of meatballs in China made of minced meat. The meat that is usually used is pork and cooking methods includes boiling, steaming and frying. The Lions Head is a widely known type of meatball in the Country. It is often served with cooked cabbages and sometimes with noodles.
The Lions Head, as the name itself suggests, is a large meatballs type. The size is about 5-10 cm in diameter.
Pork Ball (China)
Another meatball in China, which is the smaller version of Lions head and it is called as Pork Ball. The meatball recipe for making Pork balls is similar to making Lions head though the pork balls are usually added to soups. However, a different variety of this type of meatballs is usually made from beef and often served as a Dim Sum meal.
In China, aside from pork meat, fish and seafoods meat can also be used to make meatballs. And there are also the vegetarian versions for vegetarian individuals.
Ingredients such as flour, water chestnut, meat and lotus root are some of the common ingredients used to make meatballs in North China.
When in Japan, you will likely see Tsukune meatballs on the menu of a restaurant. It is a popular meatball in Japan made from minced chicken (Japanese Chicken Meatballs). Tsukune is either served as a skewered meatball (similar to a Kebab) or placed inside the dumpling.
Cooking method in making Tsukune can either be frying, and or baking. To enhance its flavor, a special Japanese sauce is used.
There is another meatball variety in Japan called Tsumire. It is usually served with in soups and in stews.
In Indonesia, especially on the streets, Bakso is a very popular type of meatballs in the country. And since Indonesia is a Muslim country, pork is not in Indonesian cuisine but rather used either beef or chicken.
Making Bakso is very easy. The ingredients such as garlic, coriander, salt & pepper, cornflour, meat, and baking powder are blended using a food processor to form a paste. Once the mixture becomes a paste, it is usually shaped into balls.
Bakso is usually served and specially added to noodles soup and broths.
Bun Cha (Vietnam)
Bun Cha is a popular Vietnamese meatballs made from using pork meat, particularly the shoulder portion. If you are familiar with the popular Vietnamese soup noodle dish called Pho, Bun Cha meatball is usually an ingredient to that noodle dish.
Bun Cha is prepared by cooking the meatballs in tomato sauce. Topped it with onions and peppers.
Bun Cha can also be grilled meatballs that’s best served with rice noodles then seasoned it with a delicious fish sauce that is made from garlic, sugar, chili and rice vinegar.
Meatballs Popular around the world
As mentioned above, meatballs are very popular across the globe simply because it is available and accessible, versatile and for being a simple dish with delicious taste. What’s not to love above this round shaped meatballs.
Although there are ready made meatballs that you can easily purchase, creating your very own homemade meatballs is very simple and easy time male.
With its simple ingredients such as meat and spices that’s easily available and accessible. You can also use different types of meat such as pork, mutton, chicken, lamb and beef. Aside from that, the fish meat can also be used too.
Making meatballs involves simple ingredients and simple cooking methods. The ground meat or ground chicken are mixed with variety of spices. Cooking methods involves either grilling, steaming, cooking and or frying.
Meatballs can be consumed however you want to eat it. You can either eat it as a plain noodles paired with tomato sauce or often with a spicy tomato sauce if you want some heat. Or you can add meatballs to soup, noodles or stew recipes. It can either be served as a side dish or served it as the main course of your meal.
With meatballs there are a lot of options to choose from on how you want to eat it.
Although each region has its own recipe for making meatballs, regardless of the ingredients used it will still result to a very flavorful and delicious meatballs that is why meatballs is very popular everywhere.
Meatballs typically consists of ground meat, shaped into a ball (oblong or circle) or sometimes flat. Mixed with eggs, rolled in breadcrumbs. Mixed it with herbs and spices.
There are different meatballs variety and each variety has its own distinct taste. We hope that this guide has helped you understand the different types of meatballs according to each region.
From the list mentioned, which of the meatballs have you tried and which one is your favorite. Let us know what you think.