This is not your average meatloaf – it’s so much better. Sticky Asian-inspired meatloaf with water chestnuts has wonderful Chinese & South East Asian flavors we all love: sweet chili sauce; hoisin; fresh cilantro; ginger; garlic, soy sauce & green onion. And instead of being cooked in a loaf pan, this meatloaf is free-standing, allowing the outside to darken, form a crust & become sticky with the Asian sauces.Jump to Recipe
Of course flavor is important but the way the meatloaf is cooked is really the trick to a good meatloaf. Most recipes call for cooking the meatloaf in a loaf pan. As meat cooks, it releases liquid, juice, fats, call it what you want; but now you’ve got a hunk of ground meat sitting in liquid steaming & stewing. Not particularly palatable. Take that same raw mixture, press it into a rectangle on a piece of parchment paper, roll it up & cook it on a baking sheet, basting it with some sauce during the last part of cooking, & now you’ve here’s a meatloaf that is browned, caramelized & with a dark a crust – much more appetizing wouldn’t you agree?
Also, get in & use your hands to mix. I’ve read in some recipes where the author states to not over mix as it’ll toughen the meatloaf. That’s bullshit. The best way to mix a meatloaf, or meatballs, is to get in with your hands to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. This recipe requires using your hands anyway because you have to shape the mixture into a rectangle to roll it up. May as well mix it with ’em too.
I use a combination of beef & pork sausage for both flavor & texture. It’s not mandatory, you can use all beef, I have tested it with 100% ground beef – both meats are good. Just make sure to use the 70/30 & not lean ground meat. Then, once you’ve made this recipe, feel free to switch up the flavors with different sauces, herbs & veg but keep the ratios the same.
Toodles, Lovoni xo
sticky asian-inspired meatloaf with water chestnuts
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon extra
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (or regular dried breadcrumbs)
- a pinch of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & diced (227g)
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish (coriander)
- 1 lb 70/30 ground beef (500g beef mince)
- 1 lb ground pork sausage (500g sausage mince)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Using a fork, stir the egg, 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce & soy together in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, salt & pepper; stir to combine. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to soften the breadcrumbs.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Add water chestnuts, carrot, onion, ginger, garlic & cilantro to the breadcrumb mixture; stir to combine.
- Add beef & pork, stiring thoroughly until everything is combined – I use my hands for this & usually wear surgical gloves (for ease of clean-up & sanitation). Place the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Press the mixture to form a 10 x 14-inch (25 x 35cm) rectangle. Roll-up from one short side, jellyroll style, to form a log. Place on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is cooking, combine melted butter, 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce & 1 tablespoon of soy in a small bowl. Brush some of the mixture over the meatloaf. Cook, brushing with sauce mixture twice more during cooking until it's all used, for 30 minutes or until firm & cooked through when a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 160F/71C. Cover & let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into about 1-inch (2.5cm) thick slices. Serves 6.