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Vietnamese Meatballs

Vietnamese-Style Meatballs that are grain-free, gluten-free, egg-free, paleo and keto-friendly

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 16
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 24 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 1 pound ground beef (ideally, beef that is grass fed & grass finished)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin (reserve 1/3 for garnish)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 hot chile, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if you use Tamari you likely do not need the extra salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons fat for frying (coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow, avocado oil or similar)

Optional Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

For a dipping sauce – add a tablespoon of water


  1. Combine all the ingredients (except oil and reserved scallions) in a medium size bowl and mix well with a spoon or your own clean hands.
  2. Divide into 24 meatballs, approximately 1.5 tablespoons each (1.5 tablespoon “cookie scoop” is recommended)
  3. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat for a couple of minutes, add the 2 tablespoons of oil/fat and allow it to heat for another minute.  Add half the meatballs and cook 3-4 minutes before flipping over and cooking another 3-4 minutes, turning down the heat as necessary to ensure they do not burn. Remove to a dish and cover. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking, combine the ingredients for the glaze (if using) and toss with the hot meatballs.
  5. Top with sliced scallions for garnish and serve warm.


You can double the glaze recipe if you prefer more of a sauce. If you are following a low carb or keto diet you may wish to eliminate the glaze. The meatballs are quite flavorful without it.

Serve over cauliflower rice for a low carb meal