Nikudango (Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce)

Nikudango, Japanese for meatball, is a popular recipe for bento boxes (lunch boxes), and it is even very popular at many Chinese restaurants in Japan.

Yield: 2 servings
Time: 15 minutes

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 15g ginger (grated)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)

Spices (for beef)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp katakuriko
  • dash salt and pepper
Spices (for sauce)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp katakuriko
    1. Mix beef with egg, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake, katakuriko, salt, pepper and knead well by hand
    2. Make meatballs roughly the size of golf balls
    3. Heat oil to 375°F (190°C) and fry meatballs for about 7 minutes (until cooked through), remove them from the pan and wipe oil with a paper towel
    4. Mix sauce spices in a small bowl (soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ketchup) and heat it in a frying pan
    5. Add katakuriko (with water), mix then add meatballs
    6. Serve and enjoy!


    1. thanks for this! im definately gonna try this out when i want a quick to make meal in the afternoon :)

    2. Hi Mai,

      Can you tell me what we can use in replace of Katakuriko? I never heard it before. According to google, it's from a certain plant similar to potato starch. Can we use that instead, or maybe corn flour?

    3. If you have trouble finding katakuriko, please try corn starch. They are almost same. Thanks!