These are juicy meatballs in a Chinese takeaway-style curry sauce. This curry sauce is so versatile but I love serving it up with meatballs, it’s a real family favourite.
That sauce has got a rich, savoury tang to it, and it tastes so comforting and filling that you just don’t want dinner to end!

Chinese style meatball curry in a black cast iron pan on a blue board with some pitta breads and boiled eggs in the background.
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It’s based on my Dad’s Chinese curry sauce recipe, but with a few adjustments here and there, the main one being using meatballs instead of minced beef.

I remember eating it loads growing up. The curry sauce has got a lovely smooth rich, savoury tang to it and it works perfectly with metballs.

📋 What do we need?

For the meatballs

Ingredients for homemade meatballs on a wooden board with labels.

My dad makes his version with minced beef (not formed into meatballs), or sometimes chicken, and his version HAS to be served with hard-boiled eggs.

For the Chinese Takeaway Style Curry Sauce

Ingredients for Chinese takeaway curry sauce on a wooden board with labels.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP You can easily make this gluten free by ensuring you use gluten free stock, gluten free bread for the breacrumbs and tamari instead of the soy sauce.

If I’m totally honest, I prefer it with hard-boiled eggs too, but they just don’t look as delicious as a runny soft-boiled egg!

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Spiced with curry powder (use mild if you’re not into hot curries), turmeric and Chinese five-spice, it’s got bags of flavour.

I like to brown my meatballs, then add the spices, and then finish cooking the meatballs in the curry sauce.

The sauce is made up of a mixture of beef AND chicken stock (my dad’s stipulation – I haven’t tried it with just one type of stock), plus milk, so they’re lovely and tender.

Side close in photo of meatballs in a Chinese takeaway style curry sauce in a black cast iron pan with 3 slices of boiled egg on top.

🍽️ What to serve it with

I served my meatball curry with boiled rice, but it also works great with, Egg fried rice or even cauliflower rice for a lighter alternative.

I also serve it up with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and some fresh chillis and chilli flakes for a kick of heat. My Dad would also stipulate that he had to have his curry sauce with hard-boiled eggs!

Cook hard boiled eggs for serving

If you want to go with hard-boiled eggs, simply cover the eggs (large eggs) in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

If you want that runny-yolk-soft-boiled-egg, then boil for exactly 6 minutes. Once cooked, drain and put the eggs straight into ice water for a few minutes to cool. This really helps with removing the shell.

Tap the eggs gently, then roll to crush the shell, before carefully peeling it off.

A blow with white and wild rice and some meatballs in a Chinese curry sauce on top.

I tend to keep the chilli out when I’m cooking it for the whole family, then I’ll serve it with a few chilli flakes and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce for those who like it a little spicier!

🍲 More AMAZING Meatball Recipes:

If you like meatballs with curry, how about this Beef Kofta – served with Saag Aloo as an alternative to rice.

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4.92 from 12 votes

Chinese Style Curry Sauce with Juicy Meatballs

This Chinese Style Curry with Juicy Meatballs makes a great, comforting dinner. Serve with cauliflower rice for a lighter dinner!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 People
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, British



  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) minced beef
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated breadcrumbs or panko


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 210 ml (a little under 1 cup) chicken stock
  • 210 ml (a little under 1 cup) beef stock
  • 210 ml (a little under 1 cup) whole milk
  • 1 onion peeled and cut into large squares
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into large chunks
  • 3 tsp sugar (granulated/caster or light brown)
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (Cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp cold water

To Serve:

  • boiled rice
  • 5 soft-boiled eggs
  • fresh coriander
  • chilli flakes
  • warm pitta breads
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  • Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix together until just combined.
    500 g (1.1 lbs) minced beef, 1 tbsp soy sauce, pinch black pepper, 1 tsp minced ginger, 1 clove garlic, 2 spring onions (scallions), 1 large egg, 3 tbsp freshly grated breadcrumbs or panko
  • Form into walnut-sized balls (you should get 20-22). 
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet).
    1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Place the meatballs in the pan and cook on a medium-high heat, turning regularly (turn carefully, using tongs to prevent the meatballs from breaking) until browned all over – this should take about 6-8 minutes. 
  • Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on a warm plate whilst we make the Chinese takeaway-style curry sauce.
  • Add the turmeric, five-spice, curry powder, and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until the spices start to release their fragrance.
    1 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice, 1 tbsp mild curry powder, 2 cloves garlic
  • Add the chicken and beef stocks and milk to the pan.
    210 ml (a little under 1 cup) chicken stock, 210 ml (a little under 1 cup) beef stock, 210 ml (a little under 1 cup) whole milk
  • Stir everything together then add the meatballs back into the pan.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally.
  • Add the chunks of onion and red pepper, and simmer for a further 5 minutes (you want them to be warmed through, but still retain their crunch).
    1 red bell pepper, 1 onion
  • Stir through half the sugar and half the lime juice, then taste and add more if needed.
    3 tsp sugar (granulated/caster or light brown), 2 tsp lime juice
  • Stir in the cornflour slurry (1 tbsp of cornflour/cornstarch + 2 tbsp of water). Taste and add additional lime juice or sugar to your taste.
    1 tbsp cornflour (Cornstarch), 2 tbsp cold water
  • Serve the curry with boiled rice (or cauliflower/broccoli rice*) and hard or soft-boiled eggs**. Top with fresh coriander and chilli flakes. You could also serve with warm pitta bread if you like.
    boiled rice, 5 soft-boiled eggs, fresh coriander, chilli flakes, warm pitta breads



* For cauliflower/broccoli rice, simply grate half a head of cauliflower per person, then fry in a little oil for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, a squirt of lime juice, and stir through 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) before serving
** If you want to go with hard-boiled eggs, simply cover the eggs (large eggs) in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. If you want that runny-yolk-soft-boiled-egg, then boil for exactly 6 minutes. Once cooked, drain and put the eggs straight into ice water for a few minutes to cool. This really helps with removing the shell.


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 263mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1160IU | Vitamin C: 34.2mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 4.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first published on January 10th 2018. Updated Nov 2021 with a video, improvements to the recipe and for housekeeping reasons.

🥡 More Chinese Takeaway Inspired Recipes

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Simon Hyde says:

    5 stars
    Can you freeze the sauce ?

  2. Matthew says:

    Sorry to say that the Milk and Sugar will ruin it for me, without them you’ll get more of the Chinese authentic flavours. Also may I remind you that the Chinese use Pork mince instead of Beef. Naturally your Dad would add those because he is British Lancashire Lad who has no taste of chines authenticity. 😊

  3. Sac says:

    5 stars
    Made with chicken and it was fabulous! Used double chicken stock instead of beef, and substituted dairy for soya milk.

  4. Lise says:

    5 stars
    So good! One of our all-time faves!

  5. Fiona Hendry says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight, it was absolutely divine, I used chicken mince for more protein, but followed the recipe exactly, this is definitely once a week for me, I added a green chilli to the meatballs, sublime, thank you so much for this recipe, I will be cooking more of your recipes for sure ❤️

  6. Maria says:

    5 stars
    The whole family loved this recipe. So delicious and loaded with flavour!

  7. Liz says:

    5 stars
    Been looking at this recipe for an age! Did it for family occasion and it went down very well. Really easy to do and surprised how light the meatballs were. We even had the egg too which was something different for us. Thank you once any Nicky for an amazing recipe. Love your food.

  8. Beck and Bulow says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been using your recipe for these meatballs for years. We make them exactly as written and they are an all-time favorite in this house. We love love love them and please visit us: