Five-Spice Chicken Meatballs with Leek and Goji Berries

Whether or not goji berries are good for one’s eyes, I know I’d love to have them in my soup and lately, in my stir frys. For those who haven’t had them before, normally these berries are available in the dehydrated form. Come to think of it, I have yet came across the fresh version.

If consume straight, they remind me of prunes but not as sticky and a slight bitter after taste. Therefore I don’t recommend you to put heaps of them in one go. Unless you’re obsess with them.

Sometimes parents tell you fibs to get you to do/eat something when you were a kid. One of the fibs I was told was if I eat a lot of goji berries when I was younger, when I get older I’ll have good eyes on picking out my Mr. Right, haha! But if you ask my beloved if this is true, I bet he thinks the berries totally worked!

Five-Spice Chicken Meatballs with Leek and Goji Berries

(A Fuss Free Cooking Recipe)

Servings with rice- 2 people


  • 500g / 18 oz mince chicken
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder (can be found in spices aisle in Coles, Woolworths & Harris Farm)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (as a guide only)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (I used Ayam brand available in Coles, Woolworths & Harris Farm)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Ginger (1.5 inches X 0.6 inch thick)
  • 1 leek, washed
  • 2 tsps goji berries
  • Some cooking oil


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a parchment paper over a baking tray, set aside.
  • Combine mince chicken with five-spice powder, sea salt, sesame oil and white pepper.

  • Moisten your palm (one palm should be enough, hehe!) with cooking oil and mix all the ingredients together until “doughy” texture is achieved. This is to ensure the meatballs are “bouncy” and firm and don’t fall apart when cooking. This process takes about 2-3 minutes depending how nimble your fingers are, ha!

  • Form a ball from a tablespoon (only an approximation!) of meat dough and place it on the parchment paper lined tray. If the dough feels a little sticky, moisten your palm with more cooking oil. Keep rollin’ with the remaining dough.  I made  20 meatballs from this recipe.

  • Let the meatballs bake in the oven for 25 minutes (this may vary depending on your oven). Meanwhile, stir oyster sauce and water until combine in a bowl or measuring jug.

  • Slice the ginger as fine as possible.

  • Slice the leek as finely as possible.

  • Heat 2 tbsps of cooking oil in a wok over medium flame. Saute ginger when the oil is hot (sizzling hot and not smokin’ hot!).

  • Followed by leek. Saute until soften.

  • Push the ginger and leek to a side of the wok and add the oyster sauce mixture in the middle of the wok. Do this over low flame.

  • Add goji berries into sauce to rehydrate the berries over low flame.  Also check if the meatballs are cooked.

{upclose – dried goji berries aka wolfberries aka 枸杞 – which can be purchased from health stores or found in the health / baking aisle in Coles and Woolworths}

  • When the berries look rehydrated and the sauce thickens,  push the leek and ginger back to the center of wok and toss to mix the sauce and ginger and leek. Taste the leek and sauce, add soy sauce if you wish (I added 1/2 tbsp for mine).  About this time the meatballs should be cooked.  Remove them from the oven.

  • Add meatballs into the leek mixture and toss gently to mix everything together.

  • Serve immediately with rice.

Meat Recipes, Poultry. permalink.

11 thoughts on “Five-Spice Chicken Meatballs with Leek and Goji Berries

  1. I love this recipe. I love goji berries but mostly use it in soups. This recipe is so nice because the meatballs has interesting seasonings, too. I wish I had eaten goji berries when I was young 🙂

  2. I tried this recipe tonight after seeing it on Tastologie. It’s so good! I was seriously craving something Chinese in flavor and this definitely hit the spot. Thanks for sharing! I’m sure this recipe will become a staple in my recipe collection 🙂

        • Hi Jaded,

          I am thinking maybe you can bake the meatballs for a shorter time than was recommended in the recipe (the baking time is based on my oven which is a little old, so it could vary); otherwise, you can try add a 2 tsps of oil and 1 tsp of water while mixing the dough till piliable (a trick taught by a Taiwanese friend). Hope this helps!

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