These Japanese-style Meat Stuffed Peppers feature juicy ground beef blended with aromatic spices and stuffed in vibrant mini bell peppers, then coated with a tangy chuno sauce. This easy, flavorful dish is time saving for busy weeknights, and perfect for meal prep and leftovers for bento.

Meat Stuffed Peppers

These meat stuffed peppers are like mini versions of Hambagu but stuffed in mini bell peppers. I also feel like stuffed pepper meatballs is a fitting name for them. This was one of my favourite dishes that my mom used to back into our bentos because they’re so flavourful and taste really good even at room temperature. Plus, they add a pop of colour!

Ingredients

  • Onion: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor and moisture to the meatballs, enhancing the overall taste and texture.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Japanese-style breadcrumbs that helps bind the meat mixture together, retain moisture, gives a light and airy texture and helps absorb flavour.
  • Mayo: Adds a subtle creaminess and moisture to the meatballs, ensuring they remain juicy and flavorful.
  • Soy milk: Helps to combine the ingredients smoothly.
  • Ground beef: The main protein component, offering a rich, savory flavor and meaty texture that forms the base of the dish.
  • Nutmeg: A warm, aromatic spice that adds a subtle depth of flavor, enhancing the savory notes of the beef.
  • Mini bell peppers: Sweet and colorful peppers that serve as the perfect vessel for the flavorful meat mixture, adding a crisp texture and fresh taste.
  • Potato starch: Used to coat the peppers to help keep the meatballs from falling out of the peppers.
  • Ketchup: A tangy and slightly sweet tomato-based sauce that adds a familiar flavor, balancing the savory elements of the dish.
  • Bull dog fruit and vegetable sauce (chuno sauce): A popular Japanese condiment that provides a complex, fruity, and tangy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the sauce.
  • Soy sauce: Adds a deep, umami-rich flavor, contributing to the savory profile of the dish and complementing the other seasonings.

How to Make Stuffed Pepper Meatballs

These stuffed mini bell peppers are easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time:

  1. Make the meat mixture: Mix together the ground beef, finely diced onion, bread crumbs, mayo, milk, nutmeg, black pepper and salt.
  2. Prep the peppers: Slice peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds inside. Dust with potato starch on both sides of the peppers.
  3. Stuff the peppers: Add 2 tbsp of the meat mixture to each half of the peppers.
  4. Cook: Over medium low heat, cook until browned and then flip them over. Add 1 tbsp of water to the pan, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Make the sauce: Add the ketchup, bull dog sauce, soy sauce and water. Mix and let it simmer until slightly thickened. Drizzle over the stuffed peppers.

Lisa’s Recipe Tips

  1. Dust the bell peppers with potato starch: This helps the meat stick to to the bell peppers so they don’t fall out as easily.
  2. Oil your hands: If you find the meat sticking to your hands when stuffing, rub some oil onto your hands.
  3. Generously stuff the peppers: The meat will shrink so stuff them 1/2-1 cm above how much the peppers could hold.
  4. Press the peppers down when cooking: This helps keep the meat from falling out.

How to Store

To store meat-stuffed peppers, let them cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, ensuring they remain fresh and flavorful. For longer storage, place the stuffed peppers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months, reheating thoroughly before serving.

Can I make these vegan?

Yes! Simply swap the ground beef for your favourite plant based grounds alternative 1:1. Reduce the salt as most plant based substitutes already have it pre-seasoned.

Enjoy!! If you make this Stuffed Pepper Meatballs recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you!

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Stuffed Pepper Meatballs (ピーマンの肉詰め)


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  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

These Japanese-style Meat Stuffed Peppers feature juicy ground beef blended with aromatic spices and stuffed in vibrant mini bell peppers, then coated with a tangy chuno sauce. This easy, flavorful dish is time saving for busy weeknights, and perfect for meal prep and leftovers for bento.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Meat Stuffed Peppers

  • 1/2 medium onion (100 g), finely diced
  • 3 tbsp (12 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp (10 g) mayo
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) milk
  • 1/2 lbs (250 g) ground beef
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 68 mini bell peppers
  • potato starch, for dusting

Sauce

  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Bull dog fruit and vegetable sauce (chuno sauce)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water


Instructions

  1. Add the ground beef, finely diced onion, bread crumbs, mayo, milk, nutmeg, black pepper and salt to a bowl and mix with your hands until well combined. Cover and keep refrigerated.
  2. Slice peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds inside. Dust with potato starch on both sides of the peppers.
  3. Stuff the peppers with about 2 tbsp of filling per half pepper (depending on the size). Oil your hands if you find the meat sticking to your fingers. Press the meat in well so it’s packed and 1/2 cm more than it fits (the meat will shrink when cooked).
  4. Heat pan over medium low and add oil to a pan. Place the peppers into a pan pressing down on each one. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of water and cover with a pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and the meat it fully cooked.
  5. Remove from pan and use a paper towel to clean out the pan.
  6. Add the ketchup, bull dog sauce, soy sauce and water. Mix and let it simmer until slightly thickened.
  7. Drizzle over the stuffed peppers, top with sesame seeds and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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