Low FODMAP Grilled Asian-Style Meatballs with Kabocha Japanese Pumpkin Flour

Photos and recipe by  @thefodmapfactor.

Father's Day is around the corner, and nothing says "thank you" and "I love you" more than a home-cooked meal. And what can be more fitting than something delicious, savory, meaty and grilled? Perfect for summer and grilling season, these Grilled Asian-Style Meatballs are juicy, full of flavor and completely Low FODMAP! Pair this versatile main with rice, noodles, or in a lettuce wrap. A little drizzle of dipping sauce adds an extra punch. The icing on the cake is that our Kabocha Japanese Pumpkin Flour adds a little bit of sweetness and softness, and a dose of nutrients such as copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Our Kachocha Japanese Pumpkin Flour is so good, its Bon Appetit's go-to gluten free flour for baking and cooking. Read the full article here. 

What are FODMAPs and what is the Low FODMAP Diet?

FODMAPs are types of sugars that are found naturally in a wide range of foods. Standing for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyls, these sugars are rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut. While this normal occurrence is fine for most people, it could cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The Low FODMAP Diet was designed for those with IBS, and consists of temporarily limiting and then reintroducing high FODMAP foods to identify triggers. Research has shown that successful implementation of the diet can reduce stomach pain, bloating and distention, and improve bowel habits and quality of life. To learn more and for additional resources, visit MonashFODMAP.com.

fathers day recipe, kabocha pumpkin meatballs

About the Ingredients & FODMAP Content

Main Ingredients

Ground Beef  - A mix is used to achieve the perfect meatball texture. As FODMAPs are carbohydrates, there are none in beef. 

Hearthy Foods' Kabocha Japanese Pumpkin Flour - Used as a replacement for traditional flour or starch, this adds softness and a little bit of sweetness. According to the Monash University FODMAP Diet app, Kabocha Japanese Pumpkin Flour is low FODMAP at 2.65 ounces, or 2/3 cup servings. Although the flour form has not been tested, splitting 1/4 of a cup between 4 servings is likely to be FODMAP-friendly based on the generous 2/3 cup allowed serving size.

Egg - Added as a binder. As egg is a protein, there are no FODMAPs.

Aromatics & Flavor Enhancers

Green Onion (green tips only) - Be sure to only use the green portion of the green onion, as the white portion is high FODMAP. Pro tip: stick the whole white portion with roots into a glass of water to regrow the greens for another bundle. There are no detectable FODMAPs in the green portion.

Cilantro & Parsley - A small amount is all you need for a boost of flavor. If you or your loved ones don’t like cilantro, feel free to omit it from the recipe.

Ginger & Lemongrass - A small amount of these aromatics add depth and an Asian-inspired flavor to the meatball. There are no detectable FODMAPs in ginger, and one full stalk of lemongrass is FODMAP-friendly.

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - Added for extra spice. Feel free to omit.

Coconut Sugar - Added to round out the flavors of the aromatics and the tanginess of the lime. Coconut sugar is low FODMAP in 1 teaspoon servings. Although it is in both the meatballs and the sauce, the combined amount puts each serving under the FODMAP threshold. Feel free to substitute for brown or regular sugar.

Gluten Free Tamari & Fish Sauce - Adds saltiness and incredible umami.

Garlic-Infused Oil - Although garlic is high FODMAP, FODMAPs are not oil soluble, so properly prepared garlic-infused oils are a way to add garlic flavor without the FODMAPs. Some FODMAP-friendly garlic oils are the variation by Fody Foods or Garlic Gold.

Lime Juice & Sambal Oelek - Adds acidity and a little bit of spice. Sambal Oelek, by Huy Fong Foods, is a simple chili paste without garlic or onion. Find it at most standard grocery stores.

kabacho pumpkin flour fathers day recipe

What You'll Need

Measuring Cups & Spoons
Large Bowl
Small Bowl
Grill or Grill Pan

This recipe yields: 16 meatballs or 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes

Japanese kabocha flour meatballs for fathers day



1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup Kabocha Japanese Pumpkin flour

1/3 cup finely chopped green onion, green part only

1 large egg

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons minced lemongrass

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari

1 teaspoon garlic-infused olive oil

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon lime juice

Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek

1-1/2 teaspoons fish sauce

Juice from 1 lime


  1. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, ensuring all ingredients are evenly distributed. Form 16 even meatballs, flattening the meatballs slightly to help decrease cooking time.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the dipping sauce. Mix with a small whisk or fork to melt the coconut sugar. Set aside.
  3. If using an outdoor grill, preheat grill to medium heat. Brush meatballs with oil and cook on grill, covered, for 10-12 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Flip meatballs every couple of minutes to brown all sides evenly.
  4. If using a grill pan on a stove, add a small bit of oil and preheat the pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, cook meatballs on each side for 5 minutes, flipping once. Check for doneness by checking that internal temperature reaches 160°F, or that the middle is no longer pink.
  5. To serve, drizzle dipping sauce over meatballs and pair with rice, noodles, or lettuce wraps.

1 comment

  • Elizabeth A Slack

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