Asian Meatloaf & Slaw (w/ wine pairings)

Asian Meatloaf & Slaw

One of the things that I love about meatloaf is that it’s one of the ultimate blank slates. By definition it’s ground meat, with seasoning, formed into a log and baked, typically with some type of sauce spread on the outside. I mean c’mon, you can turn that into whatever you want! You can do traditional, southwest, Mexican, Jamaican Jerk, Thai… heck, you can even stuff it and roll it with vegetables, meats and cheeses. You can really go wild! So when my kids asked me to make them meatloaf a few weeks ago, I knew that I wanted to do something fun and different, so I went Asian… and they LOVED it.

Here’s my recipe for that Asian Meatloaf & Slaw that my family devoured. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients (meatloaf):
1lb Ground Beef, do not go leaner than 85/15, you need fat in there to keep it moist!
1lb Ground Pork
1/3c Carrot, chopped
2tsp Salt
1tsp Onion Powder
1tsp Ground Black Pepper
2tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1tbsp Sriracha
1tbsp Low Sodium Soy, if you use regular Soy then cut the salt down to 1tsp
1 1/4c Panko
1 Egg
1/3c Cheriyaki, also sold as Rib Sauce

Ingredients (slaw):
4c Red Cabbage, julienne
1lb Mushrooms, sliced
2c Asparagus, chopped on a bias
2tbsp Olive Oil
2tsp Salt
2tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/3c Mirin
2tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2tbsp Lime Juice

Heat your oven to 350F.

In a large bowl mix all of the meatloaf ingredients well, minus the Cheriyaki. Place in a lightly greased 9×13″ baking dish and form into a loaf, then evenly coat the entire outside with the Cheriyaki Sauce (Rib Sauce). Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 350F. Allow to rest 15 minutes at room temperature before slicing.

While the meatloaf is in the oven you can make the slaw. Heat the olive oil on high in a saute pan, add the sliced mushrooms and 1tsp each of salt and pepper. Saute until browned. Add the asparagus and Mirin, cook on high until the Mirin has reduced by half, then remove from heat and set aside at room temperature. Once cooled add the shredded cabbage, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and 1tsp each of salt and pepper, toss well. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.

Slice the meatloaf, hit it up with some slaw, and dig in!

Now let’s talk wine pairings. Both the meatloaf and slaw have some sweet notes to them from the Mirin, brown sugar and Cheriyaki, offset slightly by the saltiness of the soy and smokiness of the Sriracha. What I’m getting at is this isn’t the easiest dish to pair with. Being that it already has a fair degree of sweetness you don’t want to go with Riesling, Gewurztraminer, etc. like you normally would with Asian cuisine… My recommendations would be an umami laden Sake, a medium bodied white with moderate acidity, or a full bodied red with lush berry notes and subdued tannins. Here’s what I would recommend.

Kanbara Bride of the Fox Junmai Ginjo Sake N/V, Niigata, Japan – Kanbara is located in Niigata, one of the norternmost brewing prefectures in Japan. Sakes from the north tend to be fuller bodied with layers of tropical and savory notes. In the glass you’ll find a Sake of light straw color, bordering on clear. On the nose are aromas of mint, sage, melon, lime zest and roasted peanuts. On the palate you’ll find the Sake to be surprisingly dense, with more tropical notes of melon, lime and mint prevalent in the opening, leading into a surprisingly savory mid-palate and finish with distinct notes of herbs, mushroom and roasted peanuts. A wonderful Sake to pair with food. PP Score: 91 (Retail $16-19 3ooml/$32-38 720ml)

Filippi Castelcerino Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy –  Normally I’m not the biggest fan of Soave’s. They’re typically very aromatic and are very fat in the mouth with overt honeyed notes and little-to-no balancing minerality or acidity. The Soave’s of Filippo Filippi (yes, that’s his real name), however, are anything but typical. Filippi’s estate and vineyards are located in Castelcerino, which is the highest elevation region in the Soave DOC. The family has been making wine from these estates since the early 1900’s, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they started bottling under their own name. On the nose the Classico is very typical Soave, being super aromatic, but the palate is a completely different story. The wine is medium bodied, and while there are honeyed notes evident, there are also beautiful hints of grapefruit pith, white peach and lemon zest, framed by crunchy minerality and subtle acidity. This is easily the most complex, yet well balanced, Soave I’ve ever had, and at the price it’s an absolute steal. PP Score: 90 (Retail $13-16) *Certified Organic

Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, CA – Bedrock is the brain-child of Morgan Twain-Peterson, the penultimate Golden Child of California Zinfandel and field blends. The 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel is taken from prestigious sites like Bedrock Vineyard, Monte Rosso, Nervo Ranch, Sodini Ranch, Stampede Vineyard,  Casa Santinamaria Vineyard and more, with an average vine age of 80 to 123 years old. In the glass is a full bodied wine of ruby hue. On the nose are aromas of black cherry, bramble fruit, dried herbs, potpourri and pantry spice. On the palate are lush, ripe fruit notes of black cherry and overripe raspberry with nuances of dried herbs, and ground black pepper, leading into a long, lingering finish redolent with spicea and subtle heat. One of my favorite affordable Zinfandels of all time… PP Score: 94 (Retail $25-30)

So there you have it, my delicious Asian Meatloaf & Slaw recipe, and some kickass wines to pair with it. As always, new content is coming soon. In the meantime crack open some Sake, sit back, and relax. Life is short, enjoy it!


Published by Derek Martin

Husband, dad, home cook, wine snob... lover of bacon. I have spent my entire adult life surrounded by fine food and fine wines, starting with fifteen years working at, or running, some of New Jersey's top restaurants, and now the last two years working for one of the top fine wine distributors in the United States. I have absorbed a ton of information on food, wine, pairings and techniques during those seventeen years, and I'd love to share what I've learned with you!

5 thoughts on “Asian Meatloaf & Slaw (w/ wine pairings)

  1. I had never heard of cheriyaki! Thanks for this, our Japanese American church has been serving meatloaf at our holiday dinner. This sounds like a fun recipe for us to try. Do you have any suggestions for wine adventures in the Denver Colorado area?


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