Sweet and Sour Meatballs


Sweet and Sour dish — particularly sweet and sour pork is a Cantonese dish that was introduced by Chinese migrants to the West in the early part of 20th Century.  Since then, it evolved into variety of dishes with the same basic ingredients — sweet and sour sauce. Some are prepared with chicken and some are prepared with seafood such as fish and shrimp; sweet and sour meatballs dish is just another twist.


Preparing sweet and sour meatballs is very simple and don’t let the long list of ingredients and procedure scare you.  I only organized it in a way where you can serve it quickly right after cooking.   There are two different methods of cooking the meatballs.  You can deep fry them or bake them—just like what I did here.  By the way, this is also a good appetizer for your next party.  Just cook the meatballs and serve them with sweet and sour sauce without the veggies.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Meatballs Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground pork or ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ of small onion - finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot - finely chopped
  • 2½ Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Vegetable Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks - juice drained
  • 1 small carrot - sliced thinly
  • ½ of small green bell pepper - sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ of small red bell pepper - sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ of small onion - diced ½ inch square
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil for stir frying.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoon palm vinegar
  • ¼ cup tomato ketchup
  • 4 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (as thickener)
  1. In a bowl, combine all the meatballs ingredients.
  2. Set aside in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine water and cornstarch (thickener) then set aside.
  4. In a sauce pan, combine all the sauce ingredients.
  5. Place sauce pan on medium heat.
  6. Stir the sauce until it starts boiling.
  7. Add water and cornstarch thickener then continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken.
  8. Turn the heat off then set the sauce aside.
Meatballs Preparations:

  1. Add water in a small bowl or cup then set aside within your work area.
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper then set aside within your work area.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Wet your palms with a bit of water from the bowl. Water will prevent the ground meat from sticking to your palm.
  5. Scoop one teaspoon ground meat then place on your palm.
  6. Mold each into balls with both palms.
  7. Place each meatballs on the lined baking tray.
  8. Repeat the process until all of ground meat have been molded.

  9. You should be able to come up with meatballs that are about 1 inch in diameter. Oh, I just noticed! Is my middle finger crooked or what? Anyway, after molding all the ground meat (like the picture below), place the tray of meatballs in preheated oven then bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs are golden brown.

Final Preparation:
  1. Note: Do these steps only when the meatballs and sauce are already cooked.
  2. Place wok over high heat. Let the wok smolder a little bit before adding the oil.
  3. Add the vegetable oil.
  4. When the oil is hot, add sliced carrots then stir fry for about 1 minute.
  5. Add minced garlic then stir fry for 10 seconds.
  6. Add pineapple chunks then stir fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add cooked meatballs then stir fry for 1 minute.
  8. Add bell peppers and onions then stir fry for 30 seconds.
  9. Add sauce and boil for about 30 seconds.
  10. Serve immediately with rice.
  11. ENJOY!





Your comment is always appreciated.




    • says

      Thank you, Christiane. Cider or Red wine would be good substiture just stay away from plain distilled vinegar because it will be too strong. When substituting, always start with small amount and work your way after each tasting. :)

  1. says

    Ray, this will brighten my day (as it has been raining here in STL) so please find a way to bring that over here at my doorstep haha.
    Love the step by step photos and the work to put up this post. Kudos Ray!

  2. says

    Ray, can you believe that I never had meatballs in sweet and sour sauce…what’s wrong with me? I love that you baked the meatballs instead of frying them…look delicious…great pictures as always.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  3. says

    Chef Ray, my goodness…ano ba ‘yan??? This is my absolute, most favorite dish of all!!!! Love, love, love sweet sour meatballs! You have great photos and a really good recipe. I must try this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    A M A Z I N G recipe Ray! I LOVE sweet and sour and I love meatballs! I had never thought of combining them in the same dish! This looks awesome! :-)

  5. says

    I’m on a meatball craze right now so this recipe definitely has caught my interest – aside from the beautiful pictures! I LOVE sweet and sour dishes but I always feel guilty about eating them because most of the time the meat is battered and fried. I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating these at all! Delicious looking meal!

  6. says

    I’m really starving when I see the photos. I should say that I adore that you baked the meatballs instead of frying them. It really look delicious and you had a great pictures as usually. Will be attempting this as soon as I can distinct out the fridge from other leftovers.

  7. says

    That’s a super sarap meatballs just from the look of it..
    I will try this. i tried to make a beef meatballs last week, hindi masarap gawa ko, something was missing, or maybe di ko lang talaga gusto ang taste of ground beef ..
    I’ll try this one… never tried turkey. naku san ba ko maghanap dito hahaha

  8. says

    Ray – this is a great recipe and your pictures are stunning! What a beautiful FEAST! I don’t know if I could share them if they were appetizers – I’d just stand by the meatballs and shoo everyone away!

  9. Heather Identicon Heather says

    This is one of the best recipes I have found in the past few years, maybe the best. I might have to lick the pan. :-) I used ground beef and apple cider vinegar and doubled the veggies.

    Thank you so much, Ray!


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