Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Like most kids, my daughters love meatballs! Whether it’s beef, chicken, pork or turkey, they wouldn’t say no to it! Well I love meatballs too… but I’m sure it’s not just a “gene” thing. I guess it’s more of the easy-to-chew goodness that makes meatballs a hit to everyone.
Aside from Spaghetti & Meatballs and Meatballs in Mushroom Sauce, this simple Sweet and Sour Meatballs is one of our family’s favorite meatball dishes…
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This is called Sweet and Sour Bola-bola(bola is the Filipino word for ball) in the Philippines and was my late mom’s favorite. This is one of the first dishes that I learned to cook myself. I love the wonderful flavor of this dish. It may seem time consuming to prepare but it’s all worth it. You can use store bought frozen meatballs, or you can make, cook and freeze the meatballs ahead of time for an easy meal. My daughters enjoy this a lot, that is why I always make lots of meatballs and just store it the freezer. When they ask for it, I’m always ready! :)
Sweet and Sour Meatballs


  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the sauce:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar (I used cane vinegar)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup banana ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
  • Others:
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 green (or red) bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • pure olive, oil for sauteeing
  • salt and pepper


  1. For the meatballs: In a bowl combine ground beef, minced onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, Herbs de Provence, Worcestershire, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Mix until well combined. Roll into 1 inch diameter balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry meatballs in oil until brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. For the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch. Mix until well combine. Bring to a slight boil while stirring continuously. Add the dissolved cornstarch and continue stirring for about 2 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. For the dish: In a wok or skillet over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil until light brown. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add cooked meatballs, pineapple chunks, bell pepper and carrots. Saute for a minute. Add sauce. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Simmer for about a minute or two. Remove from heat. Serve with hot rice.
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For more mouth-watering recipes, please visit me at Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner.  Salamat foodipino.com– Mabuhay!

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