Trying new recipes is always a gamble with kids. I love experimenting in the kitchen, but sometimes it’s tough to get little ones to buy into something different. Even with mashed potatoes (what IS it with kids and mashed potatoes!). A few years ago I found a recipe for sweet and sour pork balls that we really enjoyed, and it’s one of those that I’m shocked everytime my kids gobble it up. Mom and dad are happy, kids are happy, and there’s usually some leftovers for lunch the next day.
When I made these Sweet and Sour Pork Balls two nights ago, Elle threw a massive fit because she wanted tacos. I gently explained that sometimes we have to make dinner according to what’s in the fridge that day and I could make tacos on Friday. She pouted and pouted until she took her first bite of the porkball. She smiled and said, “oh mommy, I do love this!” *eyeroll*
Sweet and Sour Pork Balls
Serves 4, Ready in about 30 minutes
Ingredients for Pork Balls
1 pound ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp oil (for cooking)
Ingredients for Sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup water
8 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1. Mix the ground pork, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, Chinese Five Spice, and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
2. Form pork mixture into 24 uniform balls
3. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the pork balls (in batches if necessary). About 20 minutes
4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce. In a separate cup, whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to the pan. Mix together well and bring to a boil. Simmer sauce for 5 minutes then add then tomatoes and pineapple. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. I like to blend the ingredients with an immersion blender to make smooth, but this isn’t necessary if you rather a chunkier sauce.
5. Add the pork balls to the sauce to coat. Serve with fried rice.
Notes: I found the recipe for these Sweet and Sour Pork Balls online years ago (yay found it!). The original does not call for Chinese 5 Spice which has a pretty distinctive taste. If you’re not a fan, omit it. The original also calls for green peppers in the sauce, but I developed a pregnancy aversion so skip this as well. I also brown the pork balls and cook in the sauce, but since I’m doing a billion other things at the same time I don’t know how long I cook them for so didn’t include this change above. Other than these small changes (and the fact that I don’t measure out the tomatoes and pineapple), the recipe is pretty close to the original. It’s one of those that is super forgiving…thank goodness!
Last week someone asked me about my fried rice recipe. It’s another one of those family favorites that I haven’t shared because I just kind of wing it without measuring anything. I use this Chinese Fried Rice recipe as a starter. All I know is that everyone loves fried rice in our house!
Yum yum! Nothing better than a delicious meal that the kids will gobble up.
Linking up with:
Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking. “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.” Hope you’ll join the fun!