Sweet and Sour Pork Balls

Posted 23 July, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 13 Comments

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Sweet and Sour Pork Balls


Sweet and Sour Pork Balls

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 egg
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!

Sweet and Sour Pork Balls 2

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.





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13 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Pork Balls”

  1. mae

    I wonder why I’ve never made this classic dish! I love meatballs of all kinds — and they do occur in almost every cuisine, don’t they?

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  2. Ooooh, this looks so good and easy. And I love it when I have a great lunch the next day. So funny about Elle … kids!

  3. Since I am a big fan of Asian cuisine I ought to make it more at home. Great the entire family liked it. Nice photos!

  4. Yum! These look really tasty and the story about Elle is hilarious. When Eleanor was little we were traveling and ended up in a town that had a PF Chang’s which we didn’t have at the time but we loved. When we decided to go there she just about lost her mind because she just knew she would hate it. 10 minutes in she proclaimed it her favorite restaurant!

  5. I want some of those eyerolls myself! They look super good, and something I’d order in a Chinese restaurant, but not think to make.

  6. This sounds delicious!! I’m going to add it to my menu for the coming week since I feel like we haven’t had anything new and exciting for dinner in weeks (well, other than while we were traveling!). I wonder if I can bake the meatballs instead of frying them. I usually bake my beef meatballs in a shallow pan with some beef broth. I bet I could use vegetable broth for these.

    • I don’t see any reason why these meatballs couldn’t be oven baked! Normally I brown them in the pan with a bit of olive oil and then let them cook the rest of the way in the sweet and sour sauce…I just don’t pay attention to how long I cook them for (because I’m also cooking fried rice and keeping three starving kids happy), so didn’t include that in the directions above. :) If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  7. This looks delicious! I’ve been looking for new dinner recipes, will definitely give this a try! Thank you for sharing!!