I Love Meatballs!
Come to think about it, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love meatballs.
Ground meat of your choice seasoned with your favorite spices or flavorings, and then slathered in your favorite sauce. What’s not to love?
Other Sweet and Sour Recipes:
How to Make Sweet and Sour Meatballs
In my family, our sauce of choice for meatballs is sweet and sour sauce. The meatballs I make is seasoned with five-spice powder and the sweet and sour sauce pretty much escalates the taste to the next level.
Imagine sweet, sour, sticky Chinese sauce that coats every inch of the meatballs, on top of a steaming bowl of white rice…ahhh, the best!!
For the meat, I prefer to use ground pork or ground chicken, but I have to say that ground pork tastes better. Ground chicken is great, too.
If you use skinless and boneless chicken thighs, the meatballs will always be juicy and moist. The sweet and sour source is addictive, made of ketchup, Thai sweet chili sauce, a bit of soy sauce and vinegar to bring out the perfect balance of sweet, sour and savory.
This dish is a winner. Double up on this recipe and make a big batch. Trust me, the meatballs will be gone in no time!
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 363 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- 12 oz. ground pork or ground chicken
- 1/2 inch peeled ginger, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 dashes ground white pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- oil for pan-frying
- 1/2 small onion (quartered)
- Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
- Combine the ground pork or chicken with ginger, garlic, five-spice powder (if using), sesame oil, pepper and salt. Stir to combine well. Wet both hands with some water and shape into 24 meatballs. Set aside.
- Heat up a wok or skillet with some oil, pan-fry the meatballs until they turn light to golden brown. Drained them on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Clean the wok or skillet. Heat it up with a little bit of oil. Add the onion and do a few quick stirs. Add the sweet and sour sauce and cook it until it's thickened, then add the meatballs. Stir to coat well with the sauce. Dish out and serve immediately.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Hello! May I know if I am able to skip the rice vinegar? If I am able to do that, is it recommended that I skip this step OR substitute with something else? Thanks!
Yes you can skip if you don’t have it.
Can you make the meatballs ahead and then freeze without sauce, reheat and add sauce?
I’ve tried making the meatballs with minced pork and it was quite dry and hard to chew. Just wonder if there’s any additional step that I can do to make the meatball more tender and juicy
Excellent as has been every other recipe from this site that I’ve made. We live in Singapore and have easy access to tons of Chinese and Malaysian food, most of it amazing, yet my family loves your dishes more than eating out. This has quickly become my primary go-to recipe site. Thanks!
Hi William thanks for your sweet comment. Yes, my website has amazing recipes, please try more: https://rasamalaysia.com/recipe-index-gallery/
Thankyou. No seriously. THANK YOU!!! The sauce is A-MAZE-ING! So so so yummy! It has to be said – it tastes better than my local Chinese Restaurant. This is going on the “must make again and again” list because it’s heavenly.
Love it! It’s now my to go recipe for a quick meal
Hi! I was just wondering if you think ground turkey would be good in this recipe? Thanks so much!
You can try but I am not a turkey fan.
Heya am just wondering if I could possibly batter the meatballs before cooking , then sauce so it’d be like fish n chip shop Chinese ?
I don’t think you need batter.
I’m planning to make it tonight. Was wondering if I could make the meat balls n sauce ready n toss in sauce befr I serve. Wud that b okay? Wud the sauce thicken much if done prior?
Yes you can toss before serving. The sauce will kind of soaked inside the meatballs if done prior.
Does Thai sweet chili sauce have any heat to it? i CANNOT eat anything spicy. Could i substitute brown sugar for it,and if so how much would you recommend?
It’s not spicy at all, just mild. Yes you can use brown sugar.
This is one of my favourite recipes to make, it’s absolutely delicious! I love to have some pineapple pieces with mine, but this recipe on its own is seriously a star. Brilliant, thank you!
Love this! And love so many of your other recipes as well. The recipes are easy to follow, with ingredients I usually have on hand and the flavors are amazing. We live in a farm community surrounded by small towns. Find a good, Asian restaurant is hard to do but with your recipes…I don’t need to worry! Thank you so much! I look forward to trying even more fabulous dishes!
Hi Pamela, awww, thanks so much for your sweet comment. You can open an Asian restaurant with my recipes, LOL. I am so glad that you are able to make Asian food in your home. :)
Hello from Australia. I made this dish for dinner tonight. I added re& green capsicum and served it over jasmine rice with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on the meatballs. i will freeze the leftovers for nights when I’m too tired to cook after work. Thx for the recipe! I am keen to try out more of yr ideas soon.