Sweet n Sour Meatballs are not just my favourite but are loved by the entire family. And believe me, there are very few dishes that we four agree upon to eat at one time. Usually I cook 2-3 different things to suit everybody’s liking but I don’t have to worry when the Sweet n Sour Meatballs are on the table.
On busy days the temptation to order Chinese takeaway is very strong but when I think of the whopping amount of oil and salt added to the restaurant versions, I try to curb this urge and prefer to prepare my favourites at home.

The whole thing actually gets done in the same time while the noodles or rice are cooking on the other burner, which is around 12-15 minutes. I always advise to keep the ingredients handy and in order while doing a stir fry or Chinese sauce based dish because things move very quickly once you start cooking. I keep the size of meatballs small so they cook faster and the sauce really gets done in a matter of minutes.

Don’t forget to check the balance of sweet n sour because everyone prefers a different ratio, my sauce is more on the sour side. I don’t add any extra salt to the sauce because there is already salt in ketchup, hot sauce and soy sauce but if you feel the need, you can add to suit your taste.

This lip smacking dish is not only quick and easy but gets done in one pan. After frying the meatballs, just reduce the oil in the same pan and make your sauce or if you want to use fresh oil, just remove the frying oil and wipe the pan clean with paper towel and carry on. I serve Sweet n Sour Meatballs with my kids’ favourite Chilli Garlic Noodles .

Tip: Five spice is a dry spice blend used in Chinese and Asian cooking, quite like the South Asian garam masala. If it’s not available where you live, you can easily make your own and fill it in a bottle for use in Asian style cooking. It tastes great even in baking. Blend aniseed, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and dry ginger root to make your own Five Spice mix.

Ingredients:

For Chicken Meatballs:

1/4 kg chicken mince
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon five spice blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Oil for shallow frying

For Sweet n Sour Sauce:

1 small onion, cut into cubes
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoon Chinese hot sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon corn flour, diluted
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sunflower or sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

This Is What You Do:

Mix all the ingredients of meatballs in a bowl thoroughly. Wet your hands and make small, walnut sized, meatballs with the mince mix. Makes around 12 small meatballs.

Heat oil in a wok or if you don’t have any, use a deep frying pan. Fry the meatballs on medium heat till golden. Remove from oil and drain on a kitchen towel. Set aside.

Remove the oil from the wok/frying pan. Wipe it clean with a paper towel ( no need to wash). Add a little oil for stir frying onions. Fry for a few seconds.

Add tomato ketchup, hot sauce, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce to the pan. Allow the sugar to melt. Add as much water as you would like the quantity of sauce. I added 2 cups.

Then add diluted corn flour to thicken the sauce. Keep stirring because the sauce thickens up very quickly. Add the meat balls to sauce, cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve hot with steamed rice or egg noodles.

Serves 2

9 Replies to “Sweet n Sour Meatballs, Asian Style”

  1. Salaam,
    I made these and the chili garlic noodles last week. The noodles tasted pretty good, but they looked very pale and plain. The biggest problem I had with the meatballs was the 5spice powder. I couldn’t find any, so had to make my own. Wasn’t sure of the quantity needed for each spice so I ended up just throwing in a bit of each one. I think it threw off the taste of the meatballs. I also didn’t have Chinese hot sauce. So, I used a combination of sriracha and garlic chili sauce.
    On a side note — I have some people coming over for dinner soon and I need a dish that has shorba (gravy). It would be nice if it could be a mutton or beef dish since the rest of my menu has a lot of chicken. Any recommendations? JazakAllah.

    1. Wassalam Anjum!
      Yes, you are right. The noodles do taste great but they need to be topped with something – a sauce, a Chinese style gravy dish, if nothing else, a piece of pan fried fish or fried egg.

      Five Spice is quite like our garam masala but with more sweet spices in it – like cinnamon and fennel. Just make sure none of the spices is too overpowering in the recipe and if you don’t like a certain spices, in general, you can reduce or even omit it. My standard recipe for homemade 5 spice is this – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 teaspoon crushed anise seed or 1 star anise, 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seed,1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon Szechuan pepper), 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
      Hope this will help.

      About the gravy dish, try lamb almond korma, paya shorba or chicken nihari recipe on the blog. Change chicken to mutton or beef in the recipe, and cook longer till the meat is very well done.

    2. Wassalam Anjum!
      Yes, you are right. The noodles do taste great but they need to be topped with something – a sauce, a Chinese style gravy dish, if nothing else, a piece of pan fried fish or fried egg.

      Five Spice is quite like our garam masala but with more sweet spices in it – like cinnamon and fennel. Just make sure none of the spices is too overpowering in the recipe and if you don’t like a certain spices, in general, you can reduce or even omit it. My standard recipe for homemade 5 spice is this – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 teaspoon crushed anise seed or 1 star anise, 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds,1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. If you want to add some heat, add 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or Sichuan peppers to the mix as well.
      Hope this will help.

      About the gravy dish, try lamb almond korma, paya shorba, kashmiri rogan josh or chicken nihari recipe on the blog. Change chicken to mutton or beef in the recipe, and cook longer till the meat is very well done.
      Just write any of the above names in the search box on homepage of the blog to open the recipe.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to comment, Sowmiasgalley! Chicken is a life saver on busy days and the most favourite protein at our place πŸ™‚ Chicken meatballs get done in a jiffy and kids love them. Hope you’ll also enjoy my friend πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, dear Kushi! πŸ™‚ You are always so sweet! It’s a super simple recipe but does taste very yummy. Hope you’ll enjoy my friend πŸ™‚

  2. Look at those voluptuous meatballs seeped in the sweet and sour sauce. Truly MarΓ­a who needs restaurant stuff if one gets to savour such delectable looking food at home. Everything about this dish is so inviting and visually appetizing. I can well imagine the burst of juices as one would bite into these meat balls wrapped up in the chilli garlic noodles. Oh totally lip smacking good.

    1. Aww! Thank you, sweetheart! πŸ™‚ I agree with you, mostly Asian dishes are so quick and easy to cook that there is really no justification for getting the unhealthy takeaways. And the flavour and aroma stay so fresh and appetising when cooked at home πŸ™‚ Your generous praise has once again made my day, dear Piyali πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.