Chinese(ish) Sweet n Sour Meatballs

SweetAndSourBallsIn Chinese restaurants in the UK, I always see something called Sweet and Sour Pork Balls, or Chicken Balls, on the menu and it strikes me as the weirdest description of a dish. It usually is battered deep fried pieces of chicken or pork, round, floating in a neon red, sugary, sweet and sour sauce. 

This is nothing like that.

In my usual vein of meatballs and the meat plus fruit kick that I’m constantly on, I decided that I needed to use the title of the weird Chinese dish as my inspiration and then come up with something completely different. These are meatballs with a five spice and chipotle chilli kick. Super easy to whip up and, because they are coated in the sesame seeds, they store well and travel well. Meaning, you can pop them in a zip lock bag and take them with you on a hike, to work, while commuting, whatever. Convenience food!!


  • 400g ground pork
  • 300g ground beef*
  • 100g red onion (1 red onion)
  • 225g can of pineapple with juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chinese five spice
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
  • 60g sesame seeds
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. First chop up the onion to a fine dice. Roughly chop the garlic. Throw everything except the sesame seeds into a food processor and whizz ’round until well mixed. You can also do this by hand, which is probably advisable, it’s just that my dicing skills leave a lot to be desired.
  3. Roll the mix into meatballs and roll them into the sesame seeds to coat. Makes about 18-20 large meatballs.
  4. Stick on a tray (lined with baking paper to make clean up a breeze) and bake for about 45 minutes.
  5. Tastier when cool!

*You can use all pork for this – I was just using what mince I had in the fridge!

Author: torie

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