How To Cook The Best Sweet And Sour Meatball

Hail to our Mighty Meaty Meatballs!!

No one really knows where meatballs originally came from. The story that I heard when I was in college during one of our lessons about International Cuisine in one of my majors as an HRM student, was that it came from Persia.

There is food in Persia known as “Kofta”, made of leftover meat, pounded and rolled into small balls.

Meatball is a popular dish in the Philippines because it is easy to prepare, and kids love them. Especially during school days, it’s a good meal to pack in kids’ lunchboxes that they will surely enjoy.

Basically, in the Philippines, we basically use Pork for meatballs dishes and Sweet and sour meatballs dish is the most popular variation among Filipinos because of their love for the combination of these dominant flavors. 

Meatball Dishes to Try

The general rule with meatballs is that you can’t go wrong with it. As time passed by, the variations of meatball dishes have evolved. It isn’t just served as a simple fried or steamed meatballs on our dining table. These days, there are many different types. 

Here are some that you must definitely try:

Meatball Sub and Sandwich

It is a common sandwich that is part of several American and Italian cuisines. Mostly, the bread is a hotdog bun or an Italian baguette and then filled with meatballs, tomato sauce or marinara. It can be served as a party sandwich, and you can even have it for dinner or lunch.

Meatball Sliders

Slice buns into two, then put them all in a large casserole, and then top each bun with meatballs and marinara sauce. To make the dish tastier and mouth-watering, sprinkle it with lots of mozzarella cheese. The finished product will be similar to a Pizza, but this one uses buns. 

Meatball Turkey Soup

It is a meatball soup with pasta and vegetables and a perfect dish any time of the year. Simply boil the pasta in the soup or meat broth of your choice, add some vegetables like celery and carrots, then after it simmers, just add the meatballs.

Meatball Casserole

A very easy meal to prepare with just four ingredients. All you need are meatballs, pasta – you can use penne, rotini or a shell pasta – cheese and pasta sauce. Just dump them all together in a pan, then place it in the oven. In less than 30 minutes, your dish is ready to be served.

Meatball Stroganoff

If you love beef stroganoff, then you can also enjoy the meatball version of it. Instead of thin strips of sliced beef, you can add the round balls of meat into the sour cream sauce mixture used in the stroganoff, and you can now enjoy a Russian-style meatball stew.

Mexican Meatball Soup

This classic Mexican Soup is also known as Albondigas Soup. It is made of herbs with rice infused with meatballs and mixed with veggies and simmered with tomato sauce. It is a very warm and comforting dish that is best eaten with tortillas or tacos.

Spicy Meatball

It is a delicious, middle-eastern style meatballs dish that can put some heat into a romantic dinner or can just add some spice to your party. This meatball is flavored with garlic, cumin, paprika and cayenne that make it spicy and flavorful. It is cooked in a creamy tomato sauce or marinara.

Meatball Stew

The perfect meal that everyone will go crazy around the dinner table. The meatballs and vegetables are cooked in tomato sauce with beef gravy that makes the sauce thick and ooze with flavor. It is mostly cooked in a slow cooker or crockpot.

BBQ Meatball

Barbecue is one of the most loved dishes of all time. Thus, whoever discovered putting barbecue sauce on meatballs was a genius. It is quick and easy to prepare. By just adding your favorite barbecue sauce over your fried or steamed meatballs, you are all ready to serve the messy, delicious glazed dish.

Spaghetti and Meatball Pasta

Mama Mia! An expression I often say when I get excited knowing my sister will cook my all-time favorite spaghetti with meatballs. Also, it is a very simple and easy dish to cook. Boil some pasta and add it in spaghetti sauce or marinara, then top it with those meatballs and cheese.

Differents Meats to Use

After introducing some meatball dishes, it is time to talk about the meats used in meatballs aside from Pork.

Chicken Meatball

It is a meatball that uses ground chicken instead of beef or pork. Compared to beef meatballs, the texture is much lighter, and it is mostly used in soups.

Beef Meatball

Most meatballs in the Philippines are made of pork, but there are Beef meatballs too that are best cooked in stews and casseroles. They bring out the flavor in every sauce that they are partnered with.

Trivia: Meatballs Around the World

Nearly, all of the world’s cultures have their own variations of meatballs. Different countries use different meats, even vegetables for their meatball recipes and cook them in many ways, and they even have different names.

Here are some facts about Meatballs

  • Swedish meatballs are called köttbullar. It is cooked with gravy, boiled potatoes and a special sauce called lingonberry sauce.
  • In Denmark, meatballs are called frikadeller. They are pan-fried meatballs made of cut-pork. 
  • While in China, meatballs are large and soft served with cabbage called Lion’s head.
  • Here in the Philippines, it is famously known as Bola-Bola, often served in some sweet and sour sauce or a misua soup or as a filling for siopao (steamed bun).
  • No matter how they are called and cooked, it can’t be denied that people around the world love meatballs that there is even a National Meatball Day? This unofficial holiday is celebrated by some every March 9, and on that day, people cook their favorite meatball dishes. 

What to do if cooking sweet and sour meatballs goes wrong?

The recipe, I’ll be sharing with you is the sweet and sour meatballs, for it is very easy to prepare. However, sometimes, we encounter cooking dilemmas, here are a few of them together with tips on how to troubleshoot them.

Sauce it to sour or too sweetbalancing the sweet and sour taste of the sauce is one of the most challenging parts for any dish with these flavors. If the sauce is too sour, just add more sugar in it, the same goes if it is too sweet, just add a bit of vinegar to balance the taste.

The sauce is not thick enough Another thing that makes this dish enjoyable to eat is the texture of the sauce. Sometimes the sauce is watery or not that thick. To add texture, you just need to add some cornstarch or flour to it.

Tips in Cooking This Dish

Though making meatballs seems pretty easy, it is still not a guarantee that you will end up having a great tasting dish. To help you, here are some tips in making this delicious sweet and sour dish.

Eggsmake sure to put the right amount of eggs, and they are not added in the meatballs for moisture. It is an important ingredient to bind the meat.

Herbs or vegetables originally, meatballs are just pure meat, but adding some herbs or vegetables, it makes it a bit more flavorful, especially if you are using pork. Just make sure it is minced to avoid making huge lumps of those greens.

Rolling meatballs use some oil to avoid sticking the mixture to your hands and to make it easier to roll into those perfect balls.

Best Food to Match your Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs can be both served as an everyday meal or on special occasions. You can have this tasty dish partnered with some types of food too.

Rice of course, this is our staple food and they are a perfect match. Imagine a hot steaming plate of rice topped with sweet and sour sauce and meatballs

Steamed vegetables I recommend steamed string beans or asparagus. The sauce can add flavor to the bland taste of the vegetables. Having a healthy side side dish for your sweet and sour meatballs is just logical since this dish does not have a lot of veggies in it, making your meal a more balanced diet.

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5 from 1 vote

Best Sweet And Sour Meatball Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 776kcal
Cost $10-20


  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 pc Raw eggs
  • 1 tsp Seasoning
  • 2 cups Cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup Onion minced
  • 1/4 cup Spring onion minced
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar
  • 2 cups Ketchup
  • 1 pc Bell pepper
  • 1 pc White onion medium size, quartered
  • 3 cups Water
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Carrot sliced
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, ¼ tsp ground black pepper ¼ tsp salt, ½ bread crumbs, 1 tsp seasoning, and egg. Mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes. Heat the oil, When the oil is hot enough, pan-fry the ball-shaped mixture until the outer side turns brown.
  • Take a casserole, combine water, ketchup, sugar and vinegar. Blend it well and set it on fire and cover it until it boils.
  • When boiling, add the cornstarch diluted in water and cook until desired thickness is reached.
  • Put the carrot, onion and bell pepper. Wait for 2 minutes and put out the fire.
  • Put meatballs in sauce and sprinkle with spring onion.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 776kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 2547mg | Potassium: 879mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 3430IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg

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I’ve got an expensive palate that it welcomes only this expensive type of meat, which is Beef. In our country, Philippines, Beef is considered a type of meat that is cooked on special occasions. My case is different as I have it almost every day. Thus, I decided to learn beef recipes, and I’m more than willing to share them with you!

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