There used to be a recipe for meatballs with sweet and sour sauce in the archive that was posted way back in 2003. The photo was so terrible that I deleted the post. I never re-posted the recipe with new photos because… well, because meatballs are so ordinary, and sweet and sour sauce is so common. And I thought, “Who’d get excited over a recipe like that?”
Well, a reader emailed me. She was looking for the old recipe and I didn’t know where to point her. I was going to make something else with my ground pork but I had more than enough to make two to three dishes. So, dear reader Emilie, here is a brand new recipe for meatballs with sweet and sour sauce. Don’t miss the old one anymore because this one is so much better.
Why is this recipe better? The mushrooms and the dried shrimps add such lovely flavor. And, instead of breadcrumbs and egg to bind the ingredients together, I used a mixture of flour, corn starch and water. Unbelievable how much better the texture of the meatballs turned out! Light and bouncy, the meatballs left none of that bread-y sensation in the mouth.
- 400 grams ground pork with at least 20% fat
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped wood ears mushrooms (see tip if using dried)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh skiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimps soaked then finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- cooking oil for deep frying
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 small carrot thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet and sour sauce
In a bowl, mix together the ground pork, chopped shallots, wood ears, shiitake, dried shrimps, carrot, garlic, ginger, a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of pepper, the five-spice powder, oyster sauce and sesame seed oil.
In a small bowl, mix the flour and starch with two tablespoons of water until smooth. Pour into the ground pork and mix well.
Form the ground pork mixture into two-inch balls.
Heat enough cooking oil in a wok or frying pan to reach a depth of at least two inches.
Over medium-high heat, fry the meatballs in the hot oil until nicely browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Scoop out and set aside.
Pour off the cooking oil leaving only about two tablespoonfuls.
Reheat the oil. Stir fry the onion, carrot, bell pepper and celery with a little salt and pepper for a minute or two.
Add the meatballs to the vegetables. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce. Cook until the sauce is bubbly and the meatballs are glazed.
Serve the meatballs with sweet and sour sauce at once.