Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs are a savory combination of pork, herbs and Asian spices browned until crispy then simmered in a delicious sauce until sticky and caramelized.

sweet spicy asian pork meatballs

Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs With Rice And Pickled Slaw

The meatballs can be  served on a bed of steamy white rice or noodles alongside pickled vegetables for a delicious meal with familiar flavors reminiscent of Thailand, Vietnam and China. They would also make a great party appetizer served on skewers.

Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs

Makes about a dozen golf ball size meatballs, adjust the recipe accordingly.

Sweet and Spicy Sauce*

  • 1 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 5 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp.sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2  Tbsp., more or less, water

Heat the peanut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Remove from the heat and keep warm. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin with a little water.

*If you are planning to serve the meatballs as a party appetizer, I would suggest doubling the recipe for the sauce so that you will have extra to use as a dipping sauce.

Pork Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 4 – 5 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (about a 1 inch knob of ginger root)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. peanut oil

Mix all the ingredients except peanut oil together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld and the meat to firm up. At this point, you can cook a small piece of the mixture to taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Form the mixture into golfball size meatballs. Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the meatballs. Cook, turning gently, on all sides until cooked through. (The meatballs can also be quickly browned and finished in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes). Add the sauce to the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes, turning until well coated.

sweet and spicy asian pork meatballs

Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs


I served the meatballs, their crispy exterior coated in the sticky sweet and spicy sauce, on top of a bed of  steaming white rice. I also made a quick pickled broccoli slaw which was inspired by the pickled carrot and daikon radish that are used in a Banh Mi sandwich. The pickled vegetables soften slightly but retain their crunchy texture and color that goes great with the Asian pork meatballs.

To make it: Whisk 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. of salt in a small pan on medium heat until dissolved then cool. It is mildly acidic but you can add a tablespoon or two of water to make it milder to suit your taste. Place a package of broccoli slaw in a bowl, add the vinegar mixture, toss and let sit for at least 10 minutes before using.

Whether you decide to prepare the Asian inspired sweet and spicy meatballs to your family as part of a meal or as an appetizer when entertaining friends, I hope enjoy them as much as my husband and I did.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
This entry was posted in food, Home, lifestyle, photography, recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs

  1. Ingrid says:

    Since I’m a bit housebound (ok, more than a bit), I have plenty of time to experiment with new recipes. This one sounds like it’s right up our alley.😋

  2. You have us sold on the description sweet, sticky and oh so delicious. Perfect appetizer for the weekend with a glass of wine.

  3. Love Asian meatballs and your recipe looks delicious.

  4. That sauce looks so good. The meatballs, too. I love that flavor combo!

  5. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    Definitely pinning this! It sounds right up my alley. Thanks!

  6. Sweet and spicy…my favourite combo of flavours. These meatballs look mouthwatering.

  7. 2 Sisters Recipes by Anna and Liz says:

    LOVE LOVE all the ingredients in these meatballs and especially your sweet and spicy sauce – YUM!! Can’t wait to try your recipe Karen. Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  8. Angela says:

    Looks heavenly.

  9. Mad Dog says:

    I could eat a lot of those – I think I’ll have to make some!

  10. kitchenriffs says:

    I rarely make meatballs, and I always wonder why — they’re so good and comforting. This is a terrific recipe — neat flavor profile. Thanks!

  11. Karen, this dish not only looks delicious, but is beautiful in presentation!

  12. These look so tasty! Would love to have these for dinner. 🙂

  13. Kiki says:

    Sweet & spicy is to my taste as well, but I rarely cook Asian food. There’s lots I don’t like – fish sauce in a lot of things, sauces etc – so I usually make up something myself (always waiting for someone to say: that’s not real Asian food 🙂 ).
    During this lockdown, trying to avoid going shopping, I’ve been experimenting with Asian tastes and am finally using up all the different soy sauces and spices in my store cupboard….

  14. Looks so good – we love all the flavors and have everything in house! That is a real bonus these days. We used a similar sauce recently to make Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts. They were tasty but I think I really prefer the bork balls!

  15. plumdirt says:

    You had me at ginger. Er, garlic. Err, sesame oil. Oh, wait…

  16. Nancy says:

    I could make this! Yum!

  17. Sunnycovechef says:

    I have yet to find a meatball I didn’t like. Yours look delicious especially with the pickled slaw .

  18. Larry says:

    They look delicious Karen. I’m always amazed at how many liquids go into Asian sauces.

  19. Wow Karen, you had me at hoisin and sweet chili sauce, they make everything taste so good, and these sound truly amazing!! Thank you!

  20. NativeNM says:

    My mouth is watering right now! They look delicious Karen!

  21. lifeincharente says:

    That looks quite delicious, saved and will be on the menu very soon. Thanks for this. Hope all is well, stay safe. Diane

  22. As always, it looks delicious. I’m glad I’m reading this after dinner. 🙂

  23. Jane says:

    Thank you so much, Karen! I have been exploring Asian food (as well as Mediterranean and Middle East) in my cooking. This is on my menu.

    Hugs and well wishes!😘


  24. These flavours sound divine. And you have given me some inspiration. Now I just need to find the pork.

  25. chef mimi says:

    Love Love Love. Meatballs are great (as long as they’re not dry) but Asian sticky meatballs? Perfect. I love that sauce!

  26. Penny says:

    This is such a beautiful recipe both visually and taste wise. I will make it for sure.

  27. sherry says:

    we don’t eat pork but i bet they taste great with beef too. sounds delicious.

  28. Raymund says:

    This reminds me of Gordon Ramsays meatballs sans the soup. Looks delicous! better try it one of these days

  29. These meatballs sound delicious, Karen! I love the Asian twist on this one…and I think we have most of the ingredients here already. We’ve been looking for ways to mix up the dinner routine, and this might have to land on the menu here soon! 🙂

  30. Always one of my favorite ways to do meatballs. I love an Asian twist and using them on Banh Mi’s is something I do also! And PS. You don’t need yeast for those olive rolls!

  31. Oooh these look SO good Karen! These are right up my street, I need to remember to try them when I have some pork mince as they sound delicious.

  32. Eva Taylor says:

    I’m with everyone, these look and sound delicious! A nice change of pace from the same-old. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I always have to have meatballs at least once a months. Sweat and sour! A touch of great flavour!❤

  34. They look delicious and so beautifully presented.

  35. Juliana says:

    Delicious looking pork meatballs and I am loving the sound of the sauce…sweet and spicy…so tasty!
    Thanks for the recipe Karen…

  36. I Wilkerson says:

    Yum! This might even tempt my light eating daughter sheltering in place with us!

  37. Roz says:

    Your Asian meatballs look and sound amazing! I just love Asian food and need to prepare it more often at home. Since it is so foreign to me, I shy away and tend to eat at Asian restaurants instead or order it when I find something interesting on a menu. This would make a great appetizer finger food that my husband and I are eating more of these days as we eat less while getting older. Thanks for sharing this Karen!
    Stay safe!

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