Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs

sweet 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.

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39 thoughts on “Sweet And Spicy Asian Pork Meatballs

  1. 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. 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!!

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

  4. 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….

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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!😘


  9. 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! 🙂

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

  11. 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!

  12. We are having Asian food night tomorrow night. Of course my son-in-law will win because he is Korean and his mom taught him but I remembered this recipe and will be giving it my best shot — I think everyone will be happy with the result. Thanks for the recipe!

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