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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

#ewew cooks Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs

Making meatballs is one of the easiest things to make, especially if you buy ready minced meat and bake them instead of frying.  And, of course, it's also one of the nicest things to eat (at least to me).  It appeals to the young, the old and those in-between! ;)

I'd usually just eat them as they are...after pan-frying or cook them in a sauce with mushrooms and potatoes but, this time, I thought I'd make Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs.  Although I love to eat anything in a sweet and sour sauce, like sweet and sour pork, chicken or fish and would constantly order that when eating out, I don't cook anything sweet and sour at home coz I know the sauce is complex and needs quite a few things in it.  But I'm attempting it for the first time and you'll be surprised at my simple version.

Ingredients:

Minced pork (about 350g)
1 egg (beaten)
Fresh breadcrumbs
5 sprigs of chives
1/2 an onion
1/2 a red bell pepper
1/2 a green bell pepper
1/3 of a cucumber
A dozen yellow cherry tomatoes
8 sachets of chilli sauce

Preparation:

Roughly chop up the red and green bell peppers, cucumber (deseeded) and onion into bite-sized pieces.  You can leave the yellow cherry tomatoes whole.

Method:

You can refresh your memory with my previous posts either here or here on how to make these meatballs. Only this time, I added some finely chopped onions (raw) and chives (instead of spring onions or Italian parsley) since I had some leftover (after making chives omelette).  As for the fresh breadcrumbs, just add a couple of tablespoons until the resulting mixture (with the added egg) is no longer too wet to handle and you can shape meatballs out of them.  I managed to get about 45 small meatballs from this recipe.  Pan-fry them until nicely browned.

Heat up some oil and saute the onions until soft before adding the rest of the vegetables (except the cherry tomatoes)....and the packets of chilli sauce.

Now the sauce will be a real eye-opener for you!  We all know a good sweet and sour sauce has a lot of complexities, it needs tomato sauce, chilli sauce, plum sauce and vinegar (+ maybe something else) to make it pop.  That's why I don't make anything sweet and sour at home coz I'm not going to buy a bottle of each of this.  I used to buy bottles of tomato and chilli sauce (usually used as dips) and they end up expiring before I could even finish a quarter of the bottle and have to be discarded.  So, I've stopped buying them altogether + I wasn't going to buy a bottle of plum sauce and vinegar either just so that I could cook an occasional sweet and sour dish at home.

I just use the sachets of chilli and tomato sauce I kept (when I buy fast food)...that way, no wastage.  So, guess what?  I used these sachets to make my sweet and sour sauce (just mix it with water).  I didn't even bother to add any tomato sauce sachets, I just used the chilli sauce packets coz they already have some inherent sweetness in them + it's all about keeping it simple.  Season with salt and have a taste test.  If you need more sweetness, just add a pinch of sugar or a squeeze of honey.

Finally, throw in the yellow cherry tomatoes and give it a quick toss.  The cherry tomatoes are so juicy eaten raw, you don't need to cook them for long although some may prefer the tomatoes to blister and soften more...it's entirely up to you.

My Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs is done.

I was quite surprised at the outcome of the sauce really...it tasted appetising enough for such a simple version of a sweet and sour sauce which wasn't spicy at all, more zesty and slightly sweet.

Hmmm, I wonder if it's the combination (and brand) of chilli sauce (packets) I used...haha! :D  So, don't blame me if yours don't turn out as nice.  Otherwise, just make sure you use the same brand of chilli sauce sachets....kekeke! ;D

Of course, the sauce won't have the intricacy of a full-bodied sweet and sauce you get at restaurants but it was certainly acceptable for a one-ingredient home-cooked sauce.

I'd have to say that this is a great dish for dinner parties...you can make the meatballs ahead of time and cook up the sauce in a jiffy.  It's also very presentable with its vibrant colours of red, green and yellow (that's the reason why I chose to buy yellow cherry tomatoes for this dish...hehe!).

It's great eaten with rice.  It's easy to eat...no bones to contend with!  Kids love meatballs....adults too!  What else is there to say? ^.^

After making this simple and successful Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs, I'm now more willing to cook this sauce at home.  I'd sometimes make Sweet & Sour Fish by just frying a piece of fish and pouring over the sweet and sour sauce...it's just as yummy! ^o^

Give this simple Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs a try.....to see how it stacks up (against the more complex versions of sweet and sour pork)...and it may forever change your mind as to how easy it is to make something sweet and sour at home! ^_*

Serves 3 - 4 (as one of the dishes on your dinner table)

16 comments:

  1. i'd definitely take your homemade meatballs over any store-bought, factory-produced ones ... my favourite meatballs would be beef, followed fairly closely by pork ;)

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    Replies
    1. You know I love my steaks...but when it comes to meatballs, I tend to go for pork, followed fairly closely by chicken ^_*

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  2. I'm lucky since I got my sweet & sour sauce from my bro which is working in a restaurant :P

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    1. You're indeed lucky to have a restaurant-quality sweet & sour sauce at your disposal at home :)

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  3. How clever! Just with sachets of chili sauce, you made your delicious sweet and sour sauce. This is one of my favorite dishes. Thumbs up for your version! I don't eat much fast food anymore and even then never really had leftover sauces in sachets. That's because I like lots of chili sauce with my fried chicken or burgers hee..hee...

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    Replies
    1. These fast food joints give away way too much packet sauces for take-aways coz without a 'manual' as to how many to give, the workers don't bother and just grab them with their hands and throw them in. I used to throw them away but now I keep them for dips and the occasional sweet & sour dishes....hee...hee! ;)

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  4. I just thought... the end product seems like... the sauce not quite visible eh? But then when I make this, the result is the same, because I reluctant to use too much chili sauce and tomato sauce... :/

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    Replies
    1. The sauce is visible (in my sweet & sour fish) coz I used a shallow plate but I guess it's not so visible when the bowl is deeper. Depends on each individual's taste bud, some like more sauce, some less =)

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  5. A rainbow diet!

    As RG pointed out, is it quite possible to create a decent sweet and sour sauces
    without getting it loaded wth ketchup etc?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's quite a colourful dish :-)

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  6. This sweet & sour pork meatballs are so yummy and appetizing with rainbow colours. I love to eat them.

    I always collect these tomato and chilly sachets when I travel to China as they hardly have the right sauces available. Next trip is coming soon.

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    Replies
    1. I've heard of people bringing Maggi Mee on their trips...but you bring tomato and chilli sachets from home?

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    2. Yes I was malu to tell you that I also carted along maggi cup noodles, sambal belacan and chilly sachets to China only. When you venture into the remotest areas like me, you will cry with joy to see the loots from home. Their own authentic food could be very bland and very tasteless.

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    3. Aiyah, no need to feel malu...everyone does it, nothing feels better than a taste of home when we're away! ;) I remembered once when I was on a 3-week trip to US that I was ecstatic when we were brought to a Chinese restaurant to have "teo chew porridge" for breakfast after eating lots of western breakfasts and drinking orange juice every morning...haha! :D

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