Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
A super quick ‘home-made’ sweet and sour sauce with tasty meatballs that are baked in the oven. Serve with rice or over warm noodles as a main meal. Alternatively serve them as a party food with cocktail forks or toothpicks. It may seem there are a lot of ingredients, but the sauce and meatballs take very little time to prepare. A budget friendly family meal or a great recipe to make for a potluck. You can use Homemade Ponzu Sauce Homemade ponzu sauce posted by GailAnng as a good substitute for the ‘ponzu lime citrus dressing and sauce.’
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup ketchup
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 3⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons ponzu sauce, lime citrus dressing and sauce
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1⁄2 cup water
For the Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce, lime citrus dressing and sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup fresh soft breadcrumbs, measure well packed (add extra if your meatballs need more binding to hold their shape)
- 1 cup pineapple chunk (optional)
- toasted sesame seeds (for decoration or presentation, optional, optional) (optional) or finely sliced green onion (for decoration or presentation) (optional)
- For the sauce – mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup water in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add all of the remaining sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat for approximately one minute.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine.
- Continue stirring until the mixture becomes thick and glossy- about 5 minutes. Set the sauce aside to cool.
- For the meatballs – Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C ).
- Use a food processor to make fresh breadcrumbs ( I used 4 slices of bread with crusts removed).
- Add all meatball ingredients to a medium sized mixing bowl and thoroughly mix together.
- Roll into small meatballs with your hands, using about a tablespoon of mix at a time.
- Place meatballs in a 9 x 13 baking dish and, if using as a main meal, add the optional cup of pineapple chunks if desired - Just spread them evenly around the meatballs.
- Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the meatballs , ensuring that they are all covered.
- Bake for 30 minutes and stir. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes and stir again. Check for doneness and bake longer if needed.
- Serve over rice or noodles for a main meal. Lightly sprinkle each meal with toasted sesame seeds or finely sliced green onions for presentation if desired.
- Can be served as cocktail meatballs in a single large bowl with cocktail forks or toothpicks.
The elements of this recipe were nice and we had a very enjoyable meal. My biggest problem was the texture of the meatballs. They were almost too soft to form and sort of melted into a single meat patty in the oven. I did use ground turkey so maybe it had extra moisture. They were well seasoned though and tasted great. The sauce had a nice contrast with neither sweet nor sour being overpowering. It was pale in color and the amount of cornstarch thickened it instantly. Next time I will add chunks of onion and bell pepper when adding the pineapple and reduce the cornstarch. I also appreciated the garnishes at the end. I like pretty. Thank you for sharing the recipe and good luck!