Bola Bola

When school was out and I wasn’t playing with the other kids in our neighborhood, I would be sitting in the black iron chair in our family kitchen watching my mom prepare for lunch or dinner. Occasionally, I would volunteer to help in some fun cooking prep, especially when my mom needed to mold her ground beef mixture into tiny balls and roll them in cornstarch. It was for a dish called “bola bola,” meaning “balls.”  My mom’s bola bola is much like the traditional meatballs that are served with spaghetti, but I particularly liked my mom’s version because there were raisins in them. Back then, my mom would use lard in which to fry the meatballs. I vividly remember the lard which came in rectangular blocks wrapped in wax paper.  How can I forget the brand name of the lard? It was Purico!


1 lb ground beef

1 small white onion, chopped

1 pc carrot, peeled and grated

2 stems green onions, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

4 tbsps soy sauce

2 eggs

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup corn starch


In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, white and green onions, carrots, raisins, eggs and soy sauce.  Mix well.  Spread cornstarch on a flat plate.  Mold the beef mixture into balls, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and roll them in the cornstarch, making sure they are evenly coated.  In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil in medium-high heat.  Fry the meatballs until they turn dark brown and partially blackened, turning them over on all sides to cook.  Place cooked meatballs on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.  Serve warm with either ketchup, banana sauce or soy sauce with lemon.


2 thoughts on “Bola Bola

  1. Pingback: Loco Moco, Hawaiian-style « my bay kitchen

  2. Pingback: Bola-bola Sliders | my bay kitchen

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