Filipino-style Sweet and Sour Beef Meat Balls

imageMeat balls may not be unique to any one country, but Filipino-style sweet and sour bola bola are like no other.  They’re meant to be consumed with steamed rice as opposed to added as ingredients to pasta, soup or noodles.

There are many ways to prepare the sauce for this recipe.  You can start from scratch, or just like I did, turn to the readily-available Thai sweet chili sauce and just mix it with the rest of the ingredients.

If desired, you can also add pineapple slices to your sauce for added tropical taste.

INGREDIENTS image

1 lb, ground beef

3/4 cup red onions, diced

1 egg

1 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup corn starch

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1-inch squares

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1-inch squares

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Olive oil for frying

1 tomato, quartered

3 tbsps, Thai sweet chili sauce

1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, 1/2 cup of the red onions, egg, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix and mash with cleans hands.  Place a couple spoonfulls of the mixture into your palm and form a ball. Roll the meat ball in corn starch to evenly coat it.  Repeat process for the rest of the meat balls.  Heat Olive oil in a medium pan or wok and fry the coated meat balls until nicely browned on both sides.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Prepare the sauce by heating Olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute until gold brown.  Add the remaining red onions and ginger and continue to cook for another minute.  Add bell peppers and cook until tender. Add Thai sweet chili sauce and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a quick boil before reducing heat to simmer. Add tomatoes and turn off heat.  Place meat balls on a platter and pour the sauce over them.  Serve warm.

OPTIONAL: To thicken sauce, dissolve a tablespoon of corn starch and add to the sauce mixture while simmering.

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