Bola-Bola (Sweet and Sour Meat Balls)


  • 1 kilo (~2 lb) ground pork or beef
  • 1/2 red onion; minced
  • 2 green onions; chopped
  • 1 clove garlic; minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp mashed or diced ginger
  • 3 well beaten eggs
  • 120 ml (½) cup flour
  • Salt 
  • Ground pepper
  • Soy sauce

  • 1 can pineapple pieces (drain & set aside liquid)
  • 1 carrot; diced
  • 1 bell pepper; cut lengthwise
  • 60 ml (4 Tbsp) garlic; minced
  • 1 onion; chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cooking oil


  1. Mix  all the ingredients of the meat balls. Season with salt, soy sauce, and pepper. Form balls 2.5 cm (1 in) diameter out of the mixture. Deep fry the  meat balls until golden brown. Drain on paper towelling and set aside.
  2. In a wok or skillet, sauté the garlic and onion. Add the pineapple and carrot. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, water, flour, salt and water. Simmer until it thickens. 
  4. Add the bell pepper. Cook 1 minute.
  5. Pour the hot sauce over the meat balls.

Note: The meatballs can be baked which will cut down the oil/fat content somewhat. 
Another way is to cook the meatballs in a terra-cotta pot as described for pan cooking. Add the sauce ingredients and allow to cook for 30 to 45 minutes. This gives a softer texture to the meatballs and the sauce flavours moving into the meatballs. This will also reduce the oil/fat content similarly