Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu) Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu) Recipe
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Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu)

Recipe by  

"I grew up in Japan, and my Mother got this recipe from some Catholic nuns there during the 50's. It's been a family favorite ever since. If you're a vegetarian, try this sauce with vegetables only. It's wonderful that way also!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    1 hr


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, cornstarch, salt, diced onion and pepper. Form into 1 inch meatballs; about 20.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs; drain fat and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Pour in the pineapple juice and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar and water. Stir until smooth and pour into the pineapple juice. Add the sugar and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly.
  5. Place the meatballs, pineapple pieces, green pepper, carrot and onion into the sauce mixture. Heat thoroughly.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 14, 2007

This was great but I made it a little better. First the sauce must be a clear color and takes over the flavor of the meat. The meat also needed a little help. This is what I did. For the meatballs, I added 1 TBS of Worcestershire Sauce and used 1 TBS Arrowroot instead of the other starches because there is no flavor and it is clear. For the sauce, I substituted again Arrowroot for the other starch mixture for a clear and no aftertaste thickener. I also changed the 1/2 cup sugar to 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup Brown sugar and I added 1 TBS Lemon Juice for tartness. This turned out clean, clear with a lot of sweet/sour flavor. My family of 62 people, all home styled Chefs thought it was great. I married a Russian. Need I say more?

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 12, 2010

These were okay, I had some left over pineapple to use up, so thought I'd give this recipe a try. Other than using fresh pineapple, I followed the recipe and was not overly impressed. I didn't care for the consistency of the sauce. I did of course adjust it afterward but if made as written this recipe is 3 stars at best.

Apr 04, 2003

This was pretty good. I did make some changes. I was leary about putting cornstarch in the meatballs so I substituted dry bread crumbs. Instead of frying the meatballs I cooked them in the oven. For the sauce I doubled the soy, pineapple juice and vinegar. I replaced the fresh pineapple with red bell pepper. All and all it came out good and I also served it over rice.

Jul 23, 2003

Outstanding recipe, Poni! My family loves these meatballs, and the sauce is soooo good!

Jan 08, 2007

Very good recipe! My suggestions: Double the sauce ingredients if you are serving over rice. Want to cut calories? Use splenda instead of sugar. Spray Pam in pan prior to browning meatballs and omit oil prior to adding pineapple juice. If sauce is too thick for you add additional juice or water.

Apr 22, 2009

This is really authentic. We had it over garlic fried rice with veggie egg rolls. I didn't really care for the meatballs, but I'm not really a fan, even in Italian food. I did enjoy the veggies and I liked the taste of the sauce. Hubby, who loves this sort of food, really enjoyed it.

Mar 18, 2008

I have made this recipe twice, and there is just enough sauce. The first time I doubled the sauce as others had mentioned. It made too much sauce, and all we tasted was the sauce. The second time we kept the recipe as is, and it was perfect. As for the meatballs, I was leary about using cornstarch, but I did and they were the best meatballs I tasted. They were moist, delicate and just melts in your mouth.

Apr 08, 2010

Absolutely awseome! You can double the sauce as most here have suggested, or use half pork, half beef, (that's what I did...excellent) but whatever you do, make it! Your loved ones will think you've become a chef! (I know mine did.....now to live up to this ..hmmmmmm) LOVED IT!! Rob


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  • Calories
  • 341 kcal
  • 17%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 37.5 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 77 mg
  • 26%
  • Fat
  • 15.1 g
  • 23%
  • Fiber
  • 1.7 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 14.6 g
  • 29%
  • Sodium
  • 599 mg
  • 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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