Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Suan T'ien Niu Jou Po Lo La Tzu)


"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!"

Ingredients 1 h {{adjustedServings}} servings 341 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 6 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 341 kcal
  • 17%
  • Fat:
  • 15.1 g
  • 23%
  • Carbs:
  • 37.5g
  • 12%
  • Protein:
  • 14.6 g
  • 29%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 82 mg
  • 27%
  • Sodium:
  • 599 mg
  • 24%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  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 59

  1. 71 Ratings

Robert Haney

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?


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.


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