• Sweet & Sour Meatballs


By Andrew Zimmern

I can’t think of a better game day or cocktail party appetizer than these retro meatballs. With a sticky, sweet-and-sour pineapple glaze, they remind me of the 60s, when the tiki bar trend really flourished in New York City. The key to keeping these tender is to not overwork the mix of pork, veal and chicken. Make extra, they will fly off of the potluck table.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs


  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg plus one egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/3-1/2 cup coarse toasted bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 3-4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine (sake is great)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
  • Several pinches of chile flakes


In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, veal, chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, shallots, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Let the meatball mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Roll the meat mixture into small golf ball shapes and pan fry gently on medium in a very large skillet, roll them to lightly brown the outside and tip away all the oil.

Add the pineapple juice, vinegar, rice wine or sake, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup and chile flakes. Let the sauce reduce to a glaze around the meatballs, simmering for about 15 minutes.

Serve with toothpicks and enjoy.

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