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Recipe Box: Sweet & Sour Meatballs


Sweet & Sour Meatballs

We’re into full-on winter now, so it’s time for some serious comfort food, am I right? Here’s one of my family’s favorite meals: sweet and sour meatballs. This recipe originally came from a 1995 Milk Calendar. Do you remember those? Yep, I was a university student when I first tried this recipe out, and I have been making it ever since. The sauce is delish, and the meatballs end up incredibly tender and plump, due to the secret in the prep–there’s no frying of the meatballs beforehand, they just boil in the sauce.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • pinch hot red chili flakes (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup milk


1. Combine ground beef with egg, breadcrumbs, milk, salt, and pepper. Shape into 1″ balls. Set aside.

2. To make sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan and add garlic and ginger. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant but don’t brown.

3. Add ketchup, ginger ale, chili flakes, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.

4. Add milk. Heat thoroughly. Sauce may look separated.

5. Bring sauce to a boil and add meatballs. Reduce heat. Cook gently, uncovered, for 1 hour or until meatballs are tender and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.


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Kim Foster writes YA and adult books about thieves, spies, and assassins. (Read More)

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