While cooking or doing some kind of art project, I usually put on a movie on in the background to have as a kind of white noise while I’m working. After I’m done, when I see the finished project again (like a quilt) or when I make a certain dish, I find myself thinking of that movie.
In other words, I’m calling this ‘Pretty in Pink Pork Balls’.
In a small bowl, mix the ground pork, minced green onions, one egg, salt, ground ginger, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, and 2 tbsp. corn starch. MIX WITH YOUR HANDS. Do it. You will feel very old world and like you OWN those meatballs. Trust me, it’s a good feeling.
Put 2 cups of oil in a heavy bottom pan or skillet and begin heating it to 370 degrees.
Take your tablespoon, scoop up the pork mixture and form into balls. I placed mine on a piece of waxed paper on a plate.
Get your rice on. Whether you use the stovetop or the rice cooker, start your rice. It will be ready and properly fluffy at just about the time your pork balls and veggies are done.
At this point, I had to open up all my windows in my kitchen and living room because the oil was beginning to smoke. I am NOT an expert in frying with oil. I am, however, an expert in setting off my smoke alarm. I turned down the heat and used my candy/fry thermometer to make sure I was at 370 degrees. I dropped in eight of the pork balls and watched the magic happen. I kind of poked at them to make sure they browned evenly all the way around and made sure that they didn’t burn to a crisp. I ended up doing three batches of about eight balls each. I didn’t want them to crowd each other in the oil and I also wanted to try and maintain the temperature of the oil.
While the meat was de-greasing, I prepped the rest of the ingredients. This was very strenuous and involved opening cans and one bag of snap peas. It was exhausting.
After looking at the end result, I realized that the snap peas needed to have less time in the skillet because I wanted to retain their green color and crunchy texture. I recommend not adding them until you’ve added the sauce. It was still super delicious when following the original directions. You be the judge.
Heat up the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a skillet or wok and saute the carrots, water chestnuts, pineapple chunks, and snap or snow peas. After 3 minutes, remove from heat.
In small saucepan, mix sugar, vinegar, remaining soy sauce and cornstarch with reserved carrot liquid and pineapple syrup. Add water until it reaches 1 1/2 cups. (I didn’t have to add extra water, since the carrot liquid filled it to the top.) Heat to a boil while stirring. Turn down slightly and continue stirring until it thickens and is clear. This will smell delicious, but be careful while testing the seasoning! It will burn your tongue off..
Put skillet back on the burner, add the pork balls, and pour the thickened sauce over the whole shebang. Put the burner on low and toss the mix around, so everything is evenly coated with your tangy, sweet sauce.
By the time you have set the table and put the steamed rice in a bowl, the veggies and meat will be ready!
I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty the pork balls turned out to be. My official taste-tester, Nikki, suggested just making the meat balls without veggies for the Superbowl and I thought that was a fine idea. If I could eat everything on a toothpick, I’d be a happy lady. Appetizers Unite!
And for those of you keeping score, this is the first time I DID NOT set off the smoke alarm. My living room was 37 degrees because of the open windows, but I did not set off the alarm. Plus, Duckie finally found a girl and Andie and Blane (the name of a major appliance) ended up together, so….. it’s a Win-Win, people!
Sweet-Sour Pork Balls
- 1 lb ground lean pork
- 1/4 c. minced green onions
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 5 tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 c. cooked sliced carrots, drained and liquid reserved
- 1 pkg. (7 oz.) frozen snow-pea pods, thawed
- 1 can (13 1/3 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained and syrup reserved
- 1/4 c. sliced water chestnuts
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2-3 tbsp. white vinegar
- Hot cooked rice
- Combine first 5 ingredients with 2 tbsp. soy sauce and 2 tbsp. cornstarch and mix well.
- Shape in even round balls, using a measuring tablespoon for each.
- Heat 2 cups oil in deep heavy skillet, until bubbling. (370 degrees F)
- Fry balls until well browned; drain.
- Heat remaining oil in large skillet, add next 4 ingredients and saute about 3 minutes, then add meatballs.
- In small saucepan, mix sugar, vinegar, remaining soy sauce and cornstarch with reserved carrot liquid and pineapple syrup (add water to make 1 1/2 cups).
- Bring to boil, stirring, until thickened and clear.
- Correct seasoning and pour over meatballs and vegetables in skillet.
- Simmer 5 minutes and serve with rice.