Chinese Meatballs with Sweet & Sour Chili Sauce

Ho ho ho!  Yep, I’m gearing up for some holiday treats and this appetizer is absolutely scrumptious!  I’ve been an avid fan of Matt Armendariz (Matt Bites) for a few years now…he seems the type of person I’d want to meet and I love these two lines from his bio:

  • I believe life happens quickly. Be prepared to get the most out of it.
  • I believe people who cook and feed others are some of the most generous and warm people on the planet.

Food on a skewer is the perfect finger food for a gathering. Arranging the skewers upright in glassware or other entertaining containers make for decorative centerpieces as well as a chance for your friends to ‘ooh and aah’ at your creativeness. Move over corn dog and say hello to parmesan lollipops, Caesar salad, dumplings, cake pops, cookies, fried cheese and the list goes on.   Check out Matt’s book for more party recipes!

Makes about 12 meatballs
On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz

3/4 pound lean ground pork or turkey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced 1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands to thoroughly combine. Form into 12 small even balls. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in one layer without overcrowding. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Skewer with toothpicks or bamboo sticks and serve with sweet and sour chili sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced lemon grass
1/2 bunch mint, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon seeded and minced red jalapeño
1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger

Stir vinegar, sugar and lemongrass in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves and liquid reduces by one-third. Strain into a bowl and cool completely. Stir in mint, cilantro, garlic, red jalapeño and ginger. Serve warm or at room temperature, alongside the meatballs.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  These did not last long! Enjoy!


  1. Marina@Picnic at Marina on November 27, 2012 at 20:54

    Great idea for a dinner or party. Thanks for the sweet and sour recipe, I love it homemade 🙂

  2. Ada (new york) on November 28, 2012 at 22:16

    Now I am craaaaaving meatballs 🙂

  3. The Culinary Chase on November 29, 2012 at 15:57

    Thanks Marina & Ada. Easy to make so give them a go. Cheers!

  4. Arleendee on December 12, 2012 at 13:13

    YUMMM looks delicious!! will definitely try to make it! thanks!

  5. hot peppers on July 21, 2013 at 09:27

    Hello there just wondering. I wouldn’t mind giving a try at making a good one at home..