Polynesian Meatballs

Polynesian Meatballs

Some of the best recipes happen by chance. An ingredient needs to be used up, so a recipe is found or created to utilize it. Or, everything needed for a recipe isn’t available, so creativity happens at the last second. Many times, those recipes end up being great!

With a package of ground pork in my refrigerator waiting to be used, I looked around for something to do with it. I rarely buy ground pork, but I had purchased it in anticipation of making some delicious, slow-cooked meatballs and tomato sauce last Saturday. Alas, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine threw a wrench into my plans and cooking meatballs fell by the wayside.

So, there I was on a week night needing a way to use up that pork. Something quick. Something tasty. Something different. Thank goodness for the Internet, huh? However did we survive without the Web?

These meatballs are easy to make and very yummy. My boys love sweet foods so it was right up their alley. The ingredients are things I tend to have in the pantry, so it was a perfect choice.

Ostensibly, this recipe serves 4, but my boyfriend is a big eater and we also tend to be one-pot diners, so we really only got about 2-3 servings out of it. But I think if you served this with some sides, it would easily serve 4. I also think next time I’d add some veggies. The sauce is thick and sticks well, so it would be easy to throw some simple steamed or roasted veggies in there and cover them in that sweet stickiness for a more varied dish.

Polynesian Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 3/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds ground (or mustard powder)
  • 8 ounces pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 medium bell pepper chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray.
  2. Combine pork with next 6 ingredients (egg through mustard) in a bowl and mix well. Using a disher or your hands, roll into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, or your desired size.
  3. Brown meatballs in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned on all sides. Move meatballs to baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they are cooked through (center should be 165 degrees – residual heat will continue to cook them to 170).
  4. While meatballs are baking, In same pan you used for the meat, heat pineapple with juice, bell pepper and onion over medium-high heat until just boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, water, brown sugar and cornstarch and mix well. Add to pineapple mixture and stir to combine. Boil and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Add meatballs back into pan and toss to coat. Serve over hot rice.

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