Hawaiian Sweet & Sour Meatball and Coconut Brown Rice Bowls

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I wish that I could tell you that this recipe came from an old and wise Hawaiian woman who I met while travelling around the world. Unfortunately I have never been to Hawaii or around the world for that matter. That doesn’t mean that it is not a good recipe though.
IMG_7856-2  I hope to travel around the world someday, to taste authentic cuisines from every nation, climb mount Everest, that sort of thing. For now I am still discovering South America and all of its beauty and culture., but no matter where you live, it is nice sometimes to let the flavors of food transport you to far and exotic places. The grass is always greener, you know?
IMG_7859-2  This may not be what Hawaiians really eat but we can still pretend. I made this recipe for my family and it was a hit. No one cared that it wasn’t authentic. Who cares where they eat it, this stuff is good!

Hawaiian Sweet & Sour Meatball and Coconut Brown Rice Bowls

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: about 8 servings

Hawaiian Sweet & Sour Meatball and Coconut Brown Rice Bowls


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (20 oz. or 570g) pineapple chunks with juice
  • 1/2 plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared barbeque sauce (I used homemade)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • Coconut Rice:
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 inch peice of ginger
  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound or 500 grams ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from sauce)
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. First chop and prepare all vegetables and gather ingredients for sauce. In large saucepan melt butter and cook carrots and peppers until soft. Drain pineapples from juice and set aside, saving juice. Reserve one half cup of juice for meatballs and add remaining juice and all other ingredients for sauce to saucepan with peppers and carrots. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Pour 4 cups of water into medium pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add rice and ginger then cover for about 10 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and salt and cover again. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente adding more water if necessary.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Line a baking sheet with foil and combine egg, salt, pepper, onion, reserved pineapple juice and breadcrumbs in medium bowl and stir to combine. Add ground beef and mix well. Roll large chunks (about 3 tablespoons) of mixture into balls and place on foil lined pan. You should have about 38- 40 meatballs. Bake for about 30 minutes until done all the way through.

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