Chinese 5 Spice Turkey Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Serves 4 – 6


1 lb ground turkey
1 ½ t Chinese 5 spice powder
1 T soy sauce
½ T fish sauce
2 t sesame oil
1/3 C red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ C plain bread crumbs
1/8 C milk
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 red pepper
1 20 oz can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice (reserve juice!)
1/3 C sweet red wine
2 large carrots, chopped
1/3 C red wine
1 t Cornstarch
2 T oil
½ C salted cashews
Handful fresh parsley
Sesame seeds to garnish
Salt and pepper


  • Bring meat to room temperature. Prep and chop all the vegetables, chopping the onion very small to put in the meatballs. Set aside carrots and red pepper. Drain the pineapple reserving all the juice.
  •  In a bowl combine the meat, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, milk, 5 Spice powder, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil, along with a bit of kosher salt and black pepper. For into 1 ½ inch balls. Fry them in the hot oil until seared but not all the way done. Remove, set aside and cover with foil.
  • Then, using the same pan you cooked the meatballs, add the carrots and red pepper and scrape bits into the veggies. Sear in the remaining oil for about 2 minutes. Add the pineapple juice and red wine, reduce for about 3-4 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks. Now, reduce heat, add the meat, and let the meat simmer with the lid on for about 4 minutes until cooked all the way through. Then combine about ¼ C water with the cornstarch, stir to blend well, and add that to the juice and veggie mixture. Stir until thick which takes about 10 seconds, so keep the heat manageable. Add the parsley and the cashews, stir, then plate. Can serve with or without white rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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