Pork and Crab Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Serves: 3-4

Pork and Crab Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is another recipe inspired by a browse through my late aunt’s cookery notes. White crab meat is expensive but the pork mince makes this a more budget friendly main course. It may seem like an odd partnership -pork and seafood -but this combination is seen quite frequently in Far Eastern cooking. I have updated the sweet and sour sauce, leaving out pineapple (I just can’t go there) and adding gochujang for a little kick. However, it is still pleasingly retro and reminds me of the Chinese takeaways of my childhood.


  • For the balls
  • 200g white crabmeat
  • 225g pork mince
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • For the sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and diced
  • 1 green pepper, halved, deseeded and diced
  • 5 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • ½ tablespoon gochujang paste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying
Pork and Crab Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce


  1. For the balls, put the first seven ingredients along with a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined. If you are unsure about the seasoning take a little morsel of the mix and fry in a small pan for 3-4 minutes. Taste and season again if necessary. Shape into 12 even-sized balls and chill for 2-3 hours.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the peppers over a low to moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly so they don’t burn. Add the tomato ketchup, caster sugar, gochujang paste, sesame oil and red wine vinegar with ½ teaspoon fine salt. Pour in 150ml water and bring to the boil, stirring. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon cold water and stir into the sauce. Cook for a minute or two until thick. Take off the heat while you fry the balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the balls over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, turning them to ensure they cook evenly. Warm the sweet and sour sauce  and serve with the pork and crab balls and some rice and steamed vegetables.
Pork and Crab Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce