Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry


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Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Crisp bell peppers and sweet onions are tossed with sweet pineapple and savory ham balls in a sweet and sour sauce that is unforgettable. This stir fry disappeared so quickly the night that I made it, I didn’t even have a chance to grab a shot of the stir fry served over rice. I’m not kidding, it was gone in minutes. I have to admit that I wasn’t surprised, considering the fact that my first reaction to tasting it was a true moment of “wow.”

Seeing how I’d already eaten an embarrassing number of the ham balls just a few hours before, it was probably a good thing that there wasn’t a whole lot of this dish leftover after dinner. Odds are good that it would have never made it to the refrigerator.

My friend Rebecca described both the ham balls and this Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry to me months ago. I patiently waited for the chance to try them myself. Ha, I’m not waiting so patiently any longer. I’ll be making a double batch of the ham balls again next week. I want to have them stockpiled in my freezer, just for future stir fry nights.

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Edited to add: I’ve been making Old Fashioned Ham Balls and this Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry for a few years now. My kids absolutely love it. I try to keep half a batch of the ham balls stashed in the freezer just for this recipe.

Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Kitchen Tip: I use this skillet and this spatula (I dearly LOVE that spatula!) to make this recipe.

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Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir Fry

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Foodie with Family
Servings: 5 -6 servings


  • 24 ham balls cooked and cooled (refrigerated and/or previously frozen is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons refined coconut oil or light flavored olive oil
  • 3 large bell peppers sliced into thin strips (I used 2 red peppers and 1 green pepper.)
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced into thin strips
  • 2 large cloves garlic very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks packed in juice not syrup, drained with juice reserved
  • ½ - 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce depending on heat preference
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot


  • Pour the pineapple juice into a large liquid measuring cup. Add enough chicken broth to bring the total liquid amount to 1 ½ cups. Whisk the Sriracha sauce and the sesame oil into the pineapple juice mixture and set aside. In a separate small bowl or cup, whisk together the soy sauce and cornstarch. Set this aside next to the other liquids.
  • Add a teaspoon of oil to a large skillet or wok over high heat. Toss in the onion and stir to coat. Let it cook about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice, allowing it to brown on the edges. Add in the bell peppers and the garlic and stir fry, tossing frequently, over high heat, until the peppers are hot and still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the onions, peppers and garlic to a bowl and set aside. (Do not cover the bowl, or the peppers will continue cooking and steam under the lid!)
  • Place the pan back on the stove and add the second teaspoon of oil. Heat until shimmering and then add the ham balls and any syrup with them. Lower the heat to medium high and stir until the syrup has boiled and reduced to a very thick and sticky consistency, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the pineapple chunks and stir to coat them well. Whisk the cornstarch and soy sauce paste into the pineapple juice mixture and pour into the skillet with the ham balls. Bring to a boil and the reduce the heat slightly, allowing the sauce to lightly boil as it reduces by almost half, into a sticky syrupy sauce. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • When the sauce is thick enough to leave a trail when you pull your finger through it on the back of a spoon, add the vegetables back into the pan and toss to combine evenly. Cook just until the pepper and onions are hot all the way through again. Serve over freshly cooked rice with additional soy sauce or Sriracha. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 4/12/2014 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/02/2017}

Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir-Fry is a kid favorite too! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Here are some more stir fry recipes you might like:

Teriyaki Vegetable and Noodle Stir-Fry by Wife Mama Foodie

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir-Fry by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Skirt Steak and Sweet Potato Stir-Fry with Chimichurri Sauce by The Noshery

Szechuan Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry by Aggie’s Kitchen

Better Than Take-Out Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Easy Stir-Fry with Pork and Vegetables by Kalyn’s Kitchen

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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