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Hawaiian Meatballs – Kauai Appetizer

Sweet, sticky, and savory describe these Hawaiian meatballs to a tee – serve over rice or on skewers for an appetizing treat!

Winni Recipes | Sweet, sticky, and savory describe these Hawaiian meatballs to a tee – serve over rice or on skewers for an appetizing treat!


• 2 pounds lean ground beef

• 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

• ¼ cup milk

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• ½ teaspoon onion powder

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 cup white OR brown rice, cooked according to package directions

For the sauce:

• 12 ounces crushed pineapple, OR finely minced fresh pineapple

• ¾ cup water

• ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

• 1/3 cup of honey

• 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

• 2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 2 tablespoons water

• Fresh cilantro, chopped

• Sesame seeds


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Use your hands to gently mix ingredients until thoroughly combined but not packed down. Scoop meat into 3 tablespoon mounds (can use a 3 T. cookie scoop) and gently roll into balls (which should measure between 1 ½ and 2 inches across).

3. Arrange meatballs on prepared baking sheet, at least an inch apart. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through to the center (cut into a meatball to check for doneness; internal temperature should be 165°F if using a thermometer). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any grease and cover with foil to keep warm.

4. While meatballs are baking, cook rice according to package directions.

5. At the same time, in another saucepan set over medium heat, prepare sauce by combining pineapple, water, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and fresh ginger. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce to a simmer. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Stream cornstarch mixture into simmering sauce while stirring. Allow sauce to cook for a few minutes until thickened and glossy, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve meatballs over rice with sauce poured on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds, if desired.


Source: “Hawaiian Meatballs”. Recipe. N.p. 8 March 2022. Web. 30 May 2023.


By Recipe Contributor


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