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Phil Vickery's easy sweet and sour meatballs with ginger and lime

Phil Vickery / 03 June 2016

Phil Vickery's recipe for sweet and sour gluten-free meatballs and vegetables stir-fried with a ginger and lime sauce.

Phil Vickery's easy sweet and sour meatballs with ginger and lime
Phil Vickery's easy sweet and sour meatballs with ginger and lime

Preparation time

25 minutes

Cooking time

15-20 minutes




For the meatballs:

  • 500g pork shoulder mince
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small onion, very finely diced
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lime
  • 225g tin water chestnuts, drained and very finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

For the sweet and sour vegetables:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into very thin strips
  • 2 pak choi, sliced diagonally
  • 50g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • Ground black pepper

* Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce with a darker colour and richer flavour than Chinese soy sauce. It is also less salty, making it good for dipping. Unlike soy sauce, tamari uses little to no wheat so is a good alternative to make Asian recipes gluten-free. Always check the label to make sure the brand you are buying is gluten-free.


The mayonnaise in these meatballs helps to keep them juicy but not fatty, while the vegetables are seasoned with tamari, honey and pepper, with no additional salt. I also like to eat them lightly chilled in a salad.

1. In a big bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs really well. Roll into balls the size of a 50p coin, then chill really well.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok, add the meatballs and cook gently for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally to get a nice glaze all over. Once cooked remove from the pan and keep warm.

3. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the carrot, pak choi and spinach, and wilt for 2–3 minutes, then add the honey, tamari and lime juice and stir through. Season with pepper.

4. Add the meatballs to the pan, stir through to heat, then serve.

Essential Gluten-Free by Phil Vickery. Published by Kyle Books. Priced £19.99. Photographed by Kate Whitaker.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.