Filipino Meatball Recipe

Bola-bola Recipe

This Filipino meatball recipe is essentially made from giniling or ground beef. Also known as Bola-bola recipe, which is the base for Sweet and Sour Meatball, Meatball Spaghetti and Misua Meatball Soup, among others.

Use this bola-bola recipe as the base for any meatball dish. The meat may be that of ground beef or ground pork, or a mixture of both. Onion, garlic, salt and pepper are standard, together with egg and breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour as binders.

If you want to add extenders such as carrots or singkamas, it is up to you. For meatball Spaghetti, add 2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese for a cheesy, creamy texture.

You can cook a whole batch of the meatball, use only what you need and freeze the rest in a zip-lock bag for later use on different dishes.

Also, if you add green onion on the mix and wrap in eggroll wrapper and deep-fry, you get Lumpiang Shanghai or if you put a dollop on a wonton wrapper and steam, you get Siomai.


  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Pork
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for Frying


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Ground Pork
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 large Egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • Oil for Frying


COOKING TIME :20 minutes

1 Mix all the ingredients together, except for the cooking oil.

2 Portion into small balls, about 1/8 cup size balls. Use a small ice cream scooper to get even sizes.

3 Lightly roll into balls without packing tightly to keep it from getting dense and dry inside once cooked.

4 Heat up the oil in the pan and fry in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan and handle as minimally as possible to keep it from losing shape or falling apart.

5 Once golden brown, set on a paper towel to drain excess oil.


  • If you don't have breadcrumbs, substitute with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. The flour, though, will make the inside of the bola-bola firm and not as moist.

  • Don't have oil for frying? Bake the meatballs instead. Pre-heat oven at 375 °F, place them on a shallow baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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