My Signature Meatballs (Sui Mai)


Good evening all! How are we? I am absolutely pumped after two weeks off for a family holidays to Bali and Cambodia. We also took our mothers along with us. We tried to take our parents out to places as much as we could before they get too old to walk. Our fathers were not so keen on Bali, so they missed out. We spent nine nights in Bali Indonesia, one night in Singapore and four nights in Cambodia. The Bali holiday was a relaxing one as we spent most of our time at a luxury resort. Kudos to Pan Pacific Nirwana’s management and staff, the resort was very well maintained and the staff were very friendly and welcoming. The foods were very delicious every where we ate in Bali. However, the Cambodian trip was what left me inspired and energised to love life and my families even more. I was very touched by all my uncles, aunties, cousins and friends who came and visited us and took us around to places despite their busy life and hardship over there. After living in Australia away from all the relatives and friends, I had not felt that connection and care for a long time. I felt so blessed to have them in my life.

Enough about my trip, tonight I am sharing with you a recipe for my signature meatballs. This meatball dish is a fusion of Italian and Cambodian meatballs (Sui Mai). The recipes are made up as I neither know how to cook the authentic Khmer nor Italian meatballs, but the flavour combination is explosive. My family loves it. Each time I made them, I made a lot so that I can distribute some to my in-law and my parents. They can be served with pasta, breads or rice.

There is a secret ingredient which made the meatball special. It is lemon zest. I have tried the recipe without it and I know I can’t go without my zest. And the Cambodian in me tells me to also use coriander in my meatballs and it works a treat. The Italian side of the dish should be the pasta sauce and some other herbs that I also use. So without any more delay, please try the recipe below and let me know if this should be my signature meatballs.

Recipe for my Signature Meatballs (Sui Mai)
Make: 30 meatballs (golf ball size)
Time: 20 mins preparation, 30 mins cooking

What you need:
1kg pork mince
4 onions
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 bunch (about 5 to 6 roots) of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp black peppers
zest of two lemons or limes
2 jars of pasta sauce (2 x 500g)
olive oil


1- Peel onions and chop them finely


2- Combine all ingredients and mix well


3- Coat the frying pan with some oil. If you make a small portion, just use the cooking pot as you will need it later

4- Make balls the size of golf ball or larger and arrange them on the frying pan or pot


5- Place the frying pan on cooktop on high to sear the meatballs all around. Note that because I made a lot of the balls, I need to do this in a few batches


6- Transfer the seared balls into a pot, then add the pasta sauce. You can choose any flavour of the sauce you want, or just a pure tomato paste. I love roasted vegetables and garlics


I used Dolmio because it was on sales

I used Dolmio because it was on sales


9- Cover the pot with lid and shake the pot slightly so that the sauce mix with the balls without stirring because stirring it can break the balls. Continue cooking on medium heat for another 10 to 15 mis depending on the amount of meatball made

10- Serve with rice or pasta or baguette



Tips: If you don’t have coriander at home, I have used other dried herbs such as rosemary, basil and thymes. They all worked well. This can also be used to make burger patty.