Instant Pot Kung Pao Porcupine Meatballs—easy homemade meatballs with rice cooked inside and coated with a zippy chili garlic sauce.
Instant Pot Kung Pao Porcupine Meatballs
Have you ever tried porcupine meatballs? They are meatballs made with ground meat and raw rice. When they are cooked the rice sort of sticks out resembling porcupine quills. They are quite delicious and were Greg’s favorite meal when he was growing up. Traditionally porcupine meatballs are served with either a red marinara sauce or a creamy mushroom sauce (like Swedish meatballs).
Today I got creative and made porcupine meatballs with the sauce that you’d have with kung pao chicken at Panda Express or another Chinese restaurant. My kung pao sauce isn’t that spicy because I have one kid that does not tolerate any sort of spice. We all loved these meatballs so so much!! I can’t wait to make them again. My main complaint is that we didn’t have enough! Next time I will double this recipe for sure.
What should I serve with Instant Pot Kung Pao Porcupine Meatballs? Typically I’d serve these meatballs and sauce with a big batch of stir fried vegetables. I love buying the huge bag of frozen stir fry veggies at Costco. They are so tasty and they go with lots of different meals.
Can I use a different type of rice? Because the rice is raw you’ll want to use a rice that cooks quickly like long grain white rice or jasmine rice. Sorry, no brown rice for this recipe. Although minute brown rice would probably work!
Can I make these meatballs without the rice? Yes you can. Leave out the rice and use ½ cup of breadcrumbs instead of 2 Tbsp.
What is chili garlic sauce? Also known as chili garlic paste this sauce is a cousin to Sriracha. It’s made with rough-chopped chilies and a lots of garlic. It’s hot and tangy and it tastes fresh with a brightness from vinegar. You can find it easily in the Asian section of your grocery store.
Can I use something besides ground pork? I used a lean ground pork and it tasted amazing. However, you can also use lean ground beef, turkey or chicken. You can also use a combination of meats, like half pork and half beef. I do recommend lean or extra lean ground meat for this recipe.
Can I use frozen meatballs? Yes. Make the sauce as described in the recipe card below. Pile in 1-2 pounds of frozen meatballs. Then pressure cook for 4 minutes with a 5-10 minute natural pressure release.
What pressure cooker did you use? To make Instant Pot Kung Pao Porcupine Meatballs I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. To make with an 8 quart pot double the sauce ingredients (and double meatball ingredients, too, if you desire). For a 3 quart pot keep the same recipe.
More Instant Pot Meatballs…
Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs
Instant Pot Polish Meatballs With Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce
Instant Pot 3-Ingredient Meatballs
Instant Pot Kung Pao Porcupine Meatballs
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: about 8 meatballs 1x
Easy homemade meatballs with rice cooked inside and coated with a zippy Asian sauce.
For the sauce:
- 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1–2 Tbsp cornstarch
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice or jasmine rice
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, minced garlic, chili garlic sauce and broth to the Instant Pot. Whisk.
- In a mixing bowl combine the pork, bread crumbs, rice, egg and chili garlic sauce. Use clean or gloved hands to combine well. Use about ¼ cup of the mixture to form each meatball. Place the formed meatballs into the Instant Pot in one layer.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 10 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Scoop meatballs onto a platter. Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. In a small bowl stir together 1-2 Tbsp of cornstarch with 1-2 Tbsp of water, until smooth. Then pour the mixture into the Instant Pot. The cornstarch mixture will thicken up contents of pot quickly.
- Spoon the sauce over the meatballs and enjoy.
- Category: Pork
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Asian
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Do you have a feel for what changes I should make if I want to use brown rice.
I would use minute brown rice with same cooking time. If you use regular brown rice it won’t cook and will be crunchy. Or you could cook the brown rice ahead of time and use cooked brown rice in the meatballs.
John M. says
These Asian inspired meatballs were outrageously delicious! Super easy to prepare, too. With my IP 3 qt. Mini, I only needed to stack two meatballs on top of the first layer, and it all came out perfectly. Next time I’ll double the sauce ingredients so there will be plenty to put on the rice. Thanks again, Karen!
You are so welcome John! Thank you for the 5 stars.
John M. says
Before I try this tomorrow, I was wondering about this instruction: ‘Place the formed meatballs into the Instant Pot in one layer.’ If I have more meatballs after making just one layer, do I need to freeze the rest or can I use 2 (or more) layers of meatballs? Thanks for your time!
You can layer them on top of each other, just stagger them a bit
I cannot have vinegar. Do you think it would be ok to leave out?
Sure you could do that.
This was soooo good. It’s a must to double the sauce recipe
Glad you liked it Ellyn!
Loved these !!! Used ground round. May back offf a little on the garlic chilie was very spicey for my buds.
Served with a side of rice
Glad you liked it! 😊
Just realized I put 2T instead of 2t of the chili sauce. That’s why I had steam cold
I got out of my ears. But still really good. Husband liked it that spicy
Oh my goodness! Haha yes that would do it.
It was tasty using ground game meat. I used jasmine rice and had no issues with it being undercooked. One T. of cornstarch was sufficient to make a thick gravy. Served it with a side of jasmine rice and green beans. May try using less soy sauce next time and making up the difference with water to equal the 3 T.
Nice! Glad to know it works with game meat too!
I made these last night out of half ground pork and beef. They are really good and little lighter than a usual meat ball, I was thinking because of the rice perhaps. I will definitely make these again. You are right they were not too spicy or sweet. I have made so many of your recipes that I cannot mention them all! I thought I would comment now because these were actually quick and tasty. Thanks so much for being here and all your recipes!
So glad you liked them Sandra!! And thanks for the nice comment 😊
I made this with 1/2 ground pork and 1/2. Lb ground beef. I forgot the bread crumbs and brown sugar and neither were missed! I increased the chicken broth to 1 cup. I made an extra batch of sauce because I like lots of sauce. I served over mixed greens! YUMMY! I will make these again!
Sounds like a winner!!
Made it last night a little spicy and the rice was not totally cooked I half the recipe cooked it the recommended time should I increase the time I will make it again
Barbara C. Hardison says
Just made these for lunch today. They were delicious…..will be making these often.
I’m so glad you hear that you tried them and liked them Barbara! We loved them!
Just made these with pork, quick an easy on a hot night! The sauce is the perfect heat, although a little salty for my taste, even with low sodium soy and coconut aminos. You know what I think would be awesome if I could figure out how to make it — this same recipe without the rice, made with ground meat, with added diced carrots, onions, celery, peas, etc. and then served over rice… Any ideas on how to do this? Thanks for sharing your recipes – love them!
I bet you could leave out the rice and use ½ cup of breadcrumbs instead of 2 Tbsp. Then mince up the items you mentioned and add them into the meat mixture.
Made this tonight used ground turkey. It was excellent. Thanks.
Cool! Glad you liked it with the ground turkey!
Made these with ground turkey, they were amazing. Even my kids ate them. I think 2 T of cornstarch in my slurry over thickened the sauce so I’ll try 1 next time. These are so good and easy, love that they don’t need to be browned. Will definitely make again! This is my third recipe of yours in a week and they’re all great!
Wow! You’re on a roll Aurora! Thanks for sharing!
Suzanne Williams says
Looks delicious but is there a recipe for cooking in a slow cooker?
Hi Suzanne, I believe these would work well in the slow cooker! Just cook for 4-6 hours on low.
Any way to make, like, two layers of these? Maybe more meatballs on a little round of parchment paper, so they don’t mush into the ones beneath them-? Feels like a silly question, but your recipes are always so good and I’m sure I’ll want more than 15 of these!
I bet you could do that! Let me know how it works out!
Lisa Avant says
Karen, can you make these in the slow cooker? They look fabulous and I don’t own an Instant Pot!
Yes I bet you could! I would cook on low for 4-6 hours!