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…
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 ½ Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1–2 Tbsp cornstarch
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
- ¼ 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.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- 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.