Beef Bola Bola is a Filipino meatball that is mixed with ground beef, grated onion, chopped carrot, and seasoning sauces. It is a simple yet delicious meatball that is served with a sweet-spicy sauce or soy sauce.
Last year in the Philippines, I attended a fiesta in my mother’s hometown in Cebu where I stayed in my Aunt's house. Fiesta is a Filipino festival where they celebrate their town’s religious history.
During that day, it is traditional that families cooked and served many delicious local foods, which they invite families and friends in their house. And in that house, this is the first time I tried their Filipino meatball called bola bola which is similar to an Italian meatball.
It is one of my favorite and yet simple Filipino dish which you eat it with white rice and sweet spicy sauce. Since I was inspired by my Aunt's meatball, I will be showing you my version of how to make this delicious Filipino beef meatball recipe
The recipe ingredient of making Beef Bola Bola is similar to the ingredient of my Beef lumpia recipe except, it has no lumpia or eggroll wrapper.
Below is the ingredient I used for this recipe:
- Ground Beef
- Grated onion & garlic
- Grated carrot
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Flour for dredging
The onion and garlic will give a nice flavor to the ground beef. Also, the soy sauce and the oyster sauce adds the mild saltiness and sweetness of the meatball. You wouldn't need to add salt since the soy sauce has a sodium content.
On the other hand, the egg will help bind the ground meat mixture, which helps prevent your meatball from falling apart. And lastly, for the ground beef, you can either use 80% Meat and 20% Fat or 70 % Meat and 30% Fat. It wouldn’t make any difference.
Unlike lumpia, cooking beef bola bola is easier since you don’t need to use any wrapper for this recipe. Firstly, mix the ground beef, soy sauce & oyster sauce, egg, and the rest of the ingredients. Use your hand to mix all of them.
Next, shape 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture into a ball-shaped and dredge it with flour. Once you made all of them into a ball shape, pour a lot of cooking oil in the deep pan. Once the oil is hot, add the Filipino meatball in the oil. Stir it for few minutes or until it turns dark brown.
Transfer the entire meatball into the plate. Make sure you put the paper towel to help absorb the excess oil of the bola bola. Serve it with sweet spicy sauce or soy with vinegar sauce and white rice. Enjoy.
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you use other meat aside from beef for the Bola Bola Recipe?
Traditionally, pork is common ground meat used for this recipe since this is a popular meat in the Philippines. But, because I don’t eat pork, I use either ground beef or ground chicken for this recipe.
2. Is there another way to cook this meatball without frying in the oil?
If you prefer a healthier approach, you can bake the meatball in the oven instead of deep-frying. Just drizzle with some vegetable oil and bake it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 180 C
3. What happens if my meatball falls apart?
If this happened, it could be the ground beef mixture is watery or soft, which could cause the meat to breakdown. To prevent this, you can add flour in the ground beef mixture before making it into a ball-shaped. This will help hold the ground mixture while frying in the pan.
4. Can you store the cooked meatball in the refrigerator or freezer for later use?
This Filipino meatball is a freezer-friendly recipe. If you have so many leftovers, you can keep it in the refrigerator or the freezer. The refrigerator can help increase the shelf life by 7 days, while the freezer can help last it for 2 months.
Other Filipino Recipes
This meatball is usually eaten with white rice along with other filipino food dishes. Here are other delicious foods that pairs well with bola bola.
📋 Recipe Card
Beef Bola Bola Recipe
- 500 gram Ground Beef
- ½ cup grated onion
- 3 cloves grated garlic
- ½ cup grated carrot
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Egg
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Flour for dredging the meatball
- Add the ground beef, grated onion and the rest of the ingredients except the flour in a large bowl. Use your hand to mix to combine.
- Once it is mixed, shape 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture into a ball-shaped, and dredge each of them with flour.
- Next, Pour the vegetable oil in the pan. Once it is hot, add the meatball in the oil.
- Stir it for 5 minutes or until it turns dark brown.
- Before transferring into a plate, add paper towel to help remove the excess oil of the meatball
- Serve it with sweet spicy sauce or soy with vinegar sauce and white rice.
These meatballs turned out delicious! We baked them instead of frying them as suggested in your FAQs and they were great!
Thanks for sharing your experience Emily. I am glad it works out well.
I am going to try your recipe for sure. I would love to alternate Italian meatballs with the Filipino ones. What a great idea it is! 🙂
That's great Irina. Let me know how it goes. I am sure it will taste delicious
My dear friend's mother is from the Philippines and used to make bola bola for me. This was just as good as I remembered hers being.
That's good to know Marta. My mother is from the Philippines too and the first time I tried this filipino meatball was in her hometown. It is delicious and it even works in my spaghetti.
Patty at Spoonabilities
These sound delicious! So simple but just bursting with flavor!
Yum! These look so delicious and tasty! I can't wait to make this for my family! So excited!
That's Awesome Beth. I am excited for you too.
Oh my God. I love bola bola. When I was in Davao visiting my lola's birthday, they served this pinoy meatball too, except it was pork instead of beef. This looks delicious
Thanks for sharing your experience Far. I also tried this too in my Aunts house in Cebu. Unfortunately, I don't eat pork so I made this beef bola bola. Nonetheless, it taste delicious and I am sure you will love it
Do you dredge them in flour if your baking them rather than frying?
Saif Al Deen Odeh
Hi nina. I do dredge them if baking but I will have to drizzle them with vegetable oil