Bora Bora Fireballs by Melissa Joulwan

Posted on September 12, 2012 by admin 11 Comments

Melissa Joulwan has entered this recipe in the Mobile Skillet “Cooking App Star” Recipe Contest. Vote for your favorites on Pinterest.

These exotic meatballs came to me in a dream. I woke up with tumbling thoughts about a lush combination of pineapple, succulent pork, and creamy-sweet coconut. I was haunted by images of tikis and luaus. The only way to clear my mind was to surrender to the kitchen gods. These tasty little devils were included in my cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. These taste even better the second day, so if you can endure the wait, you will be rewarded.

Bora Bora Fireballs

6 servings

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3 cloves garlic
3 to 4 scallions
1/2 fresh jalapeño
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, packed in its own juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
2 pounds ground pork

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil; set aside. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, then add the coconut. Toast, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Peel and crush garlic cloves and cut the scallion into very thin slices. Remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno, then finely mince. Set aside.

3. Drain the can of pineapple in a sieve placed over a bowl to catch the juice. Press the pineapple pulp against the sieve with a wooden spoon to extract excess moisture. Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl and save the juice for later.

4. To the pineapple, add salt, coconut aminos, ginger, cayenne, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and eggs. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Crumble the pork into the bowl and knead until combined.

5. Arrange bowls of pineapple juice, toasted coconut, and pork for easy access. Measure a level tablespoon of pork to make a meatball, lightly douse in pineapple juice, then roll in the coconut, gently pressing the coconut shreds into the meat. Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.

6. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until sizzling and golden brown.


  • Annie says:

    I can’t wait to try these! They look amazing.

  • Julie says:

    I don’t think I’m gonna be able to hold off until the 2nd day, but maybe there will be leftovers… I can only hope!

  • Jane says:

    These look dreamy! What are coconut aminos?

    • admin says:

      Melissa Joulwan says: “They’re a replacement for soy sauce made from coconut. People who follow the paleo andor gluten-free diets use them in place of soy or Bragg’s because both of those contain soy and can include gluten. The coconut aminos add the umami flavor with no gluten risk.”

  • Celest Horton says:

    I made these for a large family gathering at my house and they were a huge hit! Everyone loved them especially when dipped in Melissa’s Sunshine sauce.

  • Tom says:

    Substituted ground turkey and cut the baking time. Absolutely awesome.

  • kim says:

    Making these now for tomorrow but realized i have no idea how to store and reheat for tomorrow after they are cooked….advice? And i can already tell that these have no choice but to be amazing!

    • admin says:

      Unfortunately, we didn’t receive your email until today (we’re on the east coast), but we’ll forward your question to Melissa so you have the info for future use.

    • admin says:

      Melissa says:
      They should be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in at 350 oven for 10 minutes or until hot.

      They can also be frozen in a ziplock bag, defrosted in the fridge, and reheated in the same way as above

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