Aussie Porcupine Meatballs

Contributed by: Ong Jing Jing Sarah

My husband is originally from Australia and while he has long put up roots in Singapore, he does miss his mother and thinks back fondly on her cooking.

As a single parent, my mother-in-law Linda Lui, raised three children, worked full-time and cared for her children all at the same time. Pressed for time, she would make this dish in the slow-cooker before leaving for work so the children could come home after school to a ready-to-eat dinner. I can only imagine how difficult it was, but mum somehow always managed.

Made of minced beef and rice, the meatballs resemble little porcupines. When I make these cute meatballs for my hubby, I think about what an incredible woman she is.

Portion: 12 meatballs
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 - 60 mins
Total Time: 70 mins


• 450g of beef mince (swap for lean beef for healthier version or minced lean chicken)

• 80g white rice, washed, uncooked

• ½ small red onion, finely diced

• ½ tsp of salt

• ½ tsp of black pepper

• 1 tsp of dried mixed herbs

• 2 cans of Campbell (any other preferred brands will work too) condensed tomato soup (follow canned soup instructions)


1. Put beef into a large mixing bowl together with the washed, uncooked white rice, diced onions, salt, black pepper, and mixed herbs.

2. Mix all the ingredients well with cleaned hands.

3. After mixing, pick up enough to roll into a meatball size of your choice. Note that each meatball should be of similar sizing to ensure that all the meatballs will cook evenly.

4. Boil the tomato soup.

5. Put all the meatballs gently into the boiling soup.

6. Once all the meatballs are in the boiling soup for approximately 2 mins, reduce to simmer with the lid half closed for a minimum of 45 mins.

7. Served with buttered toast, salad leaves, or mashed potatoes on the side.

Helpful Tips

Ensure the meatballs are put into a pot of boiling soup to prevent the ingredients from separating.

Use fresh minced meat as the meatballs will stick better. Frozen minced meat tends to be dry hence it will be difficult to stick.

You can batch cook and freeze in portions.