Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pearl Balls

These appetizers are so christened from how their coating of glutinous rice turns to pearly grains when cooked. They are favorite mainstays in dimsum restaurants but can easily be made at home with a little bit of rolling. It contains no exotic ingredients and most of the work can be done in advance. What you end up with is a dish of delicately flavored steamed meatballs, each one covered with a pearly coating of glutinous rice.


1 cup glutinous rice
1 lb ground pork
1 large spring onion minced (at least 3 tablespoons)
2 water chestnuts, minced
4 dried shitake mushrooms
1 tsp sesame oil
1 large egg white
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp hua tiau/shaoxing wine
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
Black pepper, to taste


Soak glutinous rice in enough water to cover for 5 hours. Drain well and using paper towels, pat grains dry. Set aside.

Reconstitute mushrooms in hot water for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Discard stems and chop the caps finely.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the rice. Form around a teaspoonful of meat mixture into 1-inch diameter balls.

Spread rice in a wide dish. Roll meat balls, one at a time, in the bed of rice grains, coating them completely with the grains. Arrange coated balls on a wax-lined sheet. At this stage they can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.

Set up steamer with water. Bring around 1-inch of water into a boil. Arrange balls on a plate that will comfortably fit in steamer, or, alternatively, layer cabbage leaves on steamer rack and arrange pearl balls on top of leaves. Cover and steam until rice and meat are cooked, around 30 minutes.
Serve with soy sauce or sauce of your choice.
Soy Sauce Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsps rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp minced scallions
1/4 tsp sugar



Anonymous said...

Gong Hay Fah Choi.

Anonymous said...

I'll try this for sure. Thank you for posting the recipe aunty. Gong xi fa cai to u and family.

Anonymous said...

I tried it during CNY, it turned out pretty well and my parents were impressed. Thanks, auntie Lily !

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