Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pearl Meatball (珍珠丸子)

This bite-sized snack has an interesting name - Pearl Meatball, literally translated from  珍珠丸子.  Coated with a thin layer of glutinous rice, the meatball has this shiny, translucent coat after steaming that resembles a pearl.  

For a juicy meat texture, try to get minced meat with some fats.  Alternatively, if you only have minced lean meat (especially buying from supermarket, not much choice), try adding a tablespoon of oil in the meat fillings.  I have only added some grated carrots and chopped spring onions to the minced meat.  For better flavour and texture, you can add some Chinese dried mushrooms and dried shrimps.

(makes about 15 meatballs)

200g minced pork (or minced beef)
1/2 small carrot (finely grated)
2 - 3 tbsp of spring onion (chopped)
2 tsp fried shallots
1 tbsp beaten egg
1 tsp grated ginger

70g glutinous rice (washed, soaked for 2 hours and drained)
Pinch of salt 

1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water (mixed together)


1) Mix well all ingredients (A) with seasoning, except corn starch solution.
2) Slowly add in the corn starch solution and mix well with a pair of chopsticks (stir in one direction).  This is to achieve the springy texture in meat.  Put in fridge for an hour.
3) Mix the salt with the glutinous rice in a plate.
4) With a teaspoon, scoop some meat fillings and shape it to a round meatball with your palm (wet your palm  slightly to prevent the meatball from sticking).
5) Gently roll the meatball to cover it with a thin layer of glutinous rice (the rice will expand during steaming).
6) Place all meatballs on a steamer or plate, steam on high for 10 minutes.
7) Garnish with chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

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