Because of the layer of glutinous rice that surrounds this meatball we give it the great name of “Pearl Meatball”. This is because the rice looks translucent and the colour and shape of this meatballs looks like a pearl.
This dish can often to be seen in banquets and parties in both Taiwan and China because people love the name, the taste and also the pretty shape of it.
I loved this dish when I was younger and I remember my grandfather found out I love this dish and he just keep cooking this pearl meat ball dish pretty much everyday. So one day, I got really tired of this dish and I have to tell my grandfather to cook a new dish in a very sweet and none hurt his feelings way. I know what he did is for love but some time even though a dish is so tasty you still have to take break from it some time or you will just feel tired of it.
There are so many dishes that my grandfather cooked for me when I was young and now I share with you all these recipe and I hope you will enjoy it just like me and cook those dishes for your love one.
Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography
- 200 g beef mince
- 120 g pork fat or you can use 220g of pork belly without the skin and 100g beef mince
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp dried shrimps available in Chinese supermarkets
- 2 thin slices ginger
- 1 small carrot
- 1 1/4 cups glutinous rice soak in water for at least 1 hour
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp potato starch
- 1 egg
Use a food processor to mince the meat together and after the meat has totally blended, add an egg to mix for another 30 second.
Plate all the meat into a mixing bowl and start to beat the meat for few minutes to help the meat get that wonderful elasticity texture. (This step is a great therapy for the daily stressful life, lol).
Soak dried shitake mushrooms and dried shrimp into a bowl of warm water until it’s soft. Chop the shitake mushrooms roughly.
Two thin slices of ginger chopped finely and wash and cut the carrot roughly.
Use a food processor to mince mushrooms, shrimps, ginger and carrot finely and mix them with step 2 evenly.
Add all the seasonings with ingredients together and mix them nicely.
Make the mixture into small but equal size balls and cover the meatball with a layer of glutinous rice.
Use a bamboo steamer or regular steamer to steam the meatballs for 12~15 minutes with full gas power.
Hi Liv, yes I remember these. They are delicious. We attended a banquet and these are one of the many dishes that were served. Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe, just saved it to my recipe box. I will try make them.
Hi, good luck making them. They’re pretty easy and as you know very tasty. Thanks. Liv
Another great recipe from you:) The look delicious, I’ve never tried them. I do love meatballs with rice ,we have a Mexican meatball made with rice mixed in, I would love to try your recipe because of the ingredients you used sound so tasty.
I like your stories about your foods. To me foods with memories are extra special and more interesting. Have a great weekend:)
Hi Nancy. Thank you for your kind comment. Pearl meatballs are definitely different but very tasty. One day I really want to have a go at making the mexican meatballs you mention. Chris and I really love mexican food, we have a couple restaurants in Edinburgh that sell that kind of food but we want to have a go at making, I guess, more authentic food.
Just as we’re always disappointed with Chinese food here I’m pretty sure the Mexican food in Mexico is even better.
Hope you’re having a good weekend.
Love the name:) This is a great recipe and looks delicious!
Hi, the name is definitely unique and they’re very tasty. Thanks, Liv.
These pearl meatballs look and sound scrumptious! I’ve never had these and would love to try!
Hi, thank you for your kind coment. Have a go at making them and let me know how you get on. They’re pretty easy to make but feel free to ask me questions if you get stuck.
Oh my…i’ve had these before but nothing like yours, Liv! They are too pretty to be eaten 🙂 I’ve been thinking to get a bamboo steamer but haven’t got a last push to purchase it. Hmm..it’s pretty useful right?
Hi Tanantha, thanks for your comment. The meatballs turned out really well. They’re pretty to look at but taste really really good. Chris took two lunchboxes of these meatballs to work and they lasted minutes.
I really recommend buying a bamboo steamer. They’re cheaper, versatile and pretty in presentation.
This sounds like a lovely combination. I always LOVE LOVE LOVE your pictures.
Hi Canellette, Chris said he LOVES LOVES LOVES you for the comment about the pictures 😀
They look wonderful, what a unique combination! I’m sure your grandfather understood, my grandmother on the other hand would cook till she dropped and I could almost keep up with her…lol…did I love to eat!! unfortunately I still do..sigh
Liv you are a remarkable chef, you come up with so many wonderful dishes it is truly a joy to read your posts!
All the Best
Thanks for you nice comment Dennis. I really love hearing from you. Your relationship with your grandmother sounds a bit like mine with my grandmother. Whenever I go home she cooks like crazy and I’m expected to eat everything.
Chris absolutely loved her because her English is so funny. She would wave him to the table and could say two things to him. One is “eat eat” (which Chris would do with power) and “it’s ok?” which he would reply in his really poor Chinese “I love you grandma, this is so tasty”
These looks better than my grandma’s! Ok, she never made them, but it would still look better if she had tried.
Hi Rick, I’m sure your grandma could make awesome meatballs if she wanted. Hope you can try making these with her. Best wishes, Liv 😀
I found this recipe while searching for another one, made with ground turkey (with smaller amount of rice), steamed on steamed cabbage leaves. I did not understand that last – so looked for an alternative. I will try this, but with turkey, since I have the turkey thawed…. looks great – maybeno carrots, add celery. Wish me luck!.
Hi Lane pope,
I know some of recipe for this dish use chicken meat. I believe if you use celery instead of carrot will be also tasty 😀 Good luck with cooking.