I really expected when I quit my job working as a chef my life would become quieter and while it’s an awful lot less stressful I’m busier than ever with my freelance illustration work. I’ve picked up a few commissions recently, two of which came from my home country Taiwan. One job is to initially create 6 illustrations based on popular tourist spots in Taiwan for a Taiwanese souvenir company. The other is to illustrate a children’s interactive book this time for a publisher in Taiwan. I’m also working on a top secret commission job which I can’t discuss right now but this is also something I’m really excited about. One thing I will say, my illustration for the last project will be viewable in supermarkets soon.
Back to the food, I made these cockle meatballs around a month about but due to Chris and myself having absolutely tonnes of work to do we literally haven’t had time until now to sort out the photos and type up the recipe.
I ate these cockle meatballs while I lived in Shanghai but in Shanghai restaurants they use clams (蛤) instead for making this meatballs dish and they cook this dish with super sweet soy sauce, which is a bit too sweet for me. But in general, I really like this dish no matter the flavour or the presentation. So I remade this dish at home myself based on my memory of this dish but turn down the sweetness. Also, I found cockles are quite salty, so please be careful with the the seasonings.
Cockle Meatballs Recipe
- 14 cockles shelled
- 250 g pork mince you can also use beef mince
- 1 tsp ginger chop finely
- 1 tbsp spring onion chop finely
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp potato starch or corn flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
Ingredients for sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 150 ml stock vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce or sticky soy sauce
- 1 tsp potato starch mix with 2 tbsp water. Makes potato starch water
- Leave the cockles to soak in water for a couple hours to get rid of any dirt.
- Pick the cockles meat out. Keep both meat and shells.
- Mix the mince, ginger, spring onions, egg white and all the seasonings in a big bowl. Use your hand to mix it evenly in the same direction for 3-5 minutes.
- Chop the cockles up and mix with step 3.
- Roll the mixture into small balls and put back into the cockle shells.
- Steam the meatballs for 7-9 minutes until the meat is cooked all the way through.
- Pour the oyster or stocky soy sauce, sugar and stock into a small sauce pan and boil at first then reduce down the liquid to about half the original amount. Gently stir the potato starch water into the sauce and keep the stove at a lot heat. Keep stirring while cooking and turn off the fire after the sauce has started to boil.
- Place the cockle meatballs on a plate and pour the sauce on it. The dish is ready to serve.