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Pearl Meatballs

Pearl Meatballs

pearl meatballs recipe

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


Pearl Meatballs

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 meatballs



  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Soak dried shitake mushrooms and dried shrimp into a bowl of warm water until it’s soft. Chop the shitake mushrooms roughly.
  4. Two thin slices of ginger chopped finely and wash and cut the carrot roughly.
  5. Use a food processor to mince mushrooms, shrimps, ginger and carrot finely and mix them with step 2 evenly.
  6. Add all the seasonings with ingredients together and mix them nicely.
  7. Make the mixture into small but equal size balls and cover the meatball with a layer of glutinous rice.
  8. Use a bamboo steamer or regular steamer to steam the meatballs for 12~15 minutes with full gas power.