Pearly Meatballs (Chinese Pork Meatballs with Glutinous Rice)

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

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Pearly Meatballs (Chinese Pork Meatballs with Glutinous Rice)

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 as an appetizer
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
Special equipment:bamboo steamer
This recipe appears in: Chichi's Chinese: Pearly Meatballs


  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons
  • 5 dried shitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for at least 3 hours
  • A few leaves napa cabbage for lining the steamer


  1. 1

    In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together pork, salt, wine, oyster sauce, garlic, mushrooms, cilantro, egg, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. With moist hands, for meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in oil, then in rice so that the surface is well coated.

  2. 2

    Place meatballs on napa cabbage in steamer, and steam over high heat until both rice and meat are cooked, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


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