Pearl meatballs, called "zhen zhu wan zi"
in Mandarin Chinese, are a dim sum dish. I was so intrigued
when a friend described them to me that I had to give
'em a try, and they were well worth it!
What you need:
1 cup of uncooked sticky rice
1 pound of
ground lean pork
1 egg white
tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of mirin
tablespoons of cornstarch
5 water chestnuts
paper (cut into 2" squares)
Soak the rice for several hours before cooking, then
drain it well. (Don't skip this step. When I have, the
rice did not cook through.) Chop the onion and water chestnuts up
finely. Cut the parchment into 2" squares.
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients except
the rice and lettuce. Make 1" balls out of the
mixture and roll them in the rice until covered. (Don't
worry if the pork mix seems too gooey to hold the shape
- it'll firm up when covered in rice.) Place each meatball
on a square of parchment paper and place in the steamer, leaving
an inch of space between them. (Hopefully you have a
multi-tier steamer, as this recipe makes a fair amount.
The above picture only shows 2/3 of the meatballs I
cooked in one batch, and it's about 4 meatballs deep.) Steam them over simmering water
for 15 minutes. Discard the parchment and serve. These
hedgehog-like balls are tasty right out of the steamer.