Pearl Balls

They are supposed to be pearly white, but my camera didn't
capture the "shimmering effect" on this shot!

Pearl Balls are called such because this appetizer "hides" the meat and turns pearly white when cooked because it is coated with rice. I would say it is a kind of dumpling. Hubby and son dumped it in their mouths and asked for more. :-)

It is very easy to make, and delicious too!

What you need:

1.25 pounds ground pork

1 carrot, diced finely
6 stalks green onion, sliced
1 1/2 cup uncooked glutinous rice
1 teaspoon salt
dash of ground pepper

1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine

6 pieces dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

What to do:

Soak the glutinous rice in water for about 30 minutes to an hour. Afterwards, drain them and place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Set aside.

Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for around 10 to 15 minutes. After rehydrating the shrooms, cut the stems and discard them.
Slice the caps into smaller pieces.

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (including the mushrooms) except the rice. Mix well to distribute the spices evenly. Use your hands if you need to. Take about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the ground pork mixture and form into a ball. Then roll it lightly on the rice. Do the same with the rest of the ground pork mixture.

Put the pearl balls on a bamboo steamer and steam for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with soy sauce and sesame oil or sweet and sour sauce.

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Use sushi rice or premium short-grained rice if you can't find glutinous rice on your local Asian store.
2. If you find the taste of dried mushrooms too strong for you, use fresh shiitake mushrooms.

3. I usually line my bamboo steamer with parchment paper but I cut slits on it so the steam could go through (especially when using double-stack steamer).
4. Add ground shrimp for more flavor.
5. They aren't as good as left-overs because the rice gets a bit hard and would sometimes fall off the meat.
6. Try adding water chestnuts for some crunch.
7. Hubby finds it better to make smaller
balls that you can just pop in your mouth in one bite.

Ta-da!!! The shimmering effect!


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