Chinese Pearl Balls

Meaty and juicy with sticky rice coating, these Chinese Pearl Balls are super yummy and bursting with flavor. They’re the perfect addition to a Chinese New Year celebration or any holiday menu.

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Chinese Pearl Balls on a plate and a steamer basket on the side
Chinese Pearl Balls

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Table Of Contents

  • What are Chinese Pearl Balls
  • Ingredient substitutions
  • Helpful tips
  • To serve and store
  • More appetizer recipes
  • Chinese Pearl Balls

Filipino New Year celebrations are steeped in tradition and superstitions. I remember being a young child in tow as my mother frantically scoured grocery stores a day before New Year, in search of twelve kinds of round fruits to serve as a centerpiece for our festivities.

I am sure you share my Media Noche memories of pancit guisado for long life or BBQ pork on a stick for prosperity. And, of course, dishes made with glutinous rice such as bringhe or biko to make good fortune “stick” throughout the coming year.

How about banging on pots and pans and blowing on torotots? Or jumping up and down like crazy at the strike of midnight in polka dot undies?

Edit Post Switch to draft Preview Update Image: Change block type or style Change alignment Replace Add title Chinese Pearl Balls Meaty and juicy with sticky rice coating, these Chinese Pearl Balls are super yummy and bursting with flavor. They're the perfect addition to a Chinese New Year celebration or any holiday menu. Chinese Pearl Balls on a plate with dipping sauce and steamer basket on the side Chinese Pearl Balls Table of Contents Filipino New Year celebrations are steeped in tradition and superstitions. I remember being a young child in tow as my mother frantically scoured grocery stores a day before New Year, in search of twelve kinds of round fruits to serve as a centerpiece for our festivities. I am sure you share my Media Noche memories of pancit guisado for long life or BBQ pork on a stick for prosperity. And, of course, dishes made with glutinous rice such as bringhe or biko to make good fortune "stick" throughout the coming year. How about banging on pots and pans and blowing on torotots? Or jumping up and down like crazy at the strike of midnight in polka dot undies? glutinous rice, ground pork, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, onions, garlic What are Chinese Pearl Balls Chinese Pearl Balls are traditionally served on Chinese New Year to symbolize togetherness and reunion. The name comes from the fact they look like giant pearls, as the grains of rice turn pearly in color when cooked. These porcupine meatballs are basically made with pork meatball covered in sticky rice. The filling consists of ground pork, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions and seasonings which are turned into small balls and then rolled in glutinous rice. These fun and tasty appetizers are similar to siomai when it come to the stuffing, the difference between them are how they are wrapped. Ingredient notes Glutinous Rice also known as sticky rice or sweet rice and are typically grown in Asian countries. It has a white grain that turns shiny, translucent and sticky when cooked. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms are commonly used in Chinese or other Asian cuisines. It adds an intense umami and smoky flavor and fragrance to any dish. Ground Pork or minced pork is usually made from pork shoulder or also known as the Boston butt or pork butt. You may substitute it with ground chicken, if preferred. Water Chestnuts are aquatic tuber vegetables grown in some parts of Asia, Africa and Australia. It resembles to an actual chestnut in color and shape, however it is not an actual nut. Ginger is hot and fragrant with a bamboo-like appearance. It is widely used as a spice, medicine and even as a delicacy. Green Onions also known as scallions are harvested young onions with bright green leaves and underdeveloped bulbs. Garlic is virtually used in the cuisines all over the world. It has a unique and intense flavor and aroma that makes it a popular flavoring agent. Soy Sauce is a dark brown liquid condiment that is considered to have a strong umami flavor. Chinese cooking wine also known as Shaoxing Wine is a rice wine usually used in Chinese cuisines. It has a harsh alcoholic flavor and is salty. In a pinch, you could substitute it with dry sherry, mirin or cooking sake. Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and used to enhance flavors in many dishes. Egg is used as a binder for the meat. Soak the glutinous rice in water for an hour to ensure the grains cook and absorb moisture evenly. Stir the meat mixture stirring in just one circular direction until it becomes sticky and fluffy. You can add chopped shrimp or ground fish fillet to the meat mixture for extra flavor. It is important to the line steamer to prevent the Chinese Pearl Balls from sticking. To Serve and store Serve the Chinese Pearl Balls warm with soy sauce-chili dipping sauce or sweet chili sauce. Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, steam the meatballs again. If using a microwave, place the pearl balls in a bowl and add a few drops of water. Cover the bowl with a plate, this will prevent the meatballs from drying out. Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram! Chinese Pearl Balls Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 30 mins Total Time: 1 d Author: Lalaine Manalo Print Pin It Email Recipe 2 Dozens Ingredients 1 cup glutinous rice 2 pieces dried shitake mushrooms 1 pound ground pork 1/4 cup water chestnuts finely chopped 1 thumb-size ginger peeled and minced 2 green onions ends trimmed and chopped 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 egg beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Dipping Sauce soy sauce to taste chili sauce to taste Instructions In a bowl, combine glutinous rice and enough water to cover. Soak for at at least 6 hours or overnight for best results. In a colander, drain well and transfer into a wide plate. In a small bowl with warm water, soak shitake mushrooms until softened. Using hands, squeeze liquid and then mince. In a bowl, combine ground pork, water chestnuts, mushrooms, ginger, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, egg, salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Form meat mixture into balls of about 1-inch diameter. Gently roll each ball in rice to fully coat, pressing rice onto meat. Line a steamer with wax paper or Chinese cabbage leaves. Arrange rice-coated meatballs in a single layer on steamer at about 1/2 inch apart. Steam for about 20 to 30 minutes or until rice and meat are cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce. Notes For moist meatballs, use ground pork with about higher percent of fat. If meat mixture is too soft to shape or roll in rice, freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. “This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.” Did You Make This? Mention @KawalingPinoy and hashtag your photo with #KawalingPinoy Share Rate It  Toggle panel: Yoast SEO Premium SEO Readability Schema Social Focus keyphraseHelp on choosing the perfect focus keyphrase(Opens in a new browser tab) Chinese pearl balls Get related keyphrases(Opens in a new browser window) Google preview Preview as: Mobile resultDesktop result Url preview:www.kawalingpinoy.com › chinese-pearl-ballsSEO title preview: Chinese Pearl Balls - Kawaling Pinoy Meta description preview: Oct 10, 2014 - Traditionally served on Chinese New Year, chinese pearl balls are pork meatballs rolled in sticky rice and then steamed until rice cooks into a ... 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What are Chinese Pearl Balls

Chinese Pearl Balls are traditionally served on special occasions or holidays such as Lunar New Year to symbolize togetherness and reunion. The name comes from the fact they look like giant pearls, as the grains of rice turn pearly in color when cooked.

These Asian porcupine meatballs are made with minced pork with shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions, and seasonings. The mixture is shaped into small balls, rolled in glutinous rice, and steamed to meaty perfection.

They’re fun and tasty appetizers that are sure to be a hit with the crowd. Perfect for sharing and freezable, too!

glutinous rice, ground pork, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, onions, garlic

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Ingredient substitutions

  • Glutinous Rice– also known as sticky rice, sweet rice, or malagkit. You can also use short-grain or sushi rice.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms-fresh or dried. Adds an umami flavor and meaty texture. If unavailable, cremini, portabello, or oyster mushrooms are also great options.
  • Water chestnuts– adds crunch. Although not traditional, you can subsititute singkamas or Mexican turnip if water chestnuts are not available.
  • Chinese cooking wine– also known as Shaoxing wine. In a pinch, you can substitute dry sherry, mirin, or cooking sake.
making Chinese Pearl Balls

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Helpful Tips

  • Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 6 hours or overnight to ensure quick and even cooking.
  • If meat mixture is too soft to shape or roll in rice, freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.
  • Line the steamer to keep the meatballs from sticking and the rice coating from falling through the cracks. You can use banana leaves for extra aroma, cabbage leaves, or parchment paper.
dipping porcupine meatballs in chili sauce

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To serve and store

  • These Asian porcupine meatballs are a tasty addition to any special occasion banquet. Serve with soy sauce-chili dipping sauce for a filling appetizer, midday snack, or brunch.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat, steam the meatballs for about 8 to 10 minutes or until completely heated through. If using a microwave, arrange in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat at 1 to 2-minutes intervals until heated through.

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