Do you love eating dim sum but hesitate to make them, fearing hours of complicated wrapping and filling? Drop the fear, the answer is here. You have to try my super simple dim sum recipe!
Here in San Francisco, Chinese New Year is a very big and very delicious deal, with weeks of family parties, special restaurant menus and festivities culminating in the famous Lunar New Year Parade. As part of this year's celebration, I adapted my Pearl Ball Dim Sum recipe for events at the Miele Experience Center.
Pearl Balls are a simple dim sum to make. Begin by making a flavorful meatball mixture that is rolled into bite sized balls and covered with soaked glutinous rice. These are steamed, yielding a tasty, tender bite. What makes this appetizer work are the grains of glutinous rice (also called sweet rice or sticky rice), which turn a pearly color when cooked. You can purchase this rice in an Asian Market, a specialty store or online.
While the preparation time for the Pearl Balls is under an hour, be sure to allow several hours for soaking the glutinous rice. The easiest method is to simply cover it with water, about 2 inches over the top of the rice and soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. No need to refrigerate the soaking rice.
Yield: Makes approximately 28-30 pieces
· 1 cup glutinous rice (also called sweet or sticky rice, see note above)
· 1 pound ground pork
· 1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh ginger
· 2 large green onions, very finely minced
· 5 water chestnuts, finely minced
· 1 large egg white
· 2 tablespoons soy sauce
· 1 tablespoon dry sherry or rice wine
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon black pepper
· 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 6-8 hours (preferably overnight).
2. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, ginger, green onions, water chestnuts, egg white, soy sauce, sherry, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Mix to combine. Line steamer baskets or perforated pans with parchment paper.
3. Drain rice well in a strainer and spread out on a baking sheet or tray. Note: Drain and spread out the rice just before making the pearl balls, so that the rice doesn't dry out.
4. Take about 1½ tablespoons of the ground pork mixture and form into a ball. For consistent sizes, it is easiest to measure and roll one as an example (they should be about 1½ inches across) and then roll all meatballs at once to match. Roll each one lightly over the glutinous rice to coat entirely. Place onto the prepared pans about ½ inch apart.
5. For the Miele Combi Steam or Steam Oven: Place a large solid pan on the lowest rack (rack level #1). Next, place perforated pans or steamer baskets (with the meatballs) into the oven. Turn oven On. Press: Operating Modes/Steam/ 212°/Duration: 20 minutes.OK. Test one for doneness. Remove when done.
If using a wok: Place the steamer baskets in a wok. Cover and steam the pearl balls over boiling water for about 20 minutes or until they are cooked through.
6. Serve warm with soy sauce.
Add a few softened, minced Chinese black mushrooms and/or minced garlic to the pork mixture.
Please share your feedback or questions!
Rachelle Boucher is a joyous corporate chef, influencer and trainer specializing in the luxury appliance industry. She is a celebrated cooking teacher, social media presence and appliance coach known for her energized, creative and empowering teaching style. Rachelle is a dedicated youth mentor and is inspired every day by people, food, nature and her life of adventure in glorious, diverse and delicious San Francisco. She speaks Swedish. Yes, Swedish.