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Steamed Meatballs {Huai Yang Style}

Featuring juicy minced pork meatballs coated with yummy sticky rice

by HomeNaturallyMade
Steamed Meatballs with Sweet Rice Recipe {Chinese Style}

Steamed Meatballs Chinese Huai Yang Style features juicy minced pork coated with yummy sticky rice, also known as sweet rice or Nuo Mi {糯米}. It is a traditional home cooking in China’s Yangtze River Delta area, a place I proudly call my hometown, which is also home to the naturally delicious Huai Yang Cuisine. So easy to make and sensational tasty.

Steamed Pork Meatballs with Sticky Rice Recipe {Chinese Huai Yang Style}

How to make tasty Steamed Pork Meatballs?

Tip No.1 is to use minced pork, home-prepared preferred

The minced pork that is well-balanced in terms of fat and lean meat, chopped into small pieces is the essential ingredient to juicy and yummy pork meatballs and pork filling.

I highly recommend grinding pork at home using a meat grinder or Stand Mixer grinding attachment. Super easy to do, but makes a huge difference for tasty dumplings, pork buns, and pork meatballs.

Never process pork using a food processor. It over-processes the pork which becomes dry and tasteless. In old times, people chop pork into small pieces using a cleaver on a thick wooden chopping board for the exact same reason.

Home Ground Pork for juicy delicious dumpling fillings, meatballs and more
Home Ground Pork for juicy delicious dumpling fillings, meatballs and more

Tip No.2 is to marinate the minced pork properly

First, let’s talk about the condiments, spices, and herbs that make these meatballs so naturally flavorful

Shaoxing wine, naturally aged soy sauce or dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and a splash of Zhenjiang vinegar tenderize and enticingly flavor the meat. Add one egg and a splash of arrowroot flour, which is my go-to gluten-free superfood starch to bind the pork together.

For spices, a tiny bit of sugar, ginger powder, and coriander seeds powder are all you need. Chop the green onion into small pieces and mix with the pork.

By the way, unlike the whole seeds, I found organic coriander seeds powder is hard to get, but luckily you can freshly grind at home using a spice/coffee grinder.

Marinating ground pork in a mixing bowl

Second, let’s talk about the blending technique

Mix and fold everything together in the mixing bowl together using a wooden or bamboo spatula. Then swiftly turn the spatula in one direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, until the whole thing binds into a consistent & cohesive meat paste.

This is very important. The more you churn and stretch the minced pork, the better it becomes juicier and tastier.

marinated and blended minced pork for meatballs

How to make steamed meatballs with sticky rice?

The first thing first is to soak the sticky rice overnight for steamed meatballs

Just like making Zongzi, or sticky rice dumplings, you will need to soak the sticky rice overnight for the best soft chewy texture and flavor.

soak sweet rice {sticky rice} over night in a large bowl with plenty of water

On the following day, the first thing first is to drain the rice and let it air dry beforehand.

drain and air dry and soaked sticky rice

Secondly, dip and toss the newly formed meatballs in a semi-dry previously soaked sticky rice pile

Once you have rolled and formed a meatball, gently place it in the sweet rice pile, which should be semi-dry by now. If not, use a paper towel to pat dry. Roll the meatballs back and forth to let the sticky rice attach to the entire surface of the meatball. Be gentle as the meatball is kind of squishy,

Roll the meatball in the sticky rice pile

Then toss the meatball back and forth in both hands to reshape the meatball and also allow the sticky rice to settle into the meat.

toss meatballs coated with sticky rice between both hands

How to steam meatballs?

My favorite steaming pot is this heavy-duty cast iron wok in conjunction of either a set of 2 stacked 12-inch bamboo steamers or rectangular glassware that can snug inside the wok.

14-inch Wok and 12-inch bamboo steamer steaming set

The benefits of using the bamboo steamers are noticable. The space between the bamboo allows more steam to circulate inside which helps cook the food faster and evenly. Plus the aroma of the bamboo is surely pleastant.

When using the bamboo steamer to steam the meatballs, I usually layer the bamboo steamer with an unbleached parchment paper to hold any juice coming out of meatballs.

meatballs with sticky rice in the steamer ready for steaming
Steamed Meatballs with Sweet Rice Recipe {Chinese Style}

Steamed Meatballs Recipe {Huai Yang Style}

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Steamed Meatballs Chinese Huai Yang Style features juicy minced pork coated with yummy sticky rice, also known as sweet rice or Nuo Mi {糯米}. So easy to make and sensational tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork, home ground preferred, see notes
  • 1/2 cup stick rice, also known as sweet rice or Nuo Mi {糯米)

For Marinating the Pork:

  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp naturally aged soy sauce or dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 egg, cage-free or organic preferred
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour, or other types of starch
  • 1/4 tsp can sugar, organic unrefined preferred
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder, organic preferred
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder, or clove powder, optional, if you prefer a sharp flavor and taste
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped

Instructions

  • Soak the sticky rice in a large bowl with plenty of water overnight.
    soak sweet rice {sticky rice} over night in a large bowl with plenty of water
  • On the following day, drain and air-dry the rice prior to cooking.
    drain and air dry and soaked sticky rice
  • Add pork along with everything under "For Marinating the Pork" in a mixing bowl.
    Marinating ground pork in a mixing bowl
  • Use bamboo or wooden spatula to break down the pork and fold the pork into the seasoning ingredients. Once everything is loosely mixed, turn the spatula in one direction swiftly, either clock or counter-clockwise, until everything churned into a consistent & cohesive meat paste.
    marinated and blended minced pork for meatballs
  • Get the steamer ready. You can use either glassware or a bamboo steamer lined with heavy-duty nonbleached parchment paper.
    bamboo steamer lined with unbleached parchment paper
  • For a 12-inch bamboo steamer, if you are using the roll of parchment paper recommended, simply measure out the length, and leave 1-inch overhanging space for each side.
    measure roll of parchment paper for a 12-inch bamboo steamer
  • Fold the parchment paper into halves and again into halves, cut the corner and then unfold.
    cut a rectangular parchment paper into a round
  • Scoop out a meatball portion meat and roll & toss it between hands to form a ball, gently place it in the sweet rice pile, which should be semi-dry by now. If not, use a paper towel to pat dry. The sweet rice needs to be somewhat dry in order to stick to the meatballs easier.
  • Roll the meatballs gently back and forth until the sticky rice has all over the meatball. Be gentle since the meatball is somewhat squishy.
    Roll the meatball in the sticky rice pile
  • Toss the meatball back and forth between both hands to reshape the meatball and also allow the sticky rice to settle into the meat.
    toss meatballs coated with sticky rice between both hands
  • Place it on the steamer. Repeat until you have completed all meatballs.
    meatballs with sticky rice in the steamer ready for steaming
  • Fill a cast iron wok with 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil, and then add the double-deck bamboo steamers with the lid. Steam for 35 minutes.
  • All done! Enjoy naturally tasty and satisfying steamed pork meatballs Huai Yang Style.
    steamed pork meatballs recipe {Chinese Huai Yang Style}

Notes

A spice grinder is a handy kitchen gadget that can easily turn wholesome spices into a powder form which can be easily incorporated into recipes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 544mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 17g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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