Chinese Pearl Balls

Uncooked Chinese Pearl Balls
I have wanted to make these for years and somehow never got round to it, which is a real shame as they are deeeelicious and easy to make to boot. There are many recipes out there for these delicious studded meatballs, but we are quite happy with my version. Try it and tell me what you think!

Cooked Chinese Pearl Balls
These beauties are often served as part of a buffet or as finger food, but we ate them with steamed broccoli and green beans for supper. I served them with sweet chilli sauce and we loved it. There were a few leftover and we had them cold (with more sweet chilli sauce) for lunch the next day and they were great cold too.

NOTES: You can use any mince you like, even chicken mince works well. Use 1 big onion or 2 smaller ones. I use coconut flour because we’re on a low carb diet, but use breadcrumbs if you don’t have it or don’t want to use it! I find Chinese 5 spice powder quite intensive in flavour, so I use only ½ a tsp, but feel free to use more if you like the flavour.

Makes about 20 walnut size balls

1 cup rice, long grain
2 cups water

400-500g minced meat, preferably a mix of beef and pork
1-2 onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine), optional
2 tbsp coconut flour (or breadcrumbs)
1 egg
Splash of soy sauce
½ - 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
½ tsp (or less) cinnamon
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste

2 leaves cabbage or lettuce

Sweet chilli sauce to serve

1. Soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes at least, but preferably 2 hours.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together. Wet your hands a little to stop the mixture sticking to them and shape into walnut size balls (or even golf ball size).
3. Drain the rice well and then roll the balls in the rice to coat them.
4. Place the cabbage or lettuce leaves in the steamer basket and place the balls on top of them.
5. Put the steamer basket above (but not touching), simmering water, cover tightly and steam for 30 minutes.
And that’s it! You now have deeeelicious meatballs to eat just like that or with veggies for dinner. Enjoy!

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