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Chinese Steamed Pearl Balls Recipe

Updated on August 1, 2012

Here is a variant of Chinese steamed meatballs, steamed pearl balls. They are usually made of ground pork, water chestnut, dried shrimp and glutinous rice. The ball-shaped ground meat is coated with soaked glutinous rice, then steam into perfect steamed meatballs coated with shiny steamed sticky rice. That's how these delish dim sum get their name.

Steamed pearl balls are very easy to make. They are tasty, simple and very elegant. Traditionally, ground pork is preferred but any kind of ground meat is fine. It's important to soak the glutinous rice overnight to get soft and fluffy coating of sticky rice. Just like other dim sum dish, steamed pearl balls come in small or bite size but loaded with maximum flavors and textures.

Cook Time

Prep time: 12 hours 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 13 hours
Yields: 4 - 8 Servings


  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tbsp minced water chestnut
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 8 dried shrimp
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

How to Fix

  1. Wash and rinse the rise.
  2. Soak in in water overnight.
  3. Wash and rinse the dried shrimp. Soak in hot water for 20 minutes.
  4. Then chop into fine pieces.
  5. In small bowl, combine pork, shrimp, water chestnut, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Drain the rice and spread it out on the cookie sheet.
  7. Take 1 teaspoon of the pork mixture and shape it into ball.
  8. Roll the ball over the rice until well covered. Repeat the same step until the pork mixture is used.
  9. Place the balls on the plate and steam it over high heat for about 30 minutes or until they are cooked through.
  10. Serve it warm with soy sauce.


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