The water chestnut is sweet in taste and cold in nature. It can complement qi and calm the stomach. Because it’s cold in nature and grows in the mud in subtropical regions, it’s best to cook it with other ingredients before eating. It’s well-suited for cutting into small cubes and adding to meatloaf and meatballs. After steaming or frying, it will give the meat a crisp and tender taste while helping remove any greasiness.
Crisp Fish Balls with Water Chestnuts
400g striped bass, mashed
100g skinless pork belly, minced
10 water chestnuts, minced
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 green onion, shredded
3 slices ginger, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon cooking wine
½ tablespoon sweet potato flour
Soak the green onion and ginger shreds in 50ml of water, add 1 tablespoon cooking wine, and leave overnight to make green onion and ginger water. Remove the green onion and ginger shreds before using.
Put the striped bass, pork belly, and water chestnuts into a large container, add white pepper, salt, light soy sauce, sugar, oil, wine, and flour. Stir in one direction, adding the water from the green onions and ginger while stirring, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, forming a paste and completely absorbing the water between additions, until all the water is added.
Continuing to stir in the same direction, grab the paste with your hands and smash it into the container. Continue this action for five minutes to make the meatballs chewier.
Bring two liters of water to a boil. Take the meat in one hand and squeeze out a meatball about 1 inch in diameter. Hold a spoon in the other hand, round the ball with clean water, and transfer to the boiling water with the spoon. After all meatballs are in the water, turn to low heat and cook until meatballs float to the surface. Fish them out. Serve plain or with soy sauce.