Pearl Meatballs with Fragrant Lotus Leaf
Delightful flavours for the summer solstice
This recipe for pearl meatballs is a Chinese classic. Wrapped in a layer of glutinous rice, the cooked meatballs turn crystal clear and translucent like pearls. Steaming the glutinous rice with a lotus leaf also infuses it with a subtle fragrance.
Chinese medicine believes that glutinous rice is sweet and warm in nature, invigorating the qi (vital energy) and spleen, promoting and regulating bodily fluids, and preventing excessive sweating. Lotus leaf has the effect of increasing vitality while strengthening the spleen and stomach.
In this recipe, the tender chicken pork meatballs pair with the fragrant sticky rice in a simply irresistible combination. These delicious meatballs are a flavourful and healthy summer recipe.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 dried lotus leaf (look for one in an Asian food market)
200 g chicken breast
50 g pork belly
100 g glutinous rice
40 g yam
1 teaspoon table salt
1 egg white
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 small green onions
1. Soak the lotus leaves and glutinous rice overnight.
2. Chop the green onions, peel and dice the yam and carrots.
3. Use a food processor to purée the chicken and pork. Add egg whites, salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Beat vigorously until sticky.
4. Add diced yam and carrots. Mix well.
5. Fold the meat paste into ping pong ball-sized balls, then roll them through a layer of glutinous rice. Place them in a steamer lined with lotus leaves, and steam for 40 minutes after the water boils.
6. Remove from steamer, garnish with green onions, and serve.