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Pearl Balls

Pearl Balls


  • 3/4 cup glutinous rice, sweet rice, or sticky rice
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large green onion, minced (at least 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 water chestnuts, minced
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 6 to 8 hours (preferably overnight).

When you’re ready to make the pearl balls, drain the rice well in a colander. Spread out on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, green onion, water chestnuts, egg white, soy sauce, sherry, salt, and pepper. Prepare a steamer for steaming by adding water to the pan and bringing it to a simmer.

Take about 1 tablespoon of the ground pork mixture and form into a ball. Roll lightly over the glutinous rice and place on a heatproof plate. Continue with the rest of the pork mixture, placing the balls 1/2-inch apart. (You will need at least 2 plates.)

Place the plates in a steamer container or on a bamboo basket in a wok. Alternatively, add to a lightly oiled steamer tray in a metal steamer. Cover and steam the pearl balls over boiling water for between 25 to 35 minutes, until they are cooked through. Steam in two batches if needed.

Serve the pearl balls hot with soy sauce.

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