Rice meatballs is a popular dish from the Chinese cuisine and commonly known as Zhenzhu Qiu or pearl balls. These are simply steamed rice coated meatballs. Meat savored with spices made into balls and rolled in rice and steamed until plump and tender. It is excellently served with a dim sum dipping sauce.
Rice meatballs are a simple yet delicious addition to any dim sum meal. Meatballs are rolled in rice or sticky rice or glutinous rice and steamed to perfection. They are generally known as steamed Chinese meatballs with sticky rice. This traditional Chinese dish has derived its name from the look, i.e. well shaped spheres generously coated with glossy white rice. This is a dish that is ordinarily presented at Chinese family dinners. Seasoned with simplicity and presented with simplicity is the prime factor of this dish despite the plain look.
Chinese rice meatballs is one of those authentically Chinese dishes that you can eat when you are tired of your regular greasy Chinese take-outs. Tiny flavorful rice meatballs coated in rice and steamed make an exceptional and delicious dish with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. They are also commonly referred to as Zhen zhu meaning ‘pearls’ in Chinese or Asian dumplings. Chinese food expert says that Zhenzhu qui hail from Shanghai and are often served as a first course at banquets in Beijing. Generally for making the Zhenzhu qiu, pork meat or beef meat is used in making of the meatballs.
Dim sum is a Cantonese term for a type of Chinese meal that involves small individual portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Traditional dim sum involves type of steamed buns such as dumplings and rice noodle rolls which contain a range of ingredients including beef, chicken, pork, prawns and vegetarian options. Many dim sum restaurants also offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats, congee porridge and other soups. Dessert dim sum is also available and many places offer the customary egg tart. Having a meal in a Chinese teahouse or a dim sum restaurant is known as yum cha, literally “drinking tea”, as tea is typically served with dim sum.
Dim sum can be cooked by steaming and frying, among other methods. The serving sizes are usually small and normally served as three or four pieces in one dish. It is customary to order family style, sharing dishes among all members of the dining party. Because of the small portions, people can try a wide variety of food. Traditionally while preparing the meatballs they are purposefully made to be very soft to ensure succulence. During cooking, a translucent skin forms as the sticky rice grains expand and cohere. They also absorb the richness and flavor of the meat. As for the pearly resemblance, the entire cooked dumpling glistens with a certain pinkish cast like a giant pearl, and you could say that the rice grains resemble tiny seed pearls. You can’t eat pearls but you can certainly enjoy many of steamed pearl balls.
For preparing this delicious Chinese delicacy, firstly wash and soak rice for about 5 to 6 hours and later drain the water. Make small balls from meat mixture. Place the rice in a flat plate. Roll the balls over the rice so that they completely are coated with it. Place the meatballs in steamer and steam the meatballs for 30 minutes.
Remove and serve hot with any dipping sauce of your choice. To enjoy this unusual recipe for rice coated meatballs with oriental spices, do click on the below link for detailed recipe and this is surely a fun Chinese dish that is both healthy, as it is steamed, and ornamental! Serve this dish as an appetizer or as a main dish with hot rice.
Chinese cooks traditionally use long-grain sticky rice for steamed pearl balls but few prefer short-grain sticky rice as it stays softer longer once out of the heat. Meatballs made in Asia differ significantly in texture to their European counterparts. Instead of grinding and forming meats, meat used for making meatballs is pounded, which lends a smooth texture to the meatballs. This is also often the case for fillings in steamed dishes. Pounding, unlike grinding, uncoils and stretches previously wound and tangled protein strands in meat.
Meat balls are very well-known across various cultures. Chinese meatballs (specifically, a dish common in Shanghai cuisine) are most often made of pork and are usually steamed or boiled, either as-is, or with the addition of soy sauce. A Cantonese variant, the steamed meatball, is made of beef and served as a dim sum dish