Pearl Balls

A pearl is worthless as long as it is in its shell.
~ Native American Proverb

Here is the other dish that Winnie showed us how to make in our cooking class this week. She called it the Pearl Ball, which is basically meat ball wrapped in glutinous rice. The dish derives it’s name from the translucent appearance of the glutinous rice in a ball shape.


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb fish paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry shrimp, soaked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced carrot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shiitake mushroom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for at least an hour

IMG_3875_edited-1First, the ground pork has to be moistened with 2 tablespoons of water. Then rest of the ingredients except the glutinous rice are added into the pork mixture and mixed well. The mixture will be very sticky.
IMG_3882_edited-1You have to wet your hands before you start forming the meat balls as they are very sticky. Make meat balls of the size of walnut for faster cooking.
IMG_3883_edited-1The meat balls are then rolled in the glutinous rice until they are coated on all sides.
IMG_3885_edited-1When all the meat balls are formed, place each pearl ball on a small piece of cabbage and arranged them in a steamer. The pearl balls have to be steamed on high heat for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the pearl ball.

This is a very simple dish to make and you can get your kids to help out rolling the meat balls in the glutinous rice. I will surely make this at home. Thank you again Winnie for your recipe.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Useless Men

    What a terrific blog. I love the pictures to follow along with.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maritza

    Looks so good but is the glutinous rice cooked or uncooked before putting in the steamer?

  3. Suanne

    Hi Maritza:
    The glutinous rice is uncooked before you put it into the steamer. Remember that you need to soak the rice for at least an hour beforehand.

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