Smoked Chinese meatballs

Smoked Chinese meatballs

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
6–8

The simple meatball transformed with Chinese flavourings then smoked over black tea and fennel seeds makes a stunning first course, especially when taken to the table in the attractive Chinese bamboo steamer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 dried chinese mushrooms
115g water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
250g lean minced beef
250g minced pork
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil

For smoking

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons black tea leaves
2 tablespoons fennel seeds

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons sesame oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 spring onions, finely sliced

Method

  1. Soak mushrooms in hot water to cover for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, then remove stalks and chop caps finely.
  2. Place mushrooms in a large bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well by hand until mixture is firm and compact. Shape into walnut-size balls and arrange each on a little square of baking paper. Set in one layer on a greased cake rack or in a Chinese bamboo steamer. Cover and steam over boiling water in a wok or deep frying pan for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a container for smoking; use an old frying pan, wok or other metal container. Line with foil, pressing it well into shape of container. Combine brown sugar, tea leaves and fennel seeds and place in bottom of pan. Set over high heat. When tea mixture starts to smoke, put rack containing meatballs into pan. Cover lightly with a lid or foil and smoke for 5 minutes, then turn heat off and leave for a further 10 minutes, still covered.
  4. To serve, brush meatballs with oil and soy sauce mixture and sprinkle with spring onions.

Note

  • If using a Chinese bamboo steamer with its own lid, simply place meatballs in bamboo base, cover and place over burning tea mixture.
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