Pork and Shrimp Balls with Glutinous Rice

>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

Of late, a lot of my conversation with Sister begins with...

Remember when...?

Those nostalgic flashbacks may be the result of seeing the city you grew up in destructed by an earthquake.

Remember when we jumped so high on the trampoline to wave at the neighbours over the fence?

Remember when our black-nosed friend was given away to this 'mean' girl who grabbed it by the legs?

Remember when we used to call that 'mean' girl, 'Boy', just because we associated those two words? (We were nasty, aye?)

Remember when Mother would make her famous cheesecake?

And remember those 'Pearl Balls'? Gee, they were tasty, weren't they?

Perhaps we subconsciously try to hold on to these precious memories in the fear that they may one day slip away from the mind like so many others have over the years?

So what are these 'Pearl Balls', you ask?

They are juicy minced pork and shrimp balls rolled in a layer of sticky rice. There are also loads of shallot and mushrooms in there...oh yes! And they are usually eaten with some soy sauce to dip on the side.

Should I add, since I am home in Sydney on a break, credit also goes to Sister who helped to re-create this childhood dish that has never departed our minds since those trampolining days.

What better time than now to re-visit childhood flavours with our tastebuds just as we have visited those old memories with our mind.

Pork and Shrimp Balls with Glutinous Rice
Serves 8

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed, soaked for a day, drained
  • 500g pork mince
  • few cubes of silken tofu (optional: just because we needed to use it up!)
  • 6 shiitake mushroom
  • 300g fresh shrimp, deveined and chopped
  • 1 bunch shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch sugar

1. Roughly chop the shallots and add to a food processor along with the mushrooms and garlic. Pulse until fine.

2. Place the pork mince and tofu (optional) in a big mixing bowl, and add the shallot/mushroom mixture as well as all the rest of the ingredients except the glutinous rice.

3. Mix together for a few minutes until all is well combined. I used my stand mixer with paddle attachment.

4. Divide and shape mixture into equal size balls (should be a bit smaller than a golf ball).

5. Roll mince balls in the glutinous rice to coat evenly.

6. Arrange coated balls in steamer basket and steam in a preheated steamer for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through.

Don't forget to dip it with some soy sauce on the side!

Hope you all had a good week...and are happily anticipating the weekend ahead as I am! 


grub March 10, 2011 at 10:14 PM  

hehe this was such a nostalgic post to read! i hope i can share these moments with my sister in the future.

i've seen pearl balls in the past but have never tried it before. i think it has an interesting texture ^^

hope yu are enjoying your break :D

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart March 10, 2011 at 10:42 PM  

aww... memories of childhood with a sister are so special. They make us giggle, sigh and even wince as we remember some of our silly ways.

Making a dish together has got to be one of the best ways to rekindle those times. This dish looks so interesting. I love shrimp and the dipping sauce sounds perfect.

Celeste @ Berrytravels March 10, 2011 at 11:00 PM  

I am rather intrigued by your pearl balls! They seem quite simple to do up as well, and would make lovely finger food or entrees at a dinner party. Loving the simplicity of it all. It's absolutely perfect.

OohLookBel March 10, 2011 at 11:25 PM  

Beautiful recipe, especially all those minced shallots. And I actually think I remember more of childhood as I get older (sign of old age!)

Jeannie March 11, 2011 at 2:45 AM  

wow! I like the look of these balls, especially when you hv so many prawns in them! I must try this one day!

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef March 11, 2011 at 3:22 AM  

I wish I had a trampoline when growing up. Thank goodness our neighbors let my siblings and me use their's. These Pork and Shrimp Balls look delish!

j3ss kitch3n March 11, 2011 at 3:30 AM  

viv i definitely love this! all time favorite dish! and you and your sis has done this so beautifully!

Umm Mymoonah March 11, 2011 at 6:05 AM  

Hmm, yumm. A totally new recipe for me, will try this with chicken.

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour March 11, 2011 at 8:49 AM  

Great childhood food memory! I can see why you were fond of them!

La Bella Cooks March 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM  

Oh goodness, these are calling to me! What a delicious dish and one that is going on my list to make very soon. Your photo is inspiring as well.

Anh March 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

beautiful post. I had a lot of those moments with my sister recently... *sigh*

Viv March 11, 2011 at 4:38 PM  

grub: im sure you will the older you get :P

LDH: yes, those memories are def precious! :)

Celeste: yes it is really simple to make...and def a good idea for finger food.

OhhLookBel: you must have an amazing memory girl!

Jeannie: you should! we didnt have it with prawn when we were younger but just added in for that extra texture ;)

Erika Beth: how i miss those gigantic tramplines!!!

J3ss: didn't know its a well known dish in Singapore as well?

Umm Mymoonah: chicken mince would work well too! let me know how it goes! :)

Lisa: THank you :)

Bridgett: i hope you enjoy it! let me know how it goes for oyu!

Anh: thank you girl! :)

Quay Po Cooks March 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM  

What lovely post of "I remember". This is the first time I see pearl balls and I already fell in love with them. I got to make this soon. Thanks for the step by step photo instruction. Have a wonderful weekend.

Jean March 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM  

we have this version of the dish in singapore...but a much more coarse and in your face kind of presentation - one bowl of glutinous rice with everything slapped into it. but you made this dish look so elegant with the 'pearl' drops. looks mouthwatering :)

Von March 12, 2011 at 11:08 PM  

I did the trampoline jumping thing once :D When I went over to my grandma's neighbour's house and we wentt on the trampoline- I jumped high to wave to my grandma :) Are these the same as 'porcupine balls'? I've never had them but I've seen them in cookbooks- they look so cute! and these sound delicious too!

Cooking Gallery March 14, 2011 at 5:08 AM  

Oh yum, these little morsels look so gorgeously delicious :D)! Btw, I have an award for you, please pick it up whenever you have the time :).

Lori March 14, 2011 at 5:48 AM  

Bookmarking these! I love everything about them and they will be a great surprise for my husband. I've just recently been able to find sticky rice here and I stocked up when I did. Now I'm working on finding more recipes for using it and this is going on the list.

Juliana March 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

Vivienne, I haven't had these shrimp balls like forever...yours look delicious...so pretty and so tasty...yummie! Have a wonderful week ahead :-)

Zoe March 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM  


I love your way you wrote about your great memories and how they inspired you to cook these delicious glutinous rice balls. Saw a recipe recently about baking rice balls like these by coating mince with soaked uncooked rice. I wonder if it will work as well as what you did.

Sad to see a city that you have been living being destructed...It was Christchurch, then Japan...so scary to be in the situation.

Maria March 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM  

We have been shattered by the devastation in Japan. My other half is feeling nostalgic and emotional as he also has so many memories from there.

Honey Bee Sweets March 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM  

Love your photos! I've made these pearl balls once and they are delicious once they are out of the steamer, yummy! ;)

Carolyn Jung March 18, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

Love the look of these. Plus, you don't have to worry about buying (or making) wrappers, either. It's great to have such long-lasting food memories. I don't think we ever lose them, either. One taste is all it takes to send us back to that time long ago.

joanh March 29, 2011 at 5:40 AM  

i totally remember when my mom made these when i was a kid..

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