Steamed Pork and Rice Balls

An Improvement on Lion’s Heads Glutinous Rice is the Secret

How to make meat balls with glutinous rice, a Chinese dish

Steamed Meat Balls with Glutinous Rice

The Chinese meat balls commonly called Lion’s Heads incorporate Pork and Rice in a most attractive way. Here’s another Chinese recipe for Pork Meat Balls and Rice.  This one uses Glutinous Rice in a special way with good effect. This version may be even better, thanks to the use of Glutinous Rice, which adds a special flavor and texture. As these are made rather small, they make an excellent appetizer.

Steamed Pork Balls with Glutinous Rice



2/3 cup Glutinous Rice
1 pound Ground Pork
1 Egg
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese wine, such as Shao Xing wine
1 teaspoon ground White Pepper

Panko, Japanese style bread crumbs


½ cup Bread Crumbs, such as Japanese Panko

Vegetable Oil

Mise en Place for Meat Balls with Glutinous Rice

Mise en Place for Steamed Pork Meat Balls with Glutinous Rice

Method:First, wash the Rice and leave it to soak overnight in enough fresh water to cover well., say and inch or two.

Next morning, drain the Rice, which should have taken up quite a lot of water and increased considerably in volume.

Glutinous Rice Soaked

Glutinous Rice Soaked

Drain the rice and dry it well on a large plate, so all the excess moisture is drained out before starting to cook.

Mix the Pork with the Soy Sauce, Sugar, Egg, White Pepper, Chinese Wine and Bread Crumbs (Japanese Panko works well for this). When the Meat Ball mixture is well combined, form into small Meat Balls, each about an inch in diameter.

This much meat makes about 40 Meat Balls.

Roll the formed Meat Balls in the Glutinous Rice spread on a plate. Press gently to ensure that they are all evenly coated and that the Rice grains stick to the Meat Balls.

Steamer Tray

Steamer Tray

Brush the bottom of a bamboo or metal steamer with vegetable oil and place the Meat Balls in the Steamer.  The Oil keeps the Meat Balls from sticking to the bottom of the steamer and is a vital step.

Arrange the Meat Balls so there is a little space between each one, as they will expand a bit when steaming.

Finally, place the steaming trays over a  wok filled with boiling Water and steam over medium heat about 30 minutes.

These little Meat Balls are delicate and succulent jkust by themselves, or you can serve them with a dipping sauce made of Soy Sauce with a little Oriental Mustard mixed in.

Besides being good by themselves, especially as an appetizer they made an excellent combination to a variety of vegetable dishes and also freeze well.

This dish is lower in fat than many Chinese Meat Ball recipes, as the Meat Balls are steamed, and also excess fat is removed in the course of the steaming process.


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