Chinese Meatballs

Chinese Meatballs! I’ve been craving meatballs lately. I don’t have much luck with Italian-style meatballs, so I thought I’d give the Chinese style a try. They are awesome. I also made friends with Albany John’s food processor during this cooking adventure.

So you guys know my deal with meat. I try to buy some meat that tastes… meaty. Usually that is meat that is of the “happier/natural/organic/wahtevs label” variety and not just whatever plastic-sealed package you get in the grocery store.

I picked up a pork shoulder roast at Roma in Latham. Sometimes they run specials, and I found this in their refrigerator case already wrapped up for $3.99 per lb! Not bad!

I’ve also become rather picky about my grind of meat, and find that many pre-ground meats are ground too fine for my liking, and take on an unpleasant grainy/mealy texture when cooked. Eff Tee Ess.

I cut up wee nubbins of pork meat and let them freeze for about 10 minutes before giving them a whir in the food processor until they were at my preferred texture (nice and chunky).

The Food Processor and I do not usually get along. Mr. Cuisinart likes Albany John, but I… have issues. But today, he was very nice to me and cut some foods up. Minced ginger and garlic together (lots o’ ginger) with lots of minced up water chestnuts (I love the texture – stays a little crunchy while cooking).
Crap, this picture of the grind is blurry, but I promise it has texture and doesn’t look like cat food pate. Toss some seasonings on top, ADD A BUNCH OF CHICKEN BROTH (this is the secret to make them so juicy and moist) mix it up, and then let it sit in the freezer for 20 minutes. Just in the bowl is fine.

Then take it out of the freezer, roll in some flour of your choice, and pan fry to brown them.

“Lion’s head meatballs” are a popular Chinese meatball. So in that way, I tried to make these meatballs quite large.
And then I made smaller meatballs.

Wedged them in a pan.

Made a sauce to cook them in (recipe below).
Covered said partially-cooked meatballs in sauce, covered the pan with tin foil, and let bake for 30 minutes at 350F.
While those were baking, I made a tray of meatballs to freeze and eat later. If you freeze them, you can just add them in a sauce later. No need to pan-fry.

I also put some scraps in a pan and cooked them up. Tasty like this, too! Are crisped meaty things ever bad?
All done! As you can see, there are some scallions and wood ear fungus/mushrooms in the sauce as well.

Recipe inspiration was from Use Real Butter. Totally read her post, especially the funny part about Jen’s dad and mom’s debating the size of Lion’s head meatballs, hehe. The sauce is all her


Actual recipe I cobbled up for Chinese Meatballs:
3/4 can of sliced water chestnuts, minced
5 cloves garlic
3″ ginger
1# 10 oz of pork shoulder, cubed, frozen, the processed to a coarse grind/dice
Soy sauce, sesame oil, vermouth
hoisin sauce
chicken broth (about 2 cups)
White pepper
Flour (for rolling)

Plus Jen’s sauce recipe. Click on the link to get her sauce recipe. You’ll wanna pour it over everything.


AWESOME. Pork was so moist and tender. Not grainy or too lean, but not uber fatty either.
2 comments
  1. llcwine said:

    mouth started watering as soon as I read chinese meatballs…..yum just doesn't even come close

  2. Debbie said:

    Love Jen's recipes. And the way she cuts & chops, so expert. Thanks for sharing.

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