1 1/2 cups glutinous (aka, sweet or sticky) rice
2 pounds ground pork
2 large green onions, chopped finely
8 canned water chestnuts, minced
6 small-medium dried shiitakes, soaked in very hot water about 30 minutes
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. rice wine
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 small carrot, peeled and very finely shredded
Sweet chili sauce and/or light soy for dipping
1. Place the glutinous rice in a medium bowl, cover with water and soak at least 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
2. In a large bowl, add the ground pork, green onions, water chestnuts, shiitakes mushrooms, eggs, ginger, soy sauce sauce, rice wine, white pepper, sugar, sesame oil, salt and cornstarch. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together well until very thoroughly combined.
3. Drain the rice well in a colander and spread onto a baking sheet or casserole dish.
4. For the meatballs: scoop out about 1 heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture and form into a ball. Roll the meatball in the glutinous rice to coat, then place on to a foil or plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Continue the same process until all the meat mixture has been used up. Garnish the top of each pearl ball with a bit of shredded carrot. Recipe should make about 30 balls.
5. Prepare your steamer (I use these large stackable stainless steel steamers purchased from the Chinese market which I place over a large wok of boiling hot water). Place the pearl balls in the steamer, about 1/2 inch apart, cover, and steam over medium high heat for 25-30 minutes.
6. Serve with Chinese sweet chili sauce and/or a light soy sauce.