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      RECIPE TITLE "Beef Meatballs" Author: Dim Sum : The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch Copyright © 2002 by Ellen Blonder

    yields 14 meatballstime--- difficulty easy

    Beef meatballs, seasoned with tangerine peel and served on a bed of bean curd sheets or watercress, are a dim sum standby. I like the coarser texture of hand-chopped beef, but you may use ground beef if you prefer.


    • 1 teaspoon dried tangerine peel (optional; see Note)
    • 1 pound beef, chopped or ground
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
    • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 3 bean curd sheets or 4 bean curd sticks


    1. If using the dried tangerine peel, put it in a small bowl and cover it with hot water. Let it stand for 30 minutes to soften.
    2. In a large bowl combine the beef and the baking soda. Squeeze the mixture through your fingers to blend it well. Let it stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Drain and then mince the tangerine peel. Add it to the beef with the rice wine, beaten egg white, and 1/4 cup water, and squeeze the mixture through your fingers again.
    4. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, peanut oil, and cornstarch Add the ingredients to the beef, and squeeze the mixture through your fingers again. This process will help the beef hold together when it is cooked. Let it stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
    5. Meanwhile, if using bean curd sheets, place them in a pan with enough hot water to cover them and soak for 5 minutes, or until soft; then shake off the water. If using bean curd sticks, break them in half, place them in a bowl with enough hot water to cover them, and soak for 20 minutes, or until soft. Cut off and discard any hard ends, and squeeze out the water. Line one large or several small heat-proof plates with the bean curd sheets or sticks, cutting them to fit if necessary.
    6. Lightly shape the beef into meatballs, using about 2 tablespoons of beef for each one. Place them slightly apart on the bean curd sheets or sticks.
    7. Set up a steamer and bring the water to a boil. Steam the meatballs for 8 minutes over high heat, or until cooked through. Serve hot.

    NOTE: Dried tangerine peel gives this dish its characteristic flavor. However it is fairly strong, so you may prefer to omit it. If you cannot find dried tangerine peel you may dry your own by leaving a whole tangerine peel on a place in a warm, dry place for a week, until it becomes dark and leathery. You may also substitute 1 teaspoon minced fresh tangerine or orange zest, using the colored part only.

    HOT!We recommend:

    Dim Sum : The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch Dim Sum : The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch
    In a book that will delight the hearts (and palates) of dim sum aficionados, the author presents 60 simple, reliable, and always authentic recipes for homemade steamed and fried dumplings, meat or shrimp balls, steamed buns, Chinese pastries, and other savory treats. Written in a clear, engaging style and illustrated by the author in full color, this volume takes readers step-by-step through each preparation, from crimping dumpling skins to folding banana leaves for steaming scallop-studded rice balls, to freezing a variety of delicacies for an impressive, almost effortless dim sum party or brunch. Drawing on the expertise of family cooks and well-known chefs both here and in Hong Kong, the author teaches techniques that can be easily mastered by the home cook and provides alternative versions of traditional fillings to satisfy today's health-conscious eaters.


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