Home > Cooking, Food and drink > Food Experiment #9: Beef Balls Dim Sum (牛肉圆)

Food Experiment #9: Beef Balls Dim Sum (牛肉圆)


I’ve never really done up a Chinese dish. Today, I’ve decided to make one of my favourite Dim Sum dishes — Steamed Beef Ball Dim Sum (original recipe from sybaritica).

It’s an utterly Cantonese dim sum (almost on par with Siew Mai and Har Gow) that is available in any Cantonese restaurant worth its salt, soups and Spring Onions.

‘Nuff said. Onwards to balls.

You’ll Need These Ingredients

  • 500g of minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 1/2 slices of Ginger
  • 1 Scallion/Spring Onion
  • 2 1/2 Dried Orange Peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • Base: Spinach & Beancurd Skin (soak the Beancurd Skin until soft)

P_20150531_212311 P_20150531_212752

P_20150531_211917 P_20150531_212703

Top Left: Dried Orange Peel & Ginger Slice
Top Right: Minced Beef & Baking Powder
Bottom Left: Salt, Sugar, Cornstarch
Bottom Right: Spring Onion

Instructions and “Did it Work?”

1. Prep the Beef, Chop it All up

Mix the Beef with Baking Powder. Leave the mix alone while you mince up anything and everything that can be minced (see picture below).

This will take some time to do up. Best to use a sharp knife and a flat chopping board.

I just got a Zweig Kitchen Knife. And damnit, that stainless steel beast sliced through everything as if it were soft butter!


2. Put Everything Together

Mix it all up and until sticky. I do it by hand. Grab, fold over, and rotate the bowl so that it goes in one direction. I do this for 50 to 100 times. The more, the merrier, the better integrated.


Once the meat and ingredients are incorporated together.

I pick it up and slam it back into the bowl. This breaks down the meat to give it bounce – like an actual ball. Do it for 10 times or more. Eventually you’ll get a meat ball that will not stick to the sides of the bowl.


3. Prep for Steaming

Layer a deep dish with the Spinach and Beancurd Skin. I tear them into hand-sized bits and toss them around to spread it out evenly.

Take the meat chunk and shape meatballs (whatever size you fancy) and put them onto the base like so…


If you have a bamboo steamer, use it!

4. Steam for 35 min Over High Heat

Just leave it until the bell dings!



Remove from steamer and serve immediately. Like all Dim Sum, it’s best when piping hot.

5. Eat!

As you can see, the inside of the beef ball is still red. This is OK.

Texture-wise, the ball is bouncy and firm to bite. Surprisingly, it’s not overly sweet and the dried Orange Peel makes it quite fragrant. There are slightly bitter undertones and it’s nicely moist too. The Spinach & Beancurd Skin base didn’t enhance the beef balls much. Perhaps it needs some sauce or Worchestershire to go with it?



It works!

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