Pearly pork urchins

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Preparation info

  • Serves:


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr

Appears in

Pimp My Rice: Over 100 inspirational rice recipes from around the world

Pimp My Rice

By Nisha Katona

Published 2017

  • About

This simple Chinese dish always reminds me of little sea urchins.

They provide a fun obstacle course for the tongue. The sticky rice grains coating the meat balls become pearly in the cooking process and stand to an enticing attention. Like the pearl, however, sticky rice needs time to develop so give it a good overnight soak before you make this dish if you can.


  • 325 g/11½ oz/ cups sticky rice
  • 450 g/1 lb minced/ground pork
  • 1 large spring onion/scallion, finely chopped
  • 70 g/ oz water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • tsp toasted sesame oil
  • dark soy sauce, for dipping


Soak the rice overnight. Just before you start cooking, drain it well and spread the grains out on a baking sheet.

Combine all the remaining ingredients except the sesame oil and dark soy sauce. Roll the mixture into 24 x 2 cm/¾in balls and then roll each meatball in the rice so that it is coated. Put the balls on a heatproof plate about 1 cm/½in apart. You will need to do a few at a time.

Put the plate in a steamer and cook in batches. They will need to steam for around 20 minutes until they are cooked through. You are waiting for the rice to soften and for the pork to cook through. When cooked, drizzle with the sesame oil.

Serve hot with the soy dipping sauce.

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