Steamed Minced Pork with Water Chestnut

14 comments All Recipes, Mains & Sides, Pork Recipes
A simple, healthy Chinese home recipe for steamed minced pork and water chestnut that is quick and easy to prepare.

Ask any Chinese person you know if he or she enjoys steamed minced pork patties and you’ll probably be answered with a resounding ‘Yes!’. This is classic Chinese comfort food at its best. We grew up on this stuff. We eat it. We love it. And we cook it for our families.

It’s one of those Chinese family recipes that gets passed down or is taught to us at a fairly young age. Or if you’re like me and didn’t acquire an interest for cooking till much later in life, you can easily put this dish together and get it right the first time.


This has become one of my most popularly viewed posts over the years. Perhaps because it’s so easy and simple to prepare, and quick to cook. But more, I reckon, because it’s healthy, packed with nutrition, and just tastes so delicious! What’s even better is that you can make it all the healthier with the use of lean meat. Though if you ask me what my preference is, I’ll say that a little fat will go a long way towards creating a much more flavourful, juicy and tender patty.

But I’ll try to stay on the healthier side of things here and go lean. Take your choice of lean (or fatty, if you just can’t resist!) minced pork, season it lightly, and add to that crunchy bits of water chestnut, minced shallots, chopped spring onion, garlic, ginger, salted radish and preserved cabbage. Once you’ve got it all together in a fairly sticky, mushy mixture after incorporating the yolk which helps bind the ingredients, you can shape it into a thin or thick patty.

Then steam in under 12 minutes, and you’re done! It is already delicious as is, with all the cooked juices, but if you would like that extra flavour and dash of colour, drizzle over with flavoured garlic or shallot oil mixed with soy sauces. Bon appetit!


The portions as given are enough to make two (2) 6-inch patties about 1-cm thick. Or you could make one really thick patty, just make sure to steam long enough for the meat to cook through. Sometimes, I make one patty with half the meat mixture, and use the rest to make meatballs to cook with soup, congee or porridge, or as fillings for wontons or dumplings, or even stuffed into vegetables like green or red peppers, and bittergourd slices for a meaty version of yong tau foo. That’s the versatility of Chinese cooking!


Steamed Minced Pork with Water Chestnut

Steamed Minced Pork with Water Chestnut

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A simple, healthy Chinese home recipe for steamed minced pork and water chestnut that is quick and easy to prepare.


  • 300 g lean minced pork
  • 2 water chestnuts, peeled, minced finely
  • 2 shallots, peeled, minced finely
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, minced finely
  • 1 2-cm length ginger, peeled, minced finely
  • 1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp salted radish, (or salted fish), minced finely
  • 1 tbsp preserved cabbage, (tung choy), minced finely (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • Dash salt, (optional)

Sauce & Garnishing (Optional):

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shallot oil, (or garlic oil)
  • Some chopped spring onions
  • Some red chilli, seeded, sliced


  1. Season minced pork with light soy sauce, sesame oil, corn flour, salt and pepper.  Use your fingers or a spoon to mix well. Note: Use salt sparingly, if at all, as there is already hidden salt in salted radish or salted fish, and in preserved cabbage.
  2. Add all minced ingredients and mix with fingers or a spoon till well combined. Add egg yolk and mix well. The pork should come together in a slightly sticky, mushy paste.
  3. In a heatproof dish, spoon 1/2 tbsp of the shallot oil (or garlic oil) and spread over the base of the dish. Spoon half of the pork mixture into the dish and using the back of a spoon, flatten and shape into a patty to fill the base of the dish. Leave at least a 2-cm gap from the edge of the dish, as the patty will release juices as it is steamed. Drizzle another 1/2 tbsp of shallot oil (or garlic oil) over the patty.
  4. Fill a wok 1/4 full with water, place a steaming rack in the wok, cover with wok lid, and heat over high heat. Once water is boiling, place the heatproof dish on the steaming rack. Steam, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat has cooked through. Test by poking a fork into the meat.
  5. When meat is cooked through, remove from heat. Combine soy sauces and oils in a small bowl and drizzle evenly over the patty to add flavour, as well as give colour. Garnish with chopped spring onions and sliced red chilli and serve immediately.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! Glad you found this too, it’s one of my favourites as well when it comes to comfort food!

  2. What a lovely simple recipe – such comfort food. It was a new discovery for me. Thank you so much for sharing it. I am certainly going to me making this often.

  3. Hi Doris, thank you for the kind words and compliments! So happy to hear this was very palatable, it’s also one of my favourite dishes to eat as it’s much healthier than fried dishes. In fact, I haven’t made it in a while and thanks to you, you’ve reminded me of this delicious dish! Have a great week ahead, Doris!

  4. Hi Celia. Thank you so much for sharing another of you winning recipe. I finally made the most delicious steam minced pork with chestnut. Previously those I made were either too saltish or bland. Your recipe was sheer wholesome deliciousness to eat with hot porridge. This is going to be one of my weekly side dishes for porridge nights.

  5. Hi Chuko, thanks for writing in! I’ve not yet ever had to freeze this meat patty mixture but I think it would be fine if you wrap up in cling wrap and stored them in a freezer bag. I would suggest making meat balls when the patty has thawed, on the day you intend to cook it, as the juices from the meat balls should help add flavour to the soup, which might be lost if you precooked them and then froze after, in my humble opinion. I’ve also had leftover patty made into meat balls the day after, which I coated in corn flour, pan fried in oil in a skillet, then braised in a flavourful Asian style sweet and sour sauce to coat the meat, which really turned out well too. Just an idea! Hope you’ll enjoy and let me know how it works out for you.

  6. Hi there! This recipe sounds delicious, can’t wait to try it! I wanted to know if you’ve ever tried freezing leftover pork patty mixture? I like the idea of using some as a pork patty, and using the rest for meatballs for soup. But I don’t know if it’ll still be juicy if I cook the meatballs and then freeze them for using another time. Has this ever been tested?

  7. Hi Jerb, thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing! So happy to hear that it was enjoyed!???

  8. Hi Celia, I’ve tried this and it was a great hit for my family. We all loved this! Thanks for the recipe ?

  9. Hi Annie, that’s wonderful to hear! I’m happy to hear it worked out well, thanks so much for your feedback! Sounds like such a delish combination to add fermented black beans too! Depending on the quantity of chicken meat, if you’re preparing about 300 gm, I reckon one (1) to one-and-a-half (1.5) tablespoon of black beans should suffice, I think it’s better to start with less than more, as black beans are highly salted. You may want to cut back a little on the other salted ingredients or sauces too. I usually soak black beans in a little water for 5-10 mins to let excess salt leach out, then roughly chop it. You can try this recipe using chicken in place of pork, with black beans, at .Cooking is all about making something your own! Enjoy, Annie..and would love to hear how it goes! Cheers, Celia

  10. Hi Celia I tried it with the chicken and it turned out great! I m thinking of adding some fermented black bean next time how much do you think I would need to add?

  11. Hi Annie, I think ground chicken would work out fine, and I’ve also seen ground beef used in place of ground pork, if that suits you as well. Do have a go with chicken, the recipe is quite versatile. Let me know how it turns out for you, ya? Happy cooking, and enjoy!

  12. Hi Celia do you think this dish could be made with ground chicken instead of pork? I would love to make this but I don’t eat pork.

  13. Hi Emily! Thanks for writing in! These are recipes that I have tried and tested, and share from my collection of various cookbooks that I’ve gotten over the years…hope you like them too! Please feel free to share any good recipes you have on always learning! Have a beautiful weekend…Cheers, Celia

  14. Did you compile all these recipes into a cookbook where I can buy?

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