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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.