Pork Lotus Balls

Photos by Phoenix Zhang.

Lotus has many benefits, such as helping lowering blood sugar, fighting inflammation, and more. Lotus-related dishes have always been some of my favorites. Lotus ball is a traditional Chinese dish, and I used my mom’s recipe and made some small changes. The balls can be cooked in different styles—some recipes feature vegetable leaves and some do not—but the leaf most commonly used is lettuce. I decided to instead use Chinese cabbage because the ball can absorb the special fragrance from the cabbage while steaming, making the dish even more delicious. Cabbage is also less likely to stick to the container during the steaming process. The other change I made was adding carrots into the ball-making process to freshen up the meat.

Ingredients for the balls

  • 250g lotus
  • 50g carrot 
  • 500g minced pork
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 20g soy source
  • 6 ginger slices
  • 6 Chinese cabbage slices
  • 1 tsp refined white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g corn starch

Instructions for the balls

  1. Peel and mince the lotus.
  2. Peel the carrot and cut it into small pieces.
  3. Put the ginger and then the minced pork into a bowl.
  4. Add soy sauce and eggs.
  1. Stir until mixed evenly.
  2. Add lotus and carrot and then corn starch.
  1. Stir until fully mixed.
  2. Cut the Chinese cabbage leaves and put them on a plate.
  1. Make the mixture into small balls and place them on the leaves.
  1. Steam for 15 minutes.

Yields 20 balls

Ingredients for the sauce

  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Ketchup
  • Red chili
  • Soy sauce 
  • Salt 
  • Corn starch
  • Water 
  • Chicken essence

Instructions for the sauce

  1. Cut the mushroom, red chili and onion into small pieces.
  2. Mix the ketchup, soy sauce, corn starch, chicken essence and water.
  3. Add oil to a pan.
  4. Put mushroom, red chili and onion into the pan.
  5. Put the mixed sauces into the pan.
  6. Turn on strong heat.
  7. Stir.