Porcupine Balls – Gluten-Free

I was tickled pink to find Laura Russell’s The Gluten-free Asian Kitchen cookbook. I immediately opened it up and had to start reading the recipes and ingredients!

When I stumbled across Porcupine Meatballs, I knew I had to try them!

These were easy to make, and the most time consuming part was making the meat balls!

Here it is; my notes are in italics:

Porcupine Balls
by Laura Russell, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen

1 c medium-grain rice, soaked for at least 4 hours* – we used sweet brown rice because I had it on hand. 
1 lb ground pork – we used ground turkey
1/3 c chopped water chestnuts (optional)
6 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce – San-J makes a gluten-free tamari/ soy sauce. Their black label tastes the closest to soy sauce.
1 tsp toasted sesame oil – Regular sesame oil will work too
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Soy dipping sauce – (optional) – Soy sauce and a few drops of sesame seed oil is our favorite.

*Author notes:  You will need to soak the rice for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.  

Soak the rice in a bowl of water for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.  Drain the rice well in a colander and then spread it on a baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine the pork, water chestnuts, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg, salt, and pepper.  Mix the ingredients until well combined.  With wet hands, for the mixture into 24 meatballs. (If the meat mixture is too soft to form, put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up.) Gently roll each meatball in the rice. Do not smash the rice into the meat, you want a round, rice-coated, meatball.  Transfer the meatballs to a plate and refrigerate, covered, until read to cook. **

Bring several inches of water to a boil in a wok or large pot.  Oil the tray of a bamboo or metal steamer (or line it with parchment paper) – you can use a metal steamer insert that fits a regular pot (i.e. a veggie steamer, or metal colander that does not allow the bottom of it to touch the water) – and add the meatballs. Steam the meatballs over the boiling water, covered, until the meat and rice are cooked, about 20 minutes per batch.  Serve the meatballs hot with the dipping sauce.

*Author note: You can free the meatballs and steam them later from frozen.  Freeze the formed meatballs on a plate or tray, then transfer to a freezer bag.  Add 5 minutes to the cooking time.

Makes approx. 24 balls – double the batch for a main dish, or serve as is for appetizers.





One thought on “Porcupine Balls – Gluten-Free

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