It's the 7th anniversary of 5 Element Food! I started this blog on New Year's Day in the year of the Tiger in 2010. I've had a wonderful time sharing my recipes with you!
Today is the first day of the Year of the Rooster. I had a quiet New Year's celebration with my sons and daughters in law and we made and ate many of our favorite Chinese New Year's foods (see previous posts). One of the foods that I usually make is some kind of Meatball as round shaped foods are considered a symbol of family reunions. Tonight I made Chinese Beef Meatballs flavored with ground up Mandarin Orange (a Tangerine really). I dried the peel of one a few weeks ago and I steamed the Meatballs instead of frying or broiling them. You can use fresh peel instead but use less and grate it very fine These Meatballs are much juicier because they are steamed and are delicately flavored and very tender. It is quite common to see Chinese people dip these kinds of Meatballs, which are a Dim Sum specialty, in Worcestershire Sauce but I like them served with the strained broth that accumulates on the plate. My sons dipped them in Thai Chili Garlic Sauce, which was really good. Happy Chinese New Year to all of you out there! Check the page on Lucky Foods on this blog that tells you all the foods that you can eat in the next two weeks to bring you extra luck!
Chinese Steamed Meatballs
1 pound Ground Beef
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon dried Mandarin Orange Peel (ground in a mortar and pestle) or use 1/4 teaspoon of fresh finely grated Peel
3 teaspoons Cornstarch
1/2 cup Cold Water
Pinch of White Pepper
2 Tablespoon Tamari
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon Cube smashed (use a Gluten Free Brand like Herb Ox)
Get a steamer ready - either use a wok with a bamboo steamer and place a plate inside with water in the wok or use a metal vegetable steamer with the center handle removed placed in a pot with a lid and pour in at least 1 inch of water underneath.
In a large bowl, mix Ground Beef with Baking Soda and Cold Water. Add in Citrus Peel, White Pepper, Tamari, Sesame Oil and Chicken Bouillon. Massage the Beef with your hands or a big spoon, pressing and mashing it into a paste. Make into Meatballs and put onto the plate. Place the plate into the steamer and heat the water on high. When the water is boiling, cover the pot or wok and let steam for 8 - 10 minutes.
Take the meatballs off the plate with a pair of tongs. Place on a serving plate. Use a Turkey Baster to suction up the broth that accumulated on the plate and pour into a bowl. Strain and pour around the Meatballs. Serve with Worcestershire Sauce or Thai Chili Garlic Sauce.
Five Element Analysis
Beef belongs to the Earth Element so that is the primary element of this dish. The Water Element can be found in the Tamari and Sesame Oil. The Chicken Bouillon added a little of the Wood Element and the Mandarin Orange Peel adds a tiny bit of the Fire Element and the White Pepper added a little bit more. The Metal Element has the Baking Soda to represent it. While all the Elements are present, most are just a small amount so be sure to serve this dish in a meal that also has Water, Wood, Fire and Metal foods.