Steamed pork and rice meatballs are a common Asian dish. The tender ground pork, an assortment of flavorful seasonings, and an outer coating of sticky rice makes a delectable treat. A variation on the recipe uses corn instead of rice, and the result is equally as satisfying with a help of katakuriko powder.
The steamed pork and corn balls are also fun to make, because you get to use a bamboo steamer. If you don’t already have a bamboo steamer, you can easily find one at a reasonable price either at an Asian supermarket or online.
Cooking with a Bamboo Steamer
If you aren’t sure how to cook with a bamboo steamer, don’t worry—it’s relatively easy, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy cooking everything from fish to vegetables to dishes like the one described below.
Cooking with a bamboo steamer is also healthy, as the process helps the food to retain much of its vitamins and nutrients. With different bamboo tiers, you can also cook a few different things at once, and adding herbs, mirin, or sake to the water used for steaming can impart great flavor to the various foods you cook.
Cooking with Katakuriko
The recipe for steamed pork and corn balls utilizes an ingredient called katakuriko powder. Katakuriko is a thickening agent often used to coat foods that are to be fried or grilled. It is similar to flour or cornstarch, but it is actually made from potatoes.
Differences Between Katakuriko & Flour
So, what are the differences between katakuriko and flour? As you might know, both are perfect for coating various foods. They can both be a thickening agent when making soups and sauces. But while flour possesses various proteins, katakuriko is 100% starch. If you want to try it out, you can easily purchase katakuriko in Asian supermarkets and online.
There are differences in the finished product as well. Foods fried with a flour coating will typically be a golden brown, with a crispy surface but soft and moist underneath. Foods fried with katakuriko will be more of a white color, with a light, crispy surface. An excellent example is karaage (Japanese fried chicken).
Katakuriko can also be used in steamed dishes like the recipe below, and will add tenderness to the dish. Additionally, you can try experimenting with a mix of flour and katakuriko when frying foods to achieve different textures.
Many fried dishes in Japan use potato starch instead of flour or corn starch because the texture is superior. It is also used to thicken sauces, to make certain kinds of mochi, and to make many more dishes.
Steamed Pork and Corn Balls
Aside from the katakuriko, corn and ground pork, this recipe also uses a variety of seasonings that include mustard, soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. It is very easy to make. This dish is perfect as an appetizer, a tasty snack, or as a side dish.
Additionally, although the recipe mentions used soy sauce, mustard, or ketchup as possible dipping sauces or toppings, you are free to try some other sauces or seasonings that might be more to your liking, such as ponzu sauce, eel sauce, or togarashi.
Steamed Pork and Corn Balls
- 2 can Whole Corn
- 4 Tbsp Katakuriko (Potato Starch)
- Soy Sauce
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 2 tsp Ginger, grated
- 4 Tbsp Scallions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Katakuriko (Potato Starch)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Egg, whisked
- Pepper, to taste
- Open and drain corn in a strainer. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Place all of the ingredients of the meatball in a bowl, Mix well with hands until sticky.
- In a cooking sheet tray, place corn and 2 tablespoon of katakuriko. Mix until each individual corn separates.
- Scoop the meatball mixture and form a golf-ball sized ball with hands. Place the ball on the tray, and stick the corn around it by rolling the ball. Repeat.
- Line bamboo steamer with parchment paper and place the meatballs.
- Place the steamer into the wok (or a pan or a pot that fits the steamer) and observe how deep it sits. Remove the steamer and add water to the wok until the water is just below where the steamer sits.
- Bring the water to a simmer on medium heat, do not let it boil.
- Place the bamboo steamer in the wok with the lid on. Let the hot water cook the food, for about 10 minutes.
- Enjoy with mustard, soy sauce, or ketchup.