Sunday, February 15, 2009

貢丸 Chinese Bouncy Pork & Beef Balls

Happy (day-after) Valentine's Day!!
My valentine's day consisted of staying up all night the day before and cramming for the Lab Medicine final i had. I completely bombed that test... It turned out to be much, much, muchhhhhhh harder than one other people took last week. ARGHHHHHHH... should've taken the test earlier :'( I hate the feeling of doom during and after exams, makes me want to climb into a hot tub and slit my wrists. Sigh, i used up all my luck last year... 2009 isn't treating me so well.

Onto a brighter note, I made Red Velvet cupcakes for valentine's yesterday! But I didn't have a valentine to share the love with since JLo went skiing in Austria for 9 days. He wanted me to join but i declined. Having spent the first 18 years of my life in the southern hemisphere and on a semi-tropical island, I'm really not built for the snow/cold. So anyways, I should be posting about the Red Velvet Cupcakes to suit the occasion, but since I'm gonna have a 貢丸 [gong-wan]-making marathon with friends later, I had to post this up so that i'll have access to this on the Internet. I have hfng to thank for giving me the site for these bouncy meat balls, THANK YOU!!! I was so excited about this recipe that i went ahead and bought myself a food processor-- it became my best-friend ever since XD. I never thought I'd be having [gong-wan] in Poland and never knew it was THIS easy. I made Pork and Beef balls last time and I have to say, i liked the Pork balls better... but Polish meat has this "raw" taste to it even when cooked, so I might add a bit of ginger to it next time. I'm still a Gong-wan beginner so I don't really have any tips to give... But I'll update on any other variations later on (
fish balls, different additions, seasonings...etc), can't WAIT! My food processor and I are gonna have so much fun together-- SHE's my Valentine.

貢丸 Chinese Bouncy Pork & Beef Balls

from The Waitakere Redneck's Kitchen and Sinner's youtube
  • 500g pork or beef, cut to small pieces
    [just use the cheapest cut since it'll be turned to mush anyway]
  • ½ cup (125ml) icy cold water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

  1. Mince the pork in a food processor until a paste is form. Add 5 Tbsp water (a Tbsp of water at a time) to get a smooth paste [picture 1, 2, 3].
  2. In a separate cup, mix together the remaining water, fish sauce, salt, sugar, oil, cornflour and baking powder.
  3. Remove the pork paste from the food processor and put in a big bowl. Pour the liquid mix to the pork paste and stir well slowly until the liquid is absorbed into the paste (use either your hand or a fork) [picture 4, 5].
  4. For the taste test, microwave or boil a teaspoon of the paste. Season to taste with more salt or sugar.
  5. Cover bowl with clingwrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes [picture 6].
  6. Boil a pot of water. Once the water has boiled, remove the pot from the heat, set aside.
  7. Add pepper to the paste and stir to combine [picture 7].
  8. Scoop the paste onto your wet hand. Push the paste through your thumb and 2nd finger by making a fist [picture 8]. Use a wet spoon to scoop and drop it into the hot water [picture 9, 10]. To prevent the paste from sticking to your hand and spoon, wet the spoon and hand with water.
  9. Continue forming the pork balls until they form a layer in the water.
  10. Now turn on the heat but do not let it boil. Just simmer slowly without bubbling-- if not, your pork ball will not have the 'bounce' [picture 11].
  11. When the pork balls starts to float, leave for a few more seconds. (Cut one in half to see if it is cook. The inside should not be pink).
  12. Fill a big basin with icy cold water. Scoop out the balls and let it cool in the water [picture 12].
  13. After the pork balls have cooled, use as required or freeze.

豬肉貢丸 Bouncy Pork Balls

牛肉香菇貢丸 Bouncy Beef and Mushroom Balls

貢丸湯 Taiwanese Meatball Soup
  • Bouncy beef/pork balls
  • Chinese celery, finely chopped [picture 2]
    [i used normal celery. they're thicker and don't have that "crunch" Asian celeries have]
  • Vegetable/chicken stock
  • Fried shallots (optional)
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Coriander (optional)

  1. Make 2 perpendicular, 1 centimeter slits on each bouncy ball (into a cross) [picture 1].
  2. Bring a pot of water/stock to a boil. Add in the bouncy balls and fried shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to float and the slits open up [picture 3].
  3. Season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Add in the finely chopped celery and turn off the fire to maintain the celery "crunch" [picture 2, 4].
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander (optional).
  • You can add noodles, vermicelli, or cellophane noodles to the soup with an egg drop.

貢丸湯 Taiwanese Bouncy Ball Soup


  1. OOOh, please post the red velvet cupcakes! And tell me you made it from scraaatch, and with frosting XD I spent my entire Valentine's Day baking cupcakes with my roommate...I something like 40 cupcakes over the past couple of days, haha, and now we have like....6 or 7 left.

    Re: the pork balls. they look goooood! the soup is very much a comfort food :)

  2. okk, i'll update the cupcakes soon. Yes, they were made from scratch. I i had to cut the recipe in half since i didnt have enough food coloring. OMG, it cost me like 60NT for a 1 ounce bottle........WTFFFFF........ it was pretty tho, haha.

  3. what the!!! 60NT?! I bought a set of 4 1-oz bottles here, which was an equivalent of $100NT ($150 at most)!

  4. u didnt go out ohhh......
    no wonder y i smelled someone baking in the kitchen XD

    btw...dont u need 魚漿for gongwan?
    it looks goooood!!!
    ur food all look soooo good ...everytime!!

  5. Denise: i'm jealous. i was about to sneak that bottle of coloring under my sleeves... hahaha. most expensive batch of cupcakes ever.

    Nglalala: Thank-youu, i always thought you needed 魚漿 too, so imagine my surprise when i got the website for this. But yea, 魚漿 is only for fish balls. All you need is a meat paste for pork balls. Yesterday we tried making these again but somehow FAILEDDDD. Making it again today to figure out the problem...

  6. Wow your meatball look so good .. haha better than the original recipe :D I agree that pork balls taste better. The most fun part was squeezing it with the hands to make the balls .. haha I had fun doing that. Btw you shd post some photos to introduce your new FP :D

  7. I cant say I'm the biggest fans for Gong Wan, but I must say they look REALLY GOOD! I should try making some for Chuk. He loves those... One of those days... haha :P

  8. hfng: thanks! but sadly to say... this was my only meat ball success so far.. I tried it again but the bounciness didn't quite get there, still dont know what happened! :( FP's pictures will be coming soooon. I need to look for new recipes to let her do her thang.

    betty: hahaha, sure, come borrow my food processor anytime!

  9. how come when i boil the meat ball it break ?? please help

  10. Hi jomar,
    The reason why your meat balls break could be because:

    1) your meat has not been processed enough. Remember, it has to be mixed until VERY PASTE-y. there should be no lumps or meat seen... the consistency should resemble mashed potatoes. I usually let me food processor spin for 10 minutes (with breaks of course, your machine might burn out).

    2) The temperature of the water is too hot. Once you have boiled the water, set it aside until it has reached a temperature where it doesnt burn your finger. start putting your meat balls in and Put your pot back on the stove. Remember to set it on THE LOWEST HEAT possible! The water should NEVER boil.

    hope this helps :)

  11. Fresh frozen pork makes the meatball bouncy. I tried once using fresh non frozen pork and they were not bouncy. I think thats the key to the bounciness. However, why did the meatball loses its saltiness when cooked for the second time with the soup??