Meat Dishes

"Four Joys" Meatballs

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9 oz. minced fat pork
1 small carrot
1 small length lotus-root
1 tablespoon cornflour in 1 tablespoon water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon gourmet powder
2 tablespoons cooking wine
1 tablespoon minced scallion
2 teaspoons minced ginger root
4 cups peanut oil (consumption about 7%)
a pinch of pepper

1) Pare and clean carrot and lotus-root. Cut them into l/8-inch cubelets. Parboil, drain and cool.

2) Beat one egg in a bowl. Mix with half of the cornflour solution into a batter.

3) Add to minced pork, placed in a small aluminum pot, the other half of the cornflour solution, another egg, also soya sauce (1 tablespoon), salt (1/2 teaspoon), cooking wine (1 tablespoon), minced scallion and ginger, pepper and the cubelets of carrot and lotus-root. Use two pairs of chopsticks and mix the ingredients by turning always in one direction until the seasoned mince becomes sticky and firm. 4) Heat peanut oil in frying pan till it begins to bubble. Divide the mince into 4 equal parts and shape them into big balls. Coat with egg-batter and fry until dark brown. Take meatballs out and leave them in a big bowl. Add boiling water (1/4 cup), soya sauce (1 tablespoon), salt (1 teaspoon), gourmet powder and cooking wine (1 tablespoon). Put bowl in a covered steamer and steam on high flame for about 1.1/2 hours. Serve in original bowl or in another plate.

Notes:

(1) This dish may be served, preferably, with some stir-fried spinach or hearts of rape for a variety of taste.

(2) A popular traditional Chinese poem Four Joys lists these as "happy rain following a long drought, meeting a bosom friend in a foreign land, the night of wedding in the bridal chamber, and seeing one's name in the imperial honor roll". This dish is named "Four Joys" for the propitious implications; balls, meanwhile, like the full moon, symbolize family reunion in China. So it is often served on festive occasions.

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