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Chinese-style pork meatballs in broth

Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields Serves 6 as an appetizer
Chinese-style pork meatballs in broth
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Chinese chicken broth

1

Wash the chicken, place it in a 5-quart stockpot and pour in the water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 hour, skimming and discarding any foam.

2

Add the ginger, green onions and star anise and simmer 1 hour without stirring.

3

Remove the broth from the heat and let it stand about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Spoon the broth -- being careful not to stir up any sediment on the bottom -- into a strainer lined with cheesecloth that has been placed over another pot or container. Add salt to taste. Keep warm for immediate use. Leftover broth may be frozen.

Meatballs and assembly

1

Lightly beat together the egg and egg white. Place the ground pork in a large bowl and gently stir in the egg mixture, ginger, green onion, garlic, water chestnuts, oil, soy sauce, wine, salt, pepper, baking soda and cornstarch. Gently stir with 2 fingers in a clockwise motion. This prevents over-mixing and keeps the meatballs fluffy.

2

Gently form the mixture into 1 1/2 -inch meatballs.

3

Fill a wok with 2 inches of water and place a bamboo steamer basket on top. Bring the water to a gentle boil on medium heat. Line the steamer basket with two layers of cheesecloth. Add the meatballs and steam for 16 to 18 minutes, until they change color and feel firm to the touch.

4

Remove the meatballs from the steamer. To serve, place 3 or 4 meatballs and three-fourths cup broth in each of 6 small bowls.

From Donna Deane, Times Test Kitchen director, and Mary Ellen Rae, recipe tester. Shaoxing wine is available in Asian markets. Use a combination of freshly ground pork belly (available in Asian markets) and ground pork butt, or you can simply use ground butt.

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