Dim sum style Steamed Meatballs I’m a steamer on a bed of lettuce

Dim Sum Style Steamed Meatballs

Soft delicious meatballs prepared “Dim Sum” style Steamed Meatballs are a real treat to prepare and serve up.  Succulent and tender, these little treasures are infused with herbs and can be eaten plain or dipped in Worcestershire sauce or Japanese ponzu.

Discover the delightful flavors of Dim Sum Style Steamed Meatballs, featuring the distinctive earthy taste of fresh chrysanthemum greens. While chrysanthemum greens are commonly found in Asian markets, cilantro can serve as a suitable substitute. These miniature treasures are reminiscent of the delectable morsels found on your beloved dim sum cart, evoking the essence of a delightful Sunday brunch experience at a renowned Hong Kong-style restaurant.

While there are numerous variations of this dish, this particular recipe incorporates hanpen, a soft white fishcake renowned for its airy texture, which not only tenderizes the meat but also expands during the steaming process. Additionally, the inclusion of potato starch, known as katakuriko, helps bind and soften the meat, resulting in a smooth and luscious texture that beautifully complements the finely chopped celery. Typically, these herb-infused meatballs are served alongside Worcestershire sauce or occasionally Japanese ponzu, providing a delightful dipping experience.

These meatballs don’t take long to prepare and can be served as one course in your own personal dim sum banquet with other Chinese treats like Tofu Skin rolls, Nagasaki Shrimp Toast, or Fragrant Hot and Sour Soup.

Try out these savory Dim Sum Style Steamed Meatballs and let me know what you think below in the comments section.  There are some variations below in the notes section that you can also try.


Dim Sum Style Steamed Meatballs

The meatballs should be prepared in a food processor to be sure the hanpen is completely combined into the mixture and all the lumps are out.  Be sure to steam these lovely meatballs over fresh lettuce, which also adds flavor to the dish.

15 minutes 10 minutes Serves 2
PREP 15 minutes
COOKING 10 minutes
YIELD Serves 2
Dim sum style Steamed Meatballs I’m a steamer on a bed of lettuce


  • 1 package of hanpen (about 120g)
  • 1/4 lb ground pork (about 120g)
  • 1 TBSP katakuriko or cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP Japanese cooking sake
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 finely beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) ~ substitute cilantro if desired
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped scallions
  • Fresh Lettuce Leaves for steaming

For serving

  • Worcestershire Sauce or Japanese Ponzu

Dim Sum Style Steamed Meatball Ingredients on a wooden board.



  • Combine all of the ingredients except the lettuce leaves in a large mixing bowl.

Meatball ingredients in a metal bowl

  • Mix with a wooden spoon or a fork chopping the hanpen as finely as possible.
  • Continue chopping in a food processor until well combined.

Meatball mixture I’m a food processor

  • Form into 8 1-1/2 inch balls.

Formed meatballs On a decorative cutting board

  • Line a steamer basket with lettuce leaves.
  • Place 4 meatballs in the steamer.
  • Steam for 10 minutes.

Steamed meatballs in the steamer on a bed of lettuce

  • Serve while still hot with Worcestershire sauce.

Steamed meatballs on a bed of cabbage on a plate with sauce in a dipping bowl in the background


  • For some additional crunch, substitute  1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts or renkon (lotus root) for the celery.
  • Green peas are another popular added to this meatball.  Add 1/4 cup of uncooked green peas to the meat mixture after it comes out of the food processor.  Mix in gently to avoid crushing the peas.


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