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[Happy Chinese New Year] Easy Hongshao Meatballs

Happy Chinese New Year! 2017 is the year of the Rooster. When us Chinese people celebrate festivals and special occasions with family, we normally would eat something that is round in shape, such as Tangyuan/yuanxiao (a dessert made from glutinous rice flour). The reason is that ’round’ in Chinese (yuan) implies union and happiness.

I am making these simple delicious Hongshao (red braised) meatballs to celebrate the new year, even though I can not reunion with my family. A bit sad indeed… but I already got used to it, since this is the sixth year of my journey studying abroad by myself.

Ingredients(serves 2-3)

For the meatballs:
220g minced pork (or any meat of your choice)
1 large egg
40g water chestnuts
10g scallions
1/2 – 1 tbs cornstarch
1tbs cooking wine
salt, pepper, soy sauce to taste

For the easy Hongshao sauce:
15g light soy sauce
8-10g dark soy sauce
8g sugar
150ml water


  1. In a large bowl, combine minced pork, chopped water chestnuts, scallions, cornstarch, egg and cooking wine
  2. Add salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste (just a little bit…the Hongshao sauce will add more flavor to it), mix well (in the same direction until you feel the resistance increases)
  3. Form meat into meatballs and place them on a piece of aluminum foil, bake for about 20 min at 350 ºF(adjust time according to the size of your meatballs, I made 12 small ones)
  4. To make the simple version of Hongshao (red braising) sauce, mix 15g light soy sauce, 8-10g dark soy sauce, 8g sugar and 150ml water
  5. Heat the sauce in a pan, add meatballs once it starts to boil. Stir occasionally so that meatballs will be covered with sauce evenly.
  6. Cook until the sauce is reduced and becomes sticky and brown. Sprinkle chopped scallions if desire

These Chinese style meatballs are tender and flavorful. The water chestnuts add a rather unique taste to it. Try making those and you won’t regret.

Bon Appétit

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