Fresh watercress absorbs the flavor of the seasoned beef balls during steaming in this recipe.

This beef ball recipe makes 16 - 20 steamed beef balls.


1 pound minced beef
pinch baking soda
1/3 tsp. dried citrus peel*
3 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
2 tsp vegetable oil
pinch white pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chicken bouillion
1/2 tsp sugar
a few drops sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
Bunch watercress


1. Add baking soda to beef and mix well. Let stand for 3 or 4 hours in fridge. Then soak citrus peel in warm water until soft. Drain and mince finely. (Guide Note: Dried citrus peel or dried tangerine peel can be purchased in Chinese/Asian markets. If you use fresh citrus peel, the orange flavor will be stronger.)

2. Pick up beef in hand and form into a large ball. Then throw the beef with some force into a large bowl. Repeat 10 - 15 times. This makes the beef less crumbly when cooked. An alternative is to add a beaten egg to the mixture together with the seasonings.

3. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Stir well and add to beef.

4. Add minced citrus peel, oil, white pepper, salt, chicken bouillion, sugar, sesame oil and optional egg, leaving oyster sauce until last.

5. Form beef balls of about 2 tablespoons of beef in your cupped hands and roll lightly.

6. Line a large dish with lots of watercress. Put beef balls on top. If you're using small dishes, the beef can be steamed in batches.

7. Steam on high heat for 8 minutes after water has come to a boil.

8. Serve with a Worcestershire/soy sauce mixture.


1. Line bamboo steamer with snow pea sprouts when in season
2. Take a soya sheet and drag through warm water for a few seconds to soften. Line plate with this and steam as usual.
3. Some restaurants put a few tablespoons of uncooked green peas around the beef. They taste pretty good with the beef as well.