Beef Balls (ลูกชิ้นเนื้อ)


What you need:

  • 500 g lean beef mince (it’s very important the mince is as lean as possible, 0% fat would be perfect, otherwise do not buy anything with more than 5% fat content)
  • 1/4 cups ice-cold water
  • 1/4 cups crushed ice
  • 2 Tbsp corn flour
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt (or 1.5 tsp table salt)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 cup ice cubes

How to put this together:

You’ll notice the theme in making this is cold temperature. It’s important the process uses everything as cold as possible.

  1. One hour before you begin, put beef mince in the freezer. You want the mince to be firm and very cold, but NOT frozen (otherwise you’ll kill your food processor). This depends on your freezer, our current freezer is a bit temperamental so sometimes it takes 1.5 hours to bring it up to the right texture. If you have an amazing freezer (I envy you) you may only need to wait 30 mins.
  2. In a food processor or a stand mixer (I use the flat beater on my KitchenAid), process the mince for 5 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup water + corn flour + soy sauce + salt + baking powder + sugar + oil + pepper powder
  4. Slowly add this to the mince. Continue to process for another 5 minutes (I alternate between speed 2 and 4).
  5. Slowly add half (1/8 cups) crushed ice. Continue to process for another 5 minutes.
  6. Slowly add the remaining crushed ice. Continue to process for another 5 minutes. Note: total = 20 minutes.
  7. The mixture should become a smooth pale paste. The mince-y texture is gone.
  8. Put in a container and put in the freezer for 1 hour (refer to freezer notes in step 1)
  9. Boil hot water in the kettle, then pour it into a pot. Put the pot on the lowest flame. IMPORTANT: you want the water to keep hot, but NEVER BOILS. If your water has boiling bubbles it’s too hot!
  10. Have a small bowl of cold water and a metal spoon ready.
  11. Take the mixture out from the freezer.
  12. Dip your hand in cold water, then take a handful in your hand (I wear disposable gloves because it’s easier than washing my hands, but it’s optional).
  13. Squeeze the mixture in your hand (like you would a victory hand clinch “YES!!!” but slowly & more gracefully), and pushing a little bit out through the little opening of your index finger. I normally have to do a few re-shuffle before I get the right size “popping” through. I normally try to go for about 1.5 cm, but it doesn’t really matter!
  14. When you’re happy with the size, grab the spoon with the other hand, dip it in cold water, and scoop it off your fist, and drop it into the hot water pot.
  15. Repeat until the mixture is all used up.
  16. When you’ve dropped in the last ball, keep them in there for 15 mins
  17. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl of water with ice cubes
  18. Drain the meat balls and immediately dunk them into ice water
  19. Drain and pack in an air-tight container. They also freeze well so can be made in advance.