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Homemade Asian Pork Meatballs (look chin moo)

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Look Chin

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 500g lean ground pork
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2  tsp baking powder 
  • 100g ice cubes

Dipping Sauce for Look Chin (Nam Jim Look Chin)

  • Sweet chili sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • Sriracha (store bought or homemade)

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


  1. Grind peppercorns in a mortar and pestle into a powder, then add garlic and pound into a fine paste.
  2. Add the garlic paste and all remaining ingredients, except the ice cubes, into a food processor.
  3. Process the pork until very smooth, adding ice cubes gradually as the machine grinds. Stop to scrape 2-3 times to make sure everything is evenly ground.
  4. Once the pork looks very fine (about 5 minutes on my machine) transfer into a bowl.
  5. In a large pot, add water so that it's about half full. Heat the water on high just until there is steam coming off the top but there is no bubbling in the water. Once this is reached, turn heat down to low to maintain the temperature.
  6. Using the technique shown in the video, form the meatballs and place them into the hot water one at a time until you have finished. If you want to see the technique over and over again without having to rewind, watch this 7-min video of me just squeezing meatballs! Keep an eye on the temperature to make sure the water isn't bubbling. If you don't need them to be round, you can just use two spoons to form a lump and plop them into the water, or you can also use a small disher.
  7. Once all the meatballs are in the water, let them cook for another 10-15 minutes until the last meatballs are cooked through. TIP: Make the last few meatballs a bit misshapen so you can easily identify them and use them to check doneness.
  8. Once done, remove them with a slotted spoon. They're now ready to use!
  9. Save the cooking water to make soup because it's now very flavourful. I usually just season it more and use it to make noodle soup which I serve with the meatballs I've just made.

To make grilled, skewered meatballs (look chin ping)

  1. Soak the skewers in water for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Skewer the meatballs.
  3. Grill on medium heat, flipping them as needed, until browned on both sides. Alternatively, place them under the oven broiler (high setting) until browned, then flip to brown the other side. To prevent the skewers from burning under the broiler you can cover the exposed part of the skewers with foil; if grilling you and place a sheet of foil under the exposed skewers.
  4. Serve with look chin dipping sauce.
  5. For the dipping sauce: Combine sweet chili sauce and sriracha, starting with the ratio of 2 parts sweet chili sauce and 1 part sriracha. Taste and adjust to your taste.

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