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This is a very traditional Shanghainese meatball and Nappa greens(Chinese cabbage) stew cooked in a sand clay pot. In this recipe the meatballs are cooked in a wok, but I prefer to cook it in my Dutch cast-iron pot. My mom has a secret ingredient that she uses in the meatballs to make it tender and very tasty...Rice Crispy Cereal. I know it sounds weird, but it really works!


  • 1/4 cup canned water chestnuts, minced
  • 2 slices ginger, minced
  • 3-4 Shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese rice wine(or sherry)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup of Rice Crispy Cereal
  • 1 lb. Nappa (Chinese cabbage), chopped
  • 1 - 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Cooking oil (peanut or olive is what I prefer to use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 small package of Fen See noodles(glass noodles), soaked


  • Combine the ground pork with the egg, water chestnuts, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Mix in the cornstarch and the secret ingredient: Rice Crispy cereal.
  • Form the mixture into 4-6 large meatballs.
  • Heat a wok or heavy frying pan over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the meatballs.
  • Cook until browned, turning over halfway through cooking (about 8 to 10 minutes total).
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • In a separate small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the additional soy sauce. Season with salt and/or sugar if desired. Stir in the sesame oil and add the Shitake mushrooms.
  • Arrange the nappa on the bottom of the wok and add the meatballs.
  • Pour the chicken broth over.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat until the meatballs are tender (about 1 to 1 1/4 hours).
  • Add the Fen See noodles and simmer for additional 20 minutes.
  • Add more chicken broth if necessary.
  • Serve immediately.

Categories: Asian  Dinner 
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