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Dim Sum Shrimp and Pork Meatballs with Sesame-Ginger Sauce

Scott Phillips

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer; 4 as a main course

These meatballs echo the juicy filling in dim sum dumplings. Fattier ground pork will make for more tender meatballs, so ask your butcher to grind it fresh from the shoulder. To make them a meal, serve with stir-fried vegetables and brown rice.


  • 8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. ground pork (preferably shoulder)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions; more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce; more to taste
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. honey; more to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar; more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds; more for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 220
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 130
  • Fat (g): 14
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 580
  • Carbohydrates (g): 5
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 17


  • Pulse the shrimp in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and, using your hands, gently mix with the pork, 1/2 cup of the scallions, 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, the five-spice powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  • To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1-1/2-oz. portions of the meat into balls; you should get 16 meatballs.
  • Heat the peanut or canola oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs. Discard the fat.
  • Return the pot to medium heat, add the chicken broth, and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Reduce the heat to medium low, return the meatballs to the pot, cover, and simmer until the meatballs just cook through (160°F), 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the ginger, honey, and garlic to form a paste. Whisk in 1/4 cup cold water, the remaining 1/4 cup scallions, 3 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. sesame oil, and the rice vinegar and sesame seeds. Season to taste with more soy, vinegar, or honey. Ladle the meatballs and any broth into bowls, garnish with sesame seeds and scallions, and serve with the dipping sauce.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • catholiver | 02/08/2020

    I loved these meatballs and will make them plenty of times. I thought the sauce was a little tedious and going forward will just make up a sauce of my own. And we grind our own pork shoulder and always have shrimp in the freezer so this is super easy to make.

  • lcotton | 01/04/2018

    We had these last night and they were excellent - the sauce really makes them!

  • ndchef | 12/15/2015

    This should say not to even bother making this with anything but ground pork shoulder (more fat). I used some ground pork I had - from who knows where - and they were dry. if I make them again, I would also add more of the seasonings, as the whole thing was pretty bland.

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