Friday, December 06, 2013

Steamed Meat with Pickled Lettuce 蒸肉饼

What is that pinkish mashed-up stuff?! It might not look good or even appetizing (my fault for not making it look good) but it is an "old-school" "Grandma" style dish that is easy to cook using just a few ingredients (in fact, just two or at most three ingredients) and very flavorful. Most importantly - it is comfort food to many of us who enjoys home-cooked Chinese-style dishes. Call it the taste of home

I consider it Grandma's style dish for two reasons. First, when the other half was eating it, he said this dish is best suited for seniors/the elderly as it is boneless, easy to bite and chew (assuming some in the very old generation may not have strong teeth to bite/chew food) yet very tasty with plain porridge/congee (another dish suitable for the elderly).

Second, I think a lot of us had this while we were younger. I meant, Grandmas in many families must be cooking this often in their generation when food ingredients were scarce and not as bountiful as today.


It uses just two ingredients - ground meat and pickled lettuce (from the can or bottle).


Steamed Meat with Pickled Lettuce 蒸肉饼
Ingredients: 1/2 lb organic ground meat (I use half-half ratio of organic chicken and pork, so abt 1/4lb organic chicken and 1/4lb organic pork), about 8 pieces of pickled lettuce (managed to find some good quality pickled lettuce ~ ingredients: lettuce, soy sauce, mushroom extract, sugar, from 99 Ranch Market), finely minced up and 1tbsp of pickling soy-sauce based liquid from the pickled lettuce. Dash of ground pepper if you wish.

Directions: Mix the minced lettuce and pickling liquid into the meat to marinate for about 10 minutes. Place the meat into a wide-based plate (with some depth preferred) and form a flat meat patty shape in the plate. This will ensure the meat steams to cook in a matter of 15minutes of less. Set up the wok for steaming and steam for about 12 minutes. The thicker the patty, the longer it will take for the meat to cook. Dash of ground white pepper, if you prefer, to the steamed dish before serving.


It is optional but I added 3-4 tbsp of water to the mixture of meat just before steaming as intentionally, I wanted more "sauce/gravy" from this dish to go with plain congee/porridge. As it is just a little water, it will not dilute the taste, keeping in mind that 1/2 lb of meat can be very flavorful. In addition, this little amount of water also can keep the meat mixture moist and not toughen up too much while it is being cooked.

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