Foodie Friday: Taiwanese Meatball

Taiwanese meatball (ba wan): steamed gelatinous dumpling


My husband loves these meatballs, but I still think they’re an acquired taste. They have a savory filling (usually of pork, bamboo, and mushrooms) that’s wrapped in a steamed outer shell. Unlike the firm texture of wonton skins, the outer covering yields a gooey texture (because it’s made from sweet potato and rice flour). Think: mochi, but with a saltier inside.

The meatballs are quite big, larger than their Italian counterparts, and too hard to consume in a few bites. Eating ba wan requires a knife and fork, particularly since they can float in a chili sauce. A garnish of parsley completes this food of interesting contrasts (firm meat with chewy outside).

Any oversized foods (meatballs or otherwise) that you’ve tried?


Roomba and Beyond
Chinese New Year or Spring Festival?


  1. Veronica Roth says

    Never tried it, but the way you describe it, it actually sounds really yummy. I’ll be on the look out next time we’re out somewhere Taiwanese. :D

  2. I don’t eat red meat, so when I make spaghetti and meatballs, I use ground turkey breast. With the right seasonings, they taste great to me, but I’m not sure my teen sons agree…

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      I’ve done meatballs and burgers with turkey before. Pretty good! Turkey bacon, though, does not compare with the pork version.

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