|Hakka Daikon Meatballs|
A week ago, my dad said he missed his mom's *Hakka radish meatballs, a family favourite we hadn't eaten for a very long time. Dad's sole surviving sibling, my aunt, the only person who knows how to prepare that dish is now in a nursing home. But dementia has stolen the recipe from her.
I searched the internet for this very traditional dish, expecting images to pop up everywhere: Google, Pinterest, Instagram, etc but surprisingly, I only managed to find two bloggers sharing this Hakka dish. The rest appeared to be just recipes copied/shared from these two sources.
Strange, but all the Hakka restaurants in Malaysia I've visited so far do not have this dish on their menu either!
*I am a 4th generation Malaysian Hakka. Hakka translates as "guest". The Hakkas were a Chinese tribe who turned nomadic due to social calamities. They wound up in various parts of China, largely in the south and throughout the world. Since they were migrants, they were regarded as guests, hence the name.
Living under very harsh conditions and in strange lands, the Hakka people became very resilient. We, Hakka women, are known for our spunk and fierce nature!
When The Hubs, who is *Teochew, told his grandma he was going to marry me, she warned him that he would be marrying a very fierce woman!
*Teochew - a different Chinese tribe
I made these from the recipe of Kit Wai's Kitchen
Hakka Daikon Meatballs
300g grated Daikon, squeezed slightly dry
minced pork 300g
shredded dried squid 50g , soaked
dried shrimps 50g , soaked
minced garlic 1tbsp
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
tapioca flour 100g
1. Heat oil in a wok . Fry minced garlic , dried shrimps and shredded squid until fragrant. Remove and leave to cool .
2. Place all ingredients and seasonings into a bowl and mix well .
3. Place meat filling onto palm then clench it with your fist to squeeze the filling out from the index finger side of the fist . Shape filling into a ball . Place onto a steaming tray coated with a thin layer of oil .
4. Once water is boiling , steam over high heat for about 15 minutes until cooked .