steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables

Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables

Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables is probably one of the least aesthetic, but most comforting and nostalgic dishes from my childhood. My parents used to make this for us at least once a week!

This steamed pork patty recipe uses preserved vegetables (specifically preserved turnip) and water chestnuts. Some other common additions we'd have for this are other types of preserved veggies (like mustard tubers), salted fish, and salted eggs.

FIVE tips for the juiciest and tastiest Chinese steamed pork patty

Tip #1: Add fillings like preserved veggies or water chestnuts

Preserved veggies add some saltiness, flavor, and crunchy texture to the pork patty. My parents like using preserved turnip the most, but most other Chinese preserved veggies will also work here. They're often found in the refrigerated section of an Asian grocery store.

preserved turnip

Chopped water chestnuts add a nice, crisp texture within the pork patty. They're also often added in shrimp patties in Chinese cuisine.

I always buy them canned, because they come already peeled. You can buy fresh if you like, but it will require a few extra minutes of prep work!

canned water chestnuts

Tip #2: Use a 70/30 lean to fat ratio for the pork

This is one of the most important tips for making a juicy pork patty. If the pork mixture is too lean, it can become too dry after cooking. The fattiness keeps it juicy and delicious!

This is why my parents like to use either a lean pork belly or a fatty pork shoulder for a Chinese steamed pork patty. Most pre-ground pork will come as 80/20 lean to fat ratio, which also works if you don't have the time to mince your pork by hand.

lean pork patty

Tip #3: Mince the pork by hand

OK, I know I might lose some of you on this one! Buying your own lean pork belly or fatty pork shoulder and mincing it by hand will give you the BEST texture for a Chinese steamed pork patty. Yes, it's definitely some extra work, but those additional minutes you put into this dish makes the biggest difference in texture.

I've tested with both hand-minced and store-bought, pre-ground pork, and I can say for sure that hand-minced is way better. It's lighter, easier to chew, and has a bouncier texture. Sometimes pre-ground pork can be too finely ground, which can give it a gritty texture after cooking.

However, if you'd rather save time (which is OK!), you can use pre-ground pork and still end up with a tasty steamed pork patty by following the rest of these tips.

Tip #4: Gradually add water to the pork mixture

Gradually adding water to a meat mixture is a technique that my parents use to ensure the meat comes out juicy. Just add a tablespoon at a time, mix well until the liquid is absorbed, and repeat.

Doing this also makes sure you'll have a good amount of pork juices (the best part!) to pour over your rice.

Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables

Tip #5: Mix the pork in one direction until it becomes sticky and bouncy

If you've made any Chinese recipes that involve minced meat, you are probably familiar with this technique.

Mixing in one direction aggressively until the meat is sticky will give you a springy, bouncy texture. You can also grab the mixture and throw it against the bowl.

Some visible signals that it's mixed enough: you start to see "webs" or "strings" of protein form, and the mixture should be sticking together as one patty with a springy texture.

Chinese steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables

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steamed pork patty with preserved vegetables

Chinese Steamed Pork Patty with Preserved Vegetables

This traditional Chinese Steamed Pork Patty is filled with tasty additions like preserved vegetables and water chestnuts for extra texture that makes this so satisfying to eat.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3 people


  • 12 oz lean pork belly (skinless) or fatty pork shoulder or ground pork (ideally 70/30 lean to fat ratio)
  • 3-4 water chestnuts whole and peeled
  • 1.5 oz preserved turnip or other preserved veggie
  • 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • Dash of white pepper
  • teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoon water (added 1 tablespoon at a time)


  • scallions
  • ginger


Prepare the ingredients

  • Dice the preserved turnip, then let soak in a bowl of water while you prep the other ingredients.
    1.5 oz preserved turnip
  • Gently smash the water chestnuts, then chop into small chunks. Set aside.
    3-4 water chestnuts
  • If mincing pork by hand, start by slicing lean pork belly or fatty pork shoulder into thin flat pieces, and then slice those into strips. Turn the strips horizontal, then dice into small chunks. Continue mincing back and forth until it looks like roughly-ground pork -- it should not be too finely minced.
    12 oz lean pork belly (skinless) or fatty pork shoulder

Make the pork patty

  • Add the minced pork into a large bowl with the seasonings: Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of water.
    2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine, 2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, Dash of white pepper, ⅛ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 4 tablespoon water
  • Mix thoroughly and aggressively in a clockwise motion with either clean or gloved hands or a pair of chopsticks. Once the pork has absorbed all the liquid, add another tablespoon of water. Mix again, and repeat until all the water has been added.
  • Continue mixing and throwing the ground pork mixture against the bowl until it develops a sticky texture. This may take several minutes of mixing. Signs that the pork is mixed enough: you should see "webs" or "strings" or proteins begin to form, and the mixture should be sticking together as one patty with a springy texture.
  • Taste the soaking preserved turnip to check on its saltiness. If it's still too salty for your taste, keep soaking. Once it's to your liking, drain the water and add to the pork mixture.
  • Add the water chestnuts and sesame oil to the pork mixture. Mix until well-combined.
    ½ teaspoon sesame oil

Steam the pork patty

  • Form the pork patty in a round shape in a heat proof bowl. Steam on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Fattier pork mixtures may take an extra minute or two. Top with scallions and thinly sliced ginger. Enjoy over rice!
    scallions, ginger
Keyword cantonese food, chinese steamed pork, chinese steamed pork patty, steamed pork patty
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