I've seen a method that is supposedly used in China (and possibly elsewhere?) for giving minced meat a certain texture, often for dumpling filling.

The idea seems to be either or a combination of:

  • Mixing the lean part of the mince without any fat until it gets sticky
  • Bashing/throwing the meat

This video does it both: https://youtu.be/NrGGVB2qVHQ?t=234 and https://youtu.be/NrGGVB2qVHQ?t=300

Here the throwing part is described http://food-locker.blogspot.com/2012/10/steamed-pork-patty.html

  1. The final step is to lift the vegetable-filled minced pork up high and thrust it back into the bowl. This procedure makes the texture denser (起膠) and therefore yields a chewier texture (彈牙) in the final dish. Repeat this thrusting motion for about 20 times.

Is there any truth to this?

  • You can get pretty far just by kneading the meat. The longer you knead it the more the texture becomes dough-like.
    – user50726
    Mar 9, 2019 at 18:49

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is a definite difference in the texture when the meat is prepared in this way. I have heard that the proteins in the meat are separated by the beating process, which gives the resulting meat a very bouncy, chewy or even rubbery texture when eaten. Most other meatballs do not have this type of texture, and are more apt to fall apart, say Spanish/Mexican Albondigas, Swedish or Italian meatballs have quite a different texture.

If you have Netflix there is a series of short documentaries called Flavorful Origins, on Chaoshan food, in two of the films they made mention to these techniques. Season 1, episode 13 is titled, Beef Meatballs. The other is episode 17, Fish Ball and wrapped fish. The beef meatballs, are beaten with an iron bar for 30 minutes. While the fishballs are slammed down into a bowl. Hope this helps.


Even local, low-end (but delicious!) restaurants do it, and these chefs can't afford to waste so much time and energy doing something that has no effect on the food. While grinding and dicing food will cut up meat into tiny pieces for meatballs, the smashing they're doing will destroy the meat at the cellular level, releasing all the protein from within the cells. A similar effect can be produced by beating the meat with sticks, which I think is easier than throwing the meat around. Either way, it produces a much finer and more consistent texture throughout the ground meat, allowing the protein fibers themselves to intertwine, resulting in the bounciness. They're going for a completely different texture than in Western cooking, Italians would complain about the meat being "overworked and rubbery" but for dumplings, it's absolutely perfect!

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