Steamed Beef Balls at Urban China

Steamed Beef Balls at the Urban China Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta

I wasn’t all that impressed with most of the dishes I was served at the Urban China Dim Sum Restaurant in Edmonton, but the Steamed Beef Balls you see pictured above were fairly decent. Not the best I have had, mind you, but still better than many others

Of particular note, these balls were about the largest I have ever had, I think. In fact, when the dish was placed in front of me, the waitress snipped each of them in half with a big pair of scissors, which is something I have not seen elsewhere, that I recall.

The body of the meatballs were very light and springy, which is an excellent quality in this Dim Sum specialty, and means that the meat mixture has been well-stirred before steaming in order to align all the meat fibers and produce a really smooth texture. This is something at which a lot of restaurants fail, in my experience.

The seasoning for the beef was very light, maybe just a little soy and white pepper, but I also fancied I could taste a little orange peel in a few bites here and there. As for the other ingredients, these appeared to consist of some chunks of water chestnut, along with chopped scallion, and, while these didn’t augment the flavor to any degree, they did add some pleasant textural contrast.

The one thing that marked these Beef Balls as somewhat different than other Dim Sum offerings is that they were steamed atop a bed of Bean Curd Skin strips. Being steamed, these had the same texture as the Bean-Curd Roll with Beef at The Palais Imperial, which was less to my taste had they been deep-fried first, to produce at least a modicum of crispiness, as with those in the Bean-Curd Roll at Fan’s Restaurant, for example. I probably wouldn’t have minded that too much except that the skins were, I would say, a little stale, and had something of the flavor of old latex paint.

Still, on the whole, while I actually prefer the steamed beef balls I usually make at home, these were pretty good.


Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!