Steamed Minced Beef with Rice (Yum Cha Recipe)

Steamed minced beef with rice is one of those dishes I no longer see at yum cha, but I remember it quite well from my weekends as a trolley pusher plus kitchenhand at Choy’s Inn restaurant in Chinatown. 

The beef mince is actually the same as what’s used for San Chuk Ngau Yoke ie. steamed minced beef balls on beancurd sheets. These things here (I didn’t make these ones, but I’ll do a separate post on them another time) – 

The steamed minced beef with rice that was served at yum cha came in these small Chinese casserole dishes with lids, which I don’t possess, so I’ve improvised by using ramekins.

Also, the ones at the restaurant steamed the rice from scratch, then added the beef mince for further steaming; I just use leftover cooked rice from my rice cooker because it’s faster and easier.

Finally, for the record, they also served pork spare ribs rice and chicken rice (from memory they came with Chinese sausages too) – I just happen to prefer the beef mince version.

This recipe is heavily adapted from Cecilia J. Au-Yang’s Chopsticks Recipes Dim Sum cookbook.

Steamed Minced Beef with Rice


250g beef mince (not too lean)

30g water chestnuts, finely diced

2 TBSP spring onion, diced

Cooked rice

Fried whole egg (optional)

Marinade – 

½ tsp cooking wine

¼ tsp salt (or ½ tsp chicken powder)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp soda bicarbonate

1 tsp sesame paste (optional)

2 tsp light soya sauce

¼ tsp white pepper

2 tsp cornstarch or tapioca starch

⅓ cup water

⅛ cup oil

You’ll need  – ramekins or small Chinese casserole dishes, steamer


  1.  Combine the marinade ingredients except the oil, and mix well.
  2. Place beef in a large mixing bowl and “pound” it by scooping it up with your hand and slapping it against the sides of the bowl.
  3. Gradually drizzle in the marinade as you’re doing this.
  4. Add diced water chestnuts and spring onion.
  5. Add oil and continue pounding until springy and firm. The theory behind this is that you want to expel the beef of air pockets so that the meat is “bouncy” when you bite into it (unlike, say, an Italian meatball).
  6. Fill the ramekins with desired amount of rice, then smear the top with 3 TBSP beef mince.
  7. Steam for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
  8. Place a separately-fried egg on top before serving (optional).




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