Put all the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl and stir to combine, stirring in the same direction. Using wetted hands, take a large mound of the minced meat mixture and mould into a ball a little larger than a golf ball. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Pour the groundnut oil into a large deep pan and heat over a high heat. Using a metal ladle, carefully lower each meatball into the oil and spoon some of it over the meatballs. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browned.
Pour all but 2 tablespoons of oil out into a heatproof bowl. Add the water or stock to the pan. Arrange the slices of Chinese cabbage round the meatballs, curving them around the sides of the pan lengthways, then add the mushrooms and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and cook gently for 15 minutes. Add the blended cornflour, if using, and stir until thickened.
Take off the heat, season to taste and sprinkle with the spring onions. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
Chinese Food Made Easy by Ching-he Huang, £16.99, HarperCollins
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