In the game, Matsutake Meatrolls look like a proper Chinese dish in the in-game icon, but it is likely that it doesn’t have a real-life counterpart. In-game, the description says that it is pan-fried slowly. Cross-checking with the Chinese description also roughly translates to the same thing (细火慢煎).
Several online recipes for Matsutake Meatrolls just ended up rolling a slice of meat around a mushroom. The problem is that pan-frying this way is unable to really allow flavours from the meat to penetrate to the mushroom. More than likely the meat will burn before that happens. So I’m going to assume that the developers didn’t exactly have a culinary consultant, meaning the descriptions can’t be very accurate.
That said, let’s figure out the dish. The region of Liyue is obviously based on China, with no specific regions in mind. Just looking at the pictures and ignoring the description, it looks very similar to Lion’s Head Meatballs (狮子头), also called Four-Joy Meatballs (四喜丸子) from Huaiyang Cuisine. Basically, these are braised meatballs with a soy sauce-based sauce (this refers to the red-braised version. There is also another clear version of the dish). These are typically fried whole before being braised for 2-3 hours, and that would allow the flavours to fully penetrate into the mushrooms covered by the meat.
But one more thing to address: Matsutake.
Well you see, Matsutakes are pretty expensive in real life… In terms of mora, I really have no mora. And I’m not as cool as Zhongli to not think about it, so I’m using a substitute: King Oyster Mushroom. The taste would probably be different, but the shape fits our purpose. Using any other mushroom would honestly work as well just taste wise.
Matsutake Meatroll | Genshin Impact
- 4 Matsutake Mushrooms King Oyster Mushrooms as budget substitutes
- 25 g Lotus Root or Water Chestnuts cubed
- 1 Bottoms of spring Onion or scallion sliced
- 3 Shiitake Mushrooms cubed
- 1 tbsp Ginger, grated or chopped fine to taste
- 50 g Firm tofu
- 300 g Ground/Minced Pork, 30% Fat, 70% lean I used 300g pork belly + additional meat
- 1 egg
Seasoning for minced pork
- ~1 tsp White Pepper Black Pepper also works
- ~1 tsp Salt
- ~1 tbsp Rice Wine
- ~1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- Corn Starch As needed
Seasoning for braising liquid/sauce
- Enough Water to cover
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Few ginger slices lightly smashed
- 1/2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 to 2 pieces Rock Sugar 1-2 tbsp White sugar as substitute
- Cornstarch and water for thickening as needed
- Any green vegetables for laying on the bottom
- Top of green onions or scallions
- (Optional) If using pork belly and lean meat, use knives to mince the meat. This simultaneously pounds and minces the meat, giving it a different texture than pre-minced meat.
- Knead minced pork along with "Seasoning for minced pork", except the cornstarch. You'll want to do this for 3 minutes for the shape to come together. If using pre-minced, you do not need to knead as long.
- Add in the vegetables (mushrooms, lotus roots, spring onions) and mix again. Then add some cornstarch which serves as binding and also absorb some of the liquid.
- Form the meatroll by covering the long stem of the Matsutake/King Oyster mushroom with the meat mixture.
- Brown the meat roll. Heat up a pot, put some oil in, then place the meat rolls in. Flip after 1 to 2 mins to brown all sides. Traditionally, Lion's Head Meatballs are deep fried whole before being braised. So this is the home-cooking compromise.
- Braise the meat rolls. Do this by placing in "Seasoning for braising liquid/sauce", except the cornstarch and water.
- Cover and let the meat rolls braise for 2 hours. I let mine braise for only 40 minutes since Paimon was hungry, but traditional Lion's Head Meatballs are braised for hours.
- Blanch green vegetables (Iused Bok Choy) for 30 seconds in boiling water after the braising.
- Take out meat rolls and plate, placing vegetables on the bottom and laying meat rolls on top.
- Thicken the braising liquid. Use cornstarch and the same volume of water to form a slurry, and pour that into the braising liquid. Adjust this according to your own desired thickness. The heat can be shut off here.
- Pour sauce over meat rolls. Garnish with tops of spring onions. Serve.