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Lion’s Head Meatballs

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Lion’s Head Meatballs



Ingredients :

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup minced canned water chestnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) container firm tofu
  • chopped into small bits
  • 1 pound fatty ground pork (at least 20% fat)
  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onions (white and light green parts only)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • finely minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (Optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 small head napa cabbage
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (Optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion tops
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili oil
  • Methods :

  • Pour boiling water over shiitake mushrooms, and let sit until soft enough to slice, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, combine chestnuts and tofu in a large bowl. Add ground pork, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Pour in rice wine, soy sauce, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, and egg. Dust with cornstarch. Mix with a clean hand until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Form mixture into 6 large meatballs with wet hands.
  • Set an oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and oil lightly. Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Broil in the preheated oven until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while prepping the pot.
  • Trim off the bottom of the head of cabbage and slice 1/2 of the head. Arrange sliced cabbage on the bottom of a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Arrange the remaining leaves on the top. Slice and scatter the mushrooms on top of the cabbage; reserve shiitake liquid. Nestle the meatballs into the cabbage leaves and pour juices over.
  • Strain reserved shiitake liquid into a bowl. Add chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk until dissolved. Add to the pot, pouring over each meatball. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and raise heat to medium-high. Continue cooking, basting the meatballs often, until liquid reduces slightly and meatballs are no longer pink in the centers, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  • Ladle into serving bowls and arrange cabbage over the meatballs. Top with green onions and chili oil.
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