Traditionally this Shanghai casserole dish featuring oversized pork meatballs and greens is made with pork fat and cooked in a sand clay pot. The large meatballs are meant to represent a lion, and the shredded greens its mane.
If you like, instead of 4 large meatballs you can form the pork into 6 - 8 smaller meatballs.
More Shanghai and Eastern China Recipes
- 1 pound bok choy, Peking cabbage (Napa cabbage or spinach leaves)
- 1 to 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions, minced)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound pork (ground)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sherry (pale dry)
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Optional: Black pepper (or white, to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch (or flour)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- Wash and drain the bok choy or other greens. Cut crosswise into 3-inch strips. Mince the ginger and green onion.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork with the green onion, ginger, salt, sugar, dry sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, pepper if using, and the egg, using your fingers to mix together the ingredients thoroughly.
- Add as much cornstarch as needed to make so that the mixture is not too wet. (I start with 2 tablespoons and then add 1 teaspoon at a time).
- Form the ground pork into 4 large meatballs. Flatten them a bit so that they are not completely round.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the 4 meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook the other side (adjust the heat if the meatballs are cooking too quickly).
- In a flameproof casserole dish or saucepan that is large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to boiling.
- Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the bok choy. (You can arrange the bok choy on top of the meatballs so that it steams, or lay some right in the broth if there is room).
- Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and there is no pinkness in the middle.
To serve Lion's Head Meatballs, serve each meatball on a small plate surrounding by the greens, or in soup bowls with some of the bok choy and broth. You can also thicken some of the broth with a cornstarch and water thickener and pour over the meatballs.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||29 g|
|Saturated Fat||8 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|