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Lion’s Head Meatballs: Tender and Juicy

In the fascinating world of Chinese cuisine, Lion’s Head Meatballs stand tall and proud. This traditional dish, hailing from the regions of Shanghai and Suzhou, is aptly named for the large, round meatballs that resemble a lion’s head, while the accompanying vegetables signify the lion’s mane. These oversized meatballs are a perfect blend of meaty, juicy goodness and tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Let’s delve into the process of creating these culinary marvels, which are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Lion's Head Meatballs: Tender and Juicy


  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 1/4 cup of dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of bamboo shoots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 head of Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Cooking Steps

  • Begin by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Once softened, squeeze out the excess water and mince finely.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, minced mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, egg, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and white pepper. Mix well until the mixture is fully combined.
  • Form the mixture into large meatballs, about the size of a baseball. Set aside.
  • Arrange the Napa cabbage in a large pot or dutch oven. Place the meatballs on top of the cabbage and pour over the chicken broth.
  • Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, until the meatballs are tender and the cabbage is soft and flavorful.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot.

In conclusion, Lion’s Head Meatballs aren’t just a dish, they’re a culinary experience. The key to their perfection lies in the quality of the ingredients and the patience in slow-cooking them to tender, juicy goodness. Fresh, high-quality ground pork will make a significant difference in the taste and texture of your meatballs. Don’t rush the cooking process; let the flavors meld together slowly and the meatballs cook to the point of being fall-apart tender. With every bite of these succulent meatballs, you’ll be taking a step on the gastronomical journey that is Chinese cuisine.

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