A lot of people may have never heard of this dish called Lion Head. This is a dish from Eastern China and the name derives from the shape of the large meatball which is supposed to resemble the head of the lion. The vegetables which represent the lion’s mane. The meat ball can be made of ground pork or ground beef.
This is one of the most delicious and exotic dishes from China that I love and have adapted into my own lion head recipe! This recipe will give you the taste of China and make you feel like you are going back in time to visit the Chinese Emperor! My grandmother is a Chinese, she really loves this dish but she would be amazed when she gets to try mine. Hope you guys will enjoy this dish just like I do!
- Yield: 4
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
Lion Head (Chinese Meatballs)
- rice noodles - 1/2 package
- bok choy - 1/2 cup
- green lettuce - 1 cup
- ground pork or beef - 1 lbs.
- salt - 1-2 Tbs.
- pepper - 1 Tbs.
- chopped garlic - 2 Tbs.
- chinese five spice powder - 3 Tbs.
- eggs - 2
- oyster sauce - 3-4 Tbs.
- sesame seed - 3 Tsp.
- chicken broth - 2 cups
- shiitake mushroom - 1 cup
- chopped green onion - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 1 - 2 Tbs.
- honey - 1/2 cup
- soy sauce - 1/2 cup
- tomato sauce or ketchup - 1/4 cup
- corn flour - (optional)
- Heat the water or chicken broth in the pot. Bring it to a boil.
- Add some Shiitake mushrooms, about 3 tbs. of soy sauce (reserve the rest of the soy sauce to make the sauce for meatball), the oyster sauce, sugar, and chopped garlic. Stir well then add ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Once the mushrooms are cooked, they will be soft and tender, and the soup will turn darker from the mushroom. Reduce the heat, let it simmer for about 5 minutes, and you can adjust the taste of the soup depending on your preference. After 10 minutes, you may turn off the heat or let it simmer on very low heat.
- Cook the rice noodle in another pot. You may need to soak the dried noodle in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes or until softened then you can cook it in the boiling water. There is no need to add any salt while you are cooking the rice noodle. Once it is cooked, immediately drain the noodles. Rinse one time with cold water then drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix ground pork or ground beef with the egg, ground black pepper, Chinese Five Spice powder, chopped green onions, a pinch of salt, and start kneading the meat until all of the ingredients are mixed well. Smooth and sticky, you may add some corn flour to increase the stickiness then mold the pork into a ball shape and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C. Line the tray with a baking sheet or foil and take the meat balls to bake for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Now make the sauce to pour on the meatball for color. I have adapted this sauce recipe by myself. Simply mixing these 3 ingredients together: honey, ketchup or tomato sauce, and soy sauce to create your own red sauce. Alternatively, you can use Hoisin sauce.
- Pour the sauce on top of each meat ball and take it to broil on Low for about 4 minutes. Allow the sauce to become caramelized and stick to the meatballs.
- Slice or chop the veggies of your choice (lettuce or bok choy or both!) and add them into the mushroom soup we have cooked in the pot.
- Place everything we have cooked in a plate or bowl. If you like it spicy then you can add some ground red pepper and you can garnish the meatball with some sesame seeds on top. I also add some egg yolk into the soup and add some chopped green onions. Serve hot and Enjoy!