• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Lion's Head

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Meat

 Ingredients List

  • 4 -(up to)
  • 6 Dried black mushrooms
  • 1 lb Pork
  • 10 Water chestnuts
  • 2 Scallion stalks
  • 2 sl Fresh ginger root
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 ts Cornstarch
  • 1 ts Sugar
  • 1/2 ts Salt
  • 1 ds Pepper
  • 1 tb Sherry
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 Head Mustard cabbage
  • 2 tb Oil
  • 1 c Stock
  • 1 tb Cornstarch
  • 1/4 c Stock


1. Soak dried black mushrooms.

2. Mince or coarsely grind pork (with some fat), water chestnuts,
scallions, ginger root and soaked mushrooms.

3. Beat egg lightly and blend in, along with cornstarch, sugar, salt,
pepper and sherry. (Use a wooden spoon and do not overhandle: if mixed too
long, the meat will lose its juices.)

4. Divide mixture into 4 Parts and form each into a large meatball.
(This is most easily done if the hands are moistened first with water.)

5. Heat oil and, using a strainer or wire basket, deep-fry meatballs
until golden (about 5 minutes). Drain on paper toweling. Meanwhile separate
leaves of mustard cabbage and cut each in 4-inch sections.

6. Heat remaining oil. Add cabbage and stir-fry until slightly softened
(about 2 minutes). Transfer to a heavy pan or earthenware casserole, lining
the sides and bottom.

7. Place meatballs over cabbage. Separately heat stock, then pour over.
Simmer, covered, until done (about 1-1/2 hours).

8. Arrange cabbage on a serving platter with meatballs on top. Blend
cornstarch and remaining cold stock to a paste. Add to liquids in pan and
cook, stirring, to thicken. Pour sauce over meatballs and serve.

NOTE: This dish gets its name because the meatball and sliced cabbage
suggest the head of a lion with its mane. Lion's Head keeps well and can be
made in advance and reheated.

VARIATIONS: For the pork, substitute beef.

For the dried mushrooms, substitute 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms.

For the water chestnuts, substitute 1/2 cup bamboo shoots.

For the mustard cabbage, substitute round cabbage. (In step 7, place
several slices of bread over meatballs to absorb strong odor of cabbage.
Discard bread before serving.)

For the mustard cabbage, substitute Chinese cabbage (stir-fry as above
and add during the last 30 minutes of cooking); or spinach (stir-fry 1
minute, then add during the last 15 minutes).

In step 2, add to pork mixture 1/2 pound crabmeat, picked over and
flaked, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil; or
substitute for the crabmeat 1-1/2 tablespoons dried shrimp (soaked) and 2
tablespoons cloud ear mushrooms (soaked).

Omit the ginger root, sugar, salt, pepper and sherry from pork mixture.
Add these instead to the heated stock in step 7 along with 2 tablespoons
soy sauce.

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