Lion’s Head Meatballs Recipe


For the Meatball Mixture:

For the Cooking Liquid:

For the Garnish:


  1. Pour boiling water over shiitake mushrooms, and let sit until soft enough to slice, about 1 hour.
  2. 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.
  3. Form mixture into 6 large meatballs with wet hands.
  4. 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.
  5. Broil in the preheated oven until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while prepping the pot.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Ladle into serving bowls and arrange cabbage over the meatballs. Top with green onions and chili oil.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 315
                                              % Daily Value *
Total Fat: 28 %
Saturated Fat: 
Cholesterol: 27 %
Sodium: 64 %
Potassium: 19 %
Total Carbohydrates: 6 %
Dietary Fiber: 10 %
Protein: 41 %
Vitamin A: 
Vitamin C: 
Vitamin B6: 

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