Lion's Head

You can enjoy these pork meatballs on any day of the year. The meatballs get their name from their shape, which resembles a lion’s head. Lions are a very auspicious symbol in Chinese culture and stand for prosperity, power and strength.

Preparation time: over 30 minutes

Ingredients for 6 meatballs


Shan'shi ingredients

Additional ingredients

  • 600 g minced pork
  • 10 leaves chinese cabbage (Napa)
  • 100 ml chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (if not available, replace with cooking sherry)
  • 30 g shiitake mushrooms (sliced) (if fresh mushrooms are not available, dried mushrooms can be used by soaking them in water for 30 minutes and then squeezing them out)
  • 30 g spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 300 g corn starch
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar


Place the minced pork in a bowl with the garlic, spring onions, oyster sauce, 1 tbsp wok sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 50 g cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 egg white. Mix well with your hands until the mixture has a paste-like consistency. Use this paste to form your Lion’s Head meatballs. Traditionally, they are quite large, so prepare each meatball with a handful of paste, work it until it is firm and round, then toss it in the cornstarch until it is fully coated.

Fry them in the pan until they are golden brown and set aside.

Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the wok oil, garlic, ginger and shitake mushrooms and cook for one minute. Add cabbage leaves. Put the balls into the pot, add water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp wok sauce, cover with a lid and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the Shaoxing wine and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat, then reduce the heat and cook for a further ten minutes.

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Tip :

Don’t forget to serve your lion’s head meatballs with a bowl of hot rice.

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