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Lion’s Head Meatballs


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground pork, 80% lean
  • 4 ounces water chestnuts, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • About 1 quart vegetable oil, to fry

For the soupy glaze

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 small green cabbage, stemmed and leaves separated
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. Assemble the meatballs:In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs, egg, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, white pepper, cornstarch, and salt. Mix until just combined and no pockets of breadcrumbs remain.Divide the meatball filling into 10 portions and form into large, 3-inch balls.
    Bowl of Lion's Head Meatballs Ingredients Mixed TogetherGround Pork Rolled into Balls and Placed on a Baking Pan for Lion's Head Meatballs RecipeSimply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  2. Fry the meatballs:Add about 2 inches of vegetable oil to a medium, deep skillet or Dutch oven (about 10 inches in diameter). Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. With a large spoon or spider, gently add half the meatballs without overcrowding your pan. Fry on each side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. They should register at least 160°F on an instant-read probe thermometer inserted in the center.Remove the meatballs and set them aside on a plate lined with paper towels. Bring the oil back up to temperature and fry the remaining meatballs.
    Lion's Head Meatballs Frying in a Wok of OilLion's Head Meatballs Flipped While Frying in OilSimply Recipes / Frank Tiu
  3. Make the soupy glaze:To a medium pot, add the chicken stock, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, white pepper, and cabbage. Stir and cook over medium heat until boiling, about 8 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add the cornstarch slurry to the broth and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Serve:Add the meatballs to the pot and gently toss until covered in the saucy broth. Serve.Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container. To reheat, microwave them with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water for about 1 minute or on the stove for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce is loose and the meatballs are hot.Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!
    Lion's Head Meatballs in a Dutch Oven with Sauce and Cabbage Leaves

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Written by R.Central

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