Red Braised Lion’s Head Meatballs Recipe

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Today we are going to make Red Braised Lion’s Head Meatballs. Why is it called Lion’s Head? Because the meatballs are so gigantic that they look like lion heads. The Red Braised Lion’s Head Meatballs are so delicious! Let’s get started!

Red Braised Lion’s Head Meatballs Recipe

Serves: 8 people
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time 1 hour and 10 minutes

For the Lion’s Head Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground pork (70% lean, 30% fat)
16 ounces firm tofu
2 eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
2 stalks scallions, minced
1 handful cilantro stems
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 cups canola oil, for frying

For the red braised:
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 ginger slices
2 stalk scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cinnamon stick
2 pods star anise
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
8 Napa cabbage leaves, halved crosswise


  1. To prepare the tofu, in a large mixing bowl, break the tofu into fine pieces.
  2. To prepare the ground pork, on a cutting board, chop the ground pork until they become finer in texture, 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the ground pork into the mixing bowl. Mix them.
  4. Also add the egg, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, salt, white pepper, ginger, scallions, cilantro stems, cornstarch, sesame oil, and chicken stock. Mix until it becomes a paste.
  5. Scoop about 1 cup of the paste and shape it into a meatball.
  6. Brush a very thin layer of flour on the meatball. (The flour will help to seal the moisture of the meatball inside, so it’s juicy and nice.) Place it on a plate. Do the same with the rest of the paste.
  7. In a pan, over high heat, add in the canola oil. Heat it up to 350 °F (177 °C).
  8. Cook a few meatballs at a time, until they are halfway cooked, and have a golden color, 3 minutes. Do the same with the rest of the meatballs. Remove and set aside.
  9. In a large clay pot, over medium heat, add the canola oil, ginger, scallions, cinnamon, and star anise. Stir-fry until aromatic, 20 seconds.
  10. Add in the sugar, and stir-fry until melted, 3 minutes. (This will provide the meatballs with a beautiful red shade.) Pour in the water, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine. Bring to a simmer.
  11. Place the white stalk of Napa cabbage in the clay pot, and put the meatballs over the cabbage. Cover the meatballs with the green leaves of the cabbage. Cover the lid. Bring to a simmer. Turn to low heat. Continue to simmer for 40 minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

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