Lion’s Heads


These are sometimes served at new years, but I have included them because they are a favorite of mine.
2 lbs lean ground pork (or beef)
1/4 cup onion, minced (or sliced green onion)
2 TBSP fresh ginger root, minced
3 TBSP soy sauce
scant pinch of salt
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP cooking oil
1 head of Chinese cabbage (any variety)
6 or 8 dried Shitake Mushrooms
1 cup chicken stock


Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to stand at least 20 minutes. Mix the onion, ginger, soy sauce, salt and cornstarch. Work this mixture into the pork and divide into 4 large meatballs. Shape and flatten each one. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and sear the pork balls on each side. While the pork is cooking, slice the cabbage crosswise into 1 inch pieces leaving the green top in large pieces. Place the heavy stems in a large pot with a good lid. Drain the mushrooms and lay in a single layer over the cabbage. Place the browned meat balls over the mushrooms. Lay the cabbage leaves over the meatballs to cover. Pour the stock over, place on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover tightly and allow to cook about 1 to 1 ½ hours. When ready to serve, spoon cabbage onto plate and place a meatball on it. If you wish, you may thicken the gravy by mixing 1 TBSP cornstarch with 2 TBSP water and stirring into the boiling juices.