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Chinese Lion's Head Meatballs




Lion's head is a dish from the Huaiyang cuisine of Eastern China, consisting of large pork meatballs stewed with vegetables.
The name derives from the shape of the meatball which is supposed to resemble the head of the lion and the cabbage (or other vegetables), which is supposed to resemble the lion's mane.
The dish originated in the region of Yangzhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, with the plain variety more common in Yangzhou and the red variety more common in Zhenjiang. The dish became a part of Shanghai cuisine with the influx of migrants in the 19th and early 20th century.
(source of information Wikipedia)
INGREDIENTS
Meatballs
• 500g pound ground pork
• 2 tbsp dried shrimp
• 1 tbsp sliced ginger, minced
• 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, minced
• 1 scallions, finely sliced (including top) on the diagonal
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 tsp date palm sugar
• 1 tbsp Shao Hsing wine or dry sherry
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
• 2 ounces minced shiitake mushrooms
• 1½ tbsp cornstarch
• White pepper or Szechuan pepper to taste
Casserole
• 3 - 4 tbsp peanut oil for cooking
• 2 cup chicken stock
• 1 tsp ginger, minced
• 1 tsp garlic, minced
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
• 2 tbsp oyster sauce
• 500g bok choy, cut into bite-sized pieces
METHOD
1. Soak shrimps in warm water for 30 minutes then drain and mince.
2. Mix the minced shrimps with the remaining meatball ingredients. Set aside for 30 minutes in the fridge.
3. Form the mixture into 4 large meatballs and roll in cornstarch and flatten them slightly.
4. Heat the oil in the inner pot and when hot add the meatballs.
5. Brown each side of the meatballs.
6. Once brown remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
7. Pour off any oil left in the inner pot and then add the chicken stock, ginger, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce.
8. Bring to the boil
9. Add the meatballs and bring back to the boil.
10. Simmer for 5 minutes before putting on the lid, turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
11. Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook for 2 hours. Slightly longer will not hurt.
12. Before serving remove the inner pot from the outer container.
13. Carefully take out the meatballs and put them somewhere to keep warm.
14. Bring the inner pot to the boil, and then turn off the heat.
15. Arrange the bok choy in bowls and place a meatball on top.
16. Pour over the stock and serve with a separate bowl of steamed rice which could be cooked in a top pot for the Thermal Cooker.

NOTE: This recipe is supplied by Chef Dave Knowles from the UK and is described for a 4.5 litre inner saucepan so you will need to adjust quantities if you are using something else.