Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Ginger Chicken Meatballs on Soy Sauce Braised Cabbage as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 11.
Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh

Ginger Chicken Meatballs on Soy-Braised Cabbage (Shih Tzu Tou)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
These are Molly’s version of Shanghainese lion's head meatballs, called that because the braised green vegetable is supposed to look like a lion’s mane. They’re usually made with ground pork, but she likes to lighten them up using ground chicken.



Braising Liquid:



  1. Dust a quarter sheet tray with cornstarch and set aside.
  2. To make the meatballs: Place the ground chicken in a large mixing bowl and flatten with a spatula to increase the surface area. Sprinkle with the salt and cornstarch, then add the panko, sambal, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, five-spice powder, if using, ginger, scallions, garlic and egg. Fold together until evenly mixed. You can refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes to solidify the fats, which will help with shaping, or continue to form the meatballs. Divide the meat mixture into 6 portions. Lightly coat your hands with cornstarch and roll the meat into balls, placing them onto the cornstarch-dusted sheet tray. Set aside.
  3. To make the braising liquid: Combine the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sambal in a large measuring cup and whisk together. Set aside.
  4. To make the cabbage: Remove 6 to 8 leaves from the outside of the cabbage and set aside for later, then cut remaining cabbage into 6 or 8 wedges.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Heat 1/2 inch of neutral oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat until it is shimmery. Pan-fry the meatballs in 2 batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden and the meatballs easily release from the bottom of the pan. Return the par-cooked meatballs to their tray. Carefully remove the excess oil, leaving just a light coating on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the cabbage wedges on the bottom. Nestle in the meatballs, then cover with the reserved whole cabbage leaves. Pour in the braising liquid. Increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven to braise for 1 hour until the meatballs are cooked and the cabbage is tender.
  7. Carefully remove the lid. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot. Store leftover meatballs and cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.