Lion's Head Stew

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 pounds coarsely ground fatty pork

1/2 cup ginger-scallion water (1 cup cold water, 3 large, peeled slices ginger, 3 chopped

scallions - all blended together and strained)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Canola oil, to cook

Cornstarch, to coat

1 medium head Napa cabbage, save 4 large leaves, cut remainder into 1-inch slices

Chinese clay pot with cover

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 large pieces dried tangerine peel

8 dried black mushrooms, rinsed, rehydrated, de-stemmed and halved

6 cups chicken stock

Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the pork with the ginger-scallion water, eggs and season. Throw the pork in a bowl 10 times to compact the meat together. Preheat a large skillet and coat with oil. Make 8 large meatballs and coat with cornstarch. Only brown the meatballs on all sides. Do not cook them through, then drain on paper towels. Place sliced cabbage in the clay pot and top with meatballs. Mix sugar with soy sauces to dissolve and add to pot. Add peel, mushrooms and stock. Check for seasoning. (The flavor of the broth will eventually be the flavor of the meatballs/cabbage, season well.) Top the meatballs with the whole cabbage leaves and cover. Place in the oven and braise for 3 hours. 
  2. PLATING Serve the clay pot family style with small bowls of steamed rice.
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