Shi Zi Tou (Lion’s Head Meatball)

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Ready : 50 mins [Prep : 20 mins † Cooking : 30 mins]
Serve :  Individual Bowl
Generic :  Steam
Level :  Easy
Idle :  30 mins Printable Recipe.

Delicious Juicy Soft Meatball In Clear Broth

Shi Zi Tou (Lion’s Head MeatBall) is a dish from Huaiyang of eastern China, consisting of large pork meatballs (about 7-10 cm in diameter) stewed with vegetables. There are two varieties: the white (basically, steamed plain), and the red (braised with soy sauce). The plain variety is usually stewed or steamed with Chinese cabbage. The red variety can be stewed with cabbage or cooked with bamboo shoots and tofu derivatives. The minced meat in the meatballs is fatty pork (lean pork is not as flavorful and tends to be tough), often mixed with some chopped water chestnut for further texture. The poetic name was derived from the meatball resembling a lion head while the cabbage act as its Mane (with a little imagination *smile*). In Chinese culture, lions are the guardians of the palace and buildings. Because it symbolizes peace and harmony, lion’s head meatball makes a great Chinese New Year meal. Here’s The VianD’s less elaborate version of Shi Zi Tou (Lion’s Head Meatball).




  • Minced Pork, finely chopped Ginger, Garlic, Onion, Scallion and Parsley.
    An Egg.


  • Salt, Sugar, Oyster Sauce, Black Pepper, Sesame oil, Shaoxing Wine. All to taste. ** Note : Just dash of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!!



  • Step 1 : Start by mixing everything thoroughly with the minced Pork with all the Seasoning Ingredients and the Egg as binding agent. Stir in one direction and mix well. Fridge it awhile for easier handling. Split the Pork into equal portion and form it into ball firmly.
    Hand-mince the meat (pork) thoroughly! Machine minced just don’t give the same texture!
  • Step 2 : Brown/sear the meatballs in medium heat. Optional, but this will adds to the color and contrast texture. Set aside.
  • Step 3 : Meanwhile, lay medium-size soup-bowl with pre-poached soften Chinese cabbages. Place the Meatballs into the individual bowl.
    Steamed cooked the meatballs first – abt 15-mins. This way, the flavor of the meat is retained and not completely diffuse into the soup.
  • Step 4 : Boil Ikan-bilis vegetable soup. Any broth U fancy, just sieves it so tat it’s clear.
  • Step 5 : Add soup and steam for another 15-mins or so, till cooked. Here, your bowl of absolutely delicious “Shi Zi Tou (Lion’s Head Meatball)” is ready to be served hot!

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