I apologize for the title. Cheesiness to the max.
But that’s why you love me.
Due to my extreme laziness last week, Eastern China spilled into this week, meaning I didn’t need move forward. Therefore, the next stop on the road less traveled picks up again next week. Yes, I realize it’s Thanksgiving here in the States, but that won’t stop me.
Remember the Cassoulet? Amazing things can come from Thanksgiving leftovers.
Moving on, today I’m sharing the recipe for Lion’s Head meatballs (qing dùn shi tóu). Traditionally, this Shanghai dish is served as a casserole dish featuring over-sized pork meatballs and greens, the meatballs representing a lion, the shredded greens its mane. Lion’s Head. Get it?
I really don’t know why I was dragging my feet on making this. It took less than 15 minutes to assemble (though longer to cook) and was so good- the perfect warm and cozy bowl for these cold fall nights (yes, still fall. You’d never guess…). Actually, I’d call it a favorite.
However, as always, I made a few changes to the original recipe.
First, I made this into a sort of meatball soup. Whenever I think of a meatball soup, I think of Salma Hayek explaining albondigas to Matthew Perry in the movie Fools Rush In. So, think of me telling you about this soup in a sexy, Latino voice. Maybe that will convince you to try it if my praises alone won’t.
Second, I didn’t use pork belly as the recipe originally required. I try to keep things lighter, so I used regular ground pork, assuming that had enough fat for my tastes. It did and I didn’t think the soup was lacking.
Third, I added kick. Remember that chili sauce I made in Burma? Well, I keep a bottle at the ready in my fridge and it just seemed like it needed to go in this recipe. So I added it. If you haven’t been listening to my words when I’ve told you time and again to make this sauce, you can add any sort of hot sauce or chili paste. Or, pretend I’m telling you to make the chili sauce in a sexy Latino voice. Did that work? Will you make it now?
On to the recipe.
- 1 ½ pounds ground pork
- 1 TB fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 TB scallions, finely chopped
- 1 TB cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 TB rice wine vinegar
- 2 TB chili sauce
- Pinch salt
- Pinch pepper
- 1 ¼ pounds bok choy
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Oil for the soup pot
- Mix together the meat with everything else except the cabbage. Shape into 8 large, firm meatballs.
- Rinse, drain and shred the cabbage. In a deep stockpot, add the oil and stir fry the cabbage for 1-2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs.
- Cover and simmer gently for 2 hours, skimming any scum off the surface from time to time.
- Serve in a big bowl with 2 meatballs per person. Garnish with extra cilantro if desired.