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  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Pork
  • 4 Tbsp Water
  • 8 Water Chestnuts, large mince
  • 3 Scallions, minced
  • 3 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP Sherry
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 – 3 TBSP Cornstarch for dredging pork balls
  • 3 or 4 TBSP Peanut oil
  • 2 TBSP Dark Soy
  • 2 TAB Light Soy
  • 20 oz Napa Cabbage, root end trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup Chicken stock (homemade is far superior but canned is okay)
  • add some dried orange peel while braising (optional)


  1. Make a cornstarch flour slurry (equal parts water and starch, appx 2/3 tsp each)
  2. Combine pork and 4 TBSP water. Mix meat in one direction, and keep mixing until it is somewhat fluffy and cohered, a few minutes; add large mince chestnuts, minced scallion, minced ginger, sesame oil, sherry and salt; mix well and form into 5 large meat balls approx 6 oz each, 2 1/2″ to 3″ diameter.
  3. Dust meatballs in cornstarch and remove excess–set aside.
  4. Heat wok with 3 TBSP peanut oil over medium heat; when wok oil is just barely smoking, add meat balls one at a time and fry, rolling and turning very gently, until slightly firm and browned. Remove. You can also spray the meat balls with oil and bake at 425 – 450 degrees F oven until brown all over.
  5. Clean wok, heat to medium, add 6 Tablespoons of water, put in cabbage leaves, cover and steam 5 minutes or so until leaves are flexible. Remove and allow to cool enough to handle.
  6. Line serving pot or small casserole with 2/3 of the cabbage; gently add the five meatballs, then pour in chicken stock, sugar, and soy sauces. Lay remaining cabbage over meat, cover and braise balls for 1 1/2 hours on top of stove or in a 300 degree oven.
  7. When done and cool enough to handle, carefully remove Lion’s heads to a plate. On the service platter, arrange braised cabbage in a circular pattern; arrange meatballs in the center. Reduce braising liquid to desired flavor intensity and add stream of slurry until liquid is thickened, coats spoon thickly, but still runs. Pour over Lions head, garnish with slivered green onion or slivered carrot.

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