Lion’s Heads A good luck recipe for Chinese New Year that begins on February 8, 2016


1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
Cornstarch, 2 to 3 tablespoons, as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying the meatballs
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound bok choy or Napa Cabbage washed, drained, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces


In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork with the green onion, ginger, salt, sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, pepper if using, and the egg, using your fingers to mix together the ingredients thoroughly. Add as much cornstarch as needed to make so that the mixture is not too wet. (I start with 2 tablespoons and then add 1 teaspoon at a time).
Form the ground pork into 4 large meatballs. Flatten them a bit so that they are not completely round.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the 4 meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook the other side (adjust the heat if the meatballs are cooking too quickly).
In a heavy pan that is large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to boiling. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the bok choy. (You can arrange the bok choy on top of the meatballs so that it steams, or lay some right in the broth if there is room). Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and there is no pinkness in the middle.
To serve Lion's Head Meatballs, serve each meatball on a small plate surrounding by the greens, or in soup bowls with some of the bok choy and broth.