Chinese Steamed Lion Head Pork Meatballs With Quail Eggs

These Chinese pork meatballs are tender, flavorful, and juicy, just like those of your local Chinese restaurants. Learn how to make these delicious meatballs at home.

There’s nothing more satisfying than making meatballs. For me, they are a canvas that allows you to mix and match and come up with your perfect recipe. And this steamed pork meatball is no exception. 

The traditional Lion Head meatballs are made with ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, and water chestnut, just like the steamed pork patty I made a while ago. But this time, I decided to replace water chestnuts with a carrot for its bright orange color. 

Why should you try this recipe?

Chinese Steamed Lion Head Pork Meatballs With Quail Eggs

It is easy and quick. All you need is to mix all the ingredients and place them in a steamer.

It’s flavorful. With carrots, ground pork, and all the ingredients, your pork meatballs are savory and slightly sweet. Cooking for a picky eater? Give this recipe a try.

It’s versatile. You can switch the meatballs’ ingredients to your liking or use what you already have in the fridge.

What are Lion Head meatballs?

Lion Head meatball is a traditional Chinese recipe in Jiang Su and Zhe Jiang province. Unlike regular chicken or beef meatballs, Lion Head is usually made with pork in a big size. And that’s how it got the name.

Traditionally, the ground pork we use to make Lion Head is 60% fat and 40% lean. The garnish usually includes scallions, ginger, water chestnut and shiitake mushrooms. 

Some believe that the best way to cook Lion Head is to braise it. It takes 3 hours to make braised Lion Head pork balls in brown sauce. But you can also steam it or make soup with it at home. 

How to make the Lion Head steamed pork meatballs

Chinese Steamed Lion Head Pork Meatballs With Quail Eggs

Ingredients

  • Ground pork, 0.5 lbs
  • Carrot, 50 grams
  • 5 Dried wood ear mushroom, medium-sized
  • 1/4 onion, medium-sized
  • Scallion, 20 grams
  • 4 Quail eggs
  • Cooking oil, 1 tsp
  • Shaohsing rice wine, 1 tsp
  • Light soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Dark soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cornflour, 2 tsp

Instructions to make the lion head pork meatballs?

  1. Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, a sprinkle of salt, and Shaohsing rice wine to the ground pork. Let it marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried wood ear mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes and chop them finely when they completely soften.
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. In the meantime, wash the carrots, onion, and scallions. Peel the carrot and dice it finely.
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. Dice the onion and set aside for later. 
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. Chop scallion finely and separate into two portions. We are using half of the scallion as a meatball filling and half as a garnish.
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. Add all the diced ingredients and two teaspoons of cornflour to the marinated ground pork. Stir it clockwise until everything is mixed evenly. 
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. Roll the mixture into four balls and press them firmly in the palm to help them stick. Then place them on a plate.
  1. Use your thumbs to pinch a small hole on top of each meatball. Crack one quail egg into each hole.
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
Instructions to make the lion head pork meatball
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the meatballs on a steaming tray and steam for 20 minutes. 
  2. Remove the plate from the pot and sprinkle the remaining scallions on top. Serve it with white rice and Chow Mein.
Chinese Steamed Lion Head Pork Meatballs With Quail Eggs

How to make delicious pork meatballs

I love making meatballs. You can easily make a batch and store them in the fridge for later. And here are a few tips to make delicious and juicy meatballs:

  1. Use half-lean-half-fat pork. Too lean, and your meatballs may taste dry. In this case, you may want to use pork neck or pork belly instead of pork tenderloin.
  2. Diversify the ingredients. I’ve mentioned in the pork dumplings recipe how to make the perfect dumpling filling. And the formula is similar for meatballs. You need a base, which is ground pork, in this case. And you’ll need something sweet like carrot, something crunchy, like the wood ear, and something aromatic like scallions. This way, your meatballs will be filled with different tastes and textures.
  3. Add egg or cornflour to make it stick. These two ingredients help the meatballs to stay in shape, especially when you are frying or braising the meatballs.

Have you made this pork meatball recipe?

If you do, don’t forget to tell me how it goes? Do you like them? Feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section. Happy cooking!

quail eggs Lion head pork meatballs

Steamed Lion Head Pork Meatballs With Quail Eggs

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Chinese pork meatballs that are tender, flavorful, and juicy as those of your local Chinese restaurants. Learn how to make these delicious meatballs at home.

Ingredients

  • Ground pork, 0.5 lbs
  • Carrot, 50 grams
  • 5 Dried wood ear mushroom, medium-sized
  • 1/4 onion, medium-sized
  • Scallion, 20 grams
  • 4 Quail eggs
  • Cooking oil, 1 tsp
  • Shaohsing rice wine, 1 tsp
  • Light soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Dark soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cornflour, 2 tsp

Instructions

  1. Add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, a sprinkle of salt, and Shaohsing rice wine to the ground pork. Let it marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried wood ear mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes and chop them finely when they completely soften.
  3. In the meantime, wash the carrots, onion, and scallions. Peel the carrot and dice it finely.
  4. Dice the onion and set aside for later. 
  5. Chop scallion finely and separate into two portions. We are using half of the scallion as a meatball filling and half as a garnish.
  6. Add all the diced ingredients and two teaspoons of cornflour to the marinated ground pork. Stir it clockwise until everything is mixed evenly. 
  7. Roll the mixture into four balls and press them firmly in the palm to help them stick. Then place them on a plate.
  8. Use your thumbs to pinch a small hole on top of each meatball. Crack one quail egg into each hole.
  9. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the meatballs on a steaming tray and steam for 20 minutes. 
  10. Remove the plate from the pot and sprinkle the remaining scallions on top. Serve it with white rice and Chow Mein.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 259mgSodium: 744mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 33g

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