After visiting Dean Sin World last week for some down home cooking, I was craving some Lion's Head Soup. It was listed on their menu, but when I ordered it, she said they were out. This spurred me to think about it constantly for the next week or so. Finally, I decided to put matter in my own hands and make it myself.
It's not really a lion's head, but big meatballs and napa cabbage which symbolize the head and mane of the lion. Cute, eh?
I hit up Ranch 99 for the ingredients and ended up spending $50 on random stuff. Seriously, they have some of the best snacks. I got some BBQ flavored dried tofu, yogurt drinks, veggie buns, chili bamboo shoots, pickled cucumbers and some other random stuff. Unfortunately, they were out of the malt flavored soy milk. Booo. And damn it, I just remembered that I forgot to get GRASS JELLY. Arghghg.. it will have to wait till next time. That parking lot is a bitch though. People can't drive and I almost got hit by a jerk who was speeding in the lot. Stupid.
Anyways, the soup was pretty easy to make. Total cooking time was about 30 minutes. I fried the meatballs a bit so they would stay together, although some recipes say to just drop them in the boiling soup.
1 Napa cabbage
1 – 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions), minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 large egg
1 pound ground pork
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Black or white pepper, to taste, optional
2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1. Wash and drain the cabbage. Cut crosswise into 3 inch strips. Mince the ginger and green onion.
2. 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).
3. Form the ground pork into 4 large meatballs. Flatten them a bit so that they are not completely round.
4. 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).
5. In a flameproof casserole dish or saucepan that is large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to boiling.
6. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the cabbabge. (You can arrange the cabbage 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.
Very simple recipe. My BF and I loved it! It was truly a great, comforting home made meal.
You can add rice to the soup for more heartiness.