or the Ram or the Sheep.
it’s all in how you translate it.
Any way you do, it still deserves some celebrating.
Several years ago, we had a January/February Birthday party and celebrated on the Chinese New Year. Among the things we served were
Lion’s head isn’t the actual head of a lion – just lion sized meatballs.
2 # ground pork
1/3 C dark soy sauce, plus 1 Tbl for the gravy
1 Tbl dry sherry
2 tsp light brown sugar
Salt to taste
4 Tbl corn starch
2 # napa cabbage, cut into 2” pieces
2 Tbl oil
- Put the meat in a large bowl.
- Mix together 1/3 cup soy sauce and the sherry, and ½ C cold water. Add 1 tsp of the sugar, salt, 1 Tbl of the cornstarch and mix well.
- Add this mixture to the meat.
- Using your hands, mix this all together well.
- Let this stand for at least 15 minutes.
- In a soup plate (or other deep plate) mix together 3 Tbl cornstarch and 2 Tbl of cold water to make a thin paste.
- Divide the meat into 8 portions (roughly tennis ball size). Form each portion into a ball with your hands.
- Heat the oil in a stir fry pan over medium heat.
- Coat the meatballs in the cornstarch paste, coating evenly. They will be sticky.
- Brown the lightly coated meatballs in the hot oil for about 5 minutes or until browned evenly. Don’t crowd the pan. Handle the meatballs gently as they are very soft – Helen Chen uses 2 spatulas and gently loosens them from the pan when turning them. As they cook, transfer them to an ovenproof baking dish. Reserve the oil in the pan for the cabbage.
- When all the meatballs are browned and in the baking dish, combine the remaining 1 ½ Tbl soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar with ½ cup water and add it to the dish with the meatballs. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 ½ -2 hours. I put them in a 350° oven and when they were good and bubbly, turned it down to 325°.
- Meatballs can be made up to this point ahead, and then re-heated.
- In the reserved pan, stir the cabbage in over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.
- When the meatballs are cooked through, remove the meatballs from the baking dish with a slotted spoon. Skim the fat off the baking dish. Put the cabbage in the gravy, Put the meatball back on top of the cabbage.
- Recover and simmer for about 10 minutes more to heat everything through.
- Serve hot.
Helen Chen’s Chinese Home Cooking. 1994. pp.205-6.