Year of the Goat

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


The MGM logo is one famous lion head

The MGM logo is one famous lion’s head

Lion’s head isn’t the actual head of a lion – just lion sized meatballs.

lion's head wiki

Lion sized meatballs – no lions are harmed in making this dish!


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

  1. Put the meat in a large bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. Add this mixture to the meat.
  4. Using your hands, mix this all together well.
  5. Let this stand for at least 15 minutes.
  6. In a soup plate (or other deep plate) mix together 3 Tbl cornstarch and 2 Tbl of cold water to make a thin paste.
  7. Divide the meat into 8 portions (roughly tennis ball size). Form each portion into a ball with your hands.
  8. Heat the oil in a stir fry pan over medium heat.
  9. Coat the meatballs in the cornstarch paste, coating evenly. They will be sticky.
  10. 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.
  11. 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°.
  12. Meatballs can be made up to this point ahead, and then re-heated.
  13. In the reserved pan, stir the cabbage in over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.
  14. 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.
  15. Recover and simmer for about 10 minutes more to heat everything through.
  16. Serve hot.

Helen Chen’s Chinese Home Cooking. 1994. pp.205-6.

Helen Chan Chinese Home Cooking

Helen Chan’s Chinese Home Cooking

Jelly Belly Year of the Goat tribute - here's to a sweet year ahead!

Jelly Belly Year of the Goat tribute – here’s to a sweet year ahead! The New Years celebrations last 15 days – the first for this year was Thursday February 19th.

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Filed under Chinese New Year, Recipe

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