Lion’s Head Meatballs

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Lion’s Head Meatballs

Lion’s Head Meatballs

This is a famous dish along the Yangtze, with regional variations. In Shanghai, the sauce will be sweet and sour. In Chongqing, it will be hot and spicy. And in Wuhan...well, it will depend on the season and the mood of the chef.

Serves 5

Prep Time 45 min

Total Time 45 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 pound lean ground pork, or beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup minced leek, white and pale green part only
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons seeded and minced fresh chile pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium hea Boston or iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or Thai basil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Cooking Directions

Step 1

Combine coconut milk, soy sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Set aside.

Step 2

Place pork (or beef), scallions, leek, cornstarch, flour, sesame oil, ginger, chile, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead by hand until thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes sticky. Divide into 10 equal portions, about 1/4 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball.

Step 3

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Step 4

Bring the coconut-milk mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.

Step 5

Line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves. Arrange the meatballs on top. Garnish with basil and lemon zest. Serve hot with the coconut-milk sauce drizzled over the top or on the side for dipping.


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