Red-braised lion's heads

Adam Liaw
Red-braised lion's head.
Red-braised lion's head. Photo: William Meppem

Each of the four giant meatballs in this dish symbolises one of luck, prosperity, longevity and happiness. Which one will you get?


Lion's heads

750g pork mince

2-3 spring onions, white and light green part, minced 

1 tsp grated ginger

1 egg yolk

3 tbsp cornflour (2 tbsp for dusting)

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tsp shao hsing wine

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

pinch of white pepper, pinch of castor sugar 

¼ tsp salt, 1 cup vegetable oil, for shallow frying, plus 2 tbsp for pak choy 

¼ cup coriander leaves, to serve

Braising liquid

¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup dark soy sauce cup ½ shao hsing wine

¼ cup castor sugar

5cm ginger, sliced and bruised

4 pak choy or baby bok choy, halved or quartered lengthwise, to serve



1. For the meatballs, mix all of the ingredients together (reserve 2 tablespoons of cornflour), and shape into four very large meatballs. Sprinkle with the reserved two tablespoons of cornflour to coat.

2. Combine the ingredients for the braising liquid in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.

3. Heat the oil in wok and shallow fry the meatballs one at a time until well browned all over. Place the meatballs into the braising liquid and add water until the meatballs are just covered. Simmer for 30 minutes covered, then remove the lid and continue simmering for a further 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced and thickened to a thin glaze coating the meatballs.

4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the bok choy and boil for about two minutes until tender. Drain well and arrange on a serving plate. Place the meatballs on top, pour over some of the glaze to serve and scatter with coriander leaves to serve.