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Lion's Head Chinese Meatballs are tender and juicy homemade pork meatballs packed with Asian seasonings and tossed in a sweet and sticky sauce. | aheadofthyme.com

Lion's Head Chinese Meatballs


  • Author: Danny Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 large meatballs

Description

Lion's Head Chinese Meatballs are tender and juicy homemade pork meatballs packed with Asian seasonings and tossed in a sweet and sticky sauce.


Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine (or mirin)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or white pepper)

For the sweet soy sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour (or cornstarch)

Instructions

Make the Meatballs:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork with breadcrumbs, eggs, Shaoxing cooking wine, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix well until uniform in consistency.
  2. Divide pork mixture into 5 equal pieces and roll into meatballs with your hands. Wear disposable gloves when handing meat to avoid contamination.
  3. Cook the meatballs in the air fryer or oven.
    • In the air fryer: Place meatballs in a single layer in the air fryer and cook at 375F for 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160F when measured on a meat thermometer. Set aside.
    • In the oven: Place meatballs in a parchment-lined quarter sheet baking pan and cook in a 375 preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160F when measured on a meat thermometer. Set aside.

Make the Sweet Soy Sauce:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, add soy sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, sesame oil and flour. Whisk well to combine until flour and sugar dissolves.
  2. Transfer the sauce into a shallow saucepan and heat over medium for 3-4 minutes. Continuously stir until desired consistency is reached. 
  3. Add meatballs to the saucepan and toss well to coat evenly. Garnish with green onions and serve warm with a bowl of steamed rice, and drizzle any extra sauce from the pan on top.

Notes

How to store: Store lion's head meatballs in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply reheat in a steamer or in a shallow saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water if the sauce thickened up too much in the refrigerator.

How to freeze uncooked meatballs: You can freeze uncooked lion's head meatballs by placing them on a quarter sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper. Then transfer to the freezer and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Then, transfer the meatballs to a freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to cook from frozen: Allow the meatballs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator first, then cook as per recipe instructions on the stove.

How to freeze cooked meatballs: Freeze cooled cooked meatballs by transferring into an airtight container or freezer bag. I would recommend freezing before mixing with the sauce, and making a fresh batch of sauce when ready to use.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: lion's head chinese meatballs, lion's head meatballs, chinese new year meatballs, pork meatballs, chinese meatballs