Lion's Head Chinese Meatballs are tender and juicy homemade pork meatballs packed with Asian seasonings and tossed in a sweet and sticky sauce.
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)
Make the Meatballs:
- 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.
- Divide pork mixture into 5 equal pieces and roll into meatballs with your hands. Wear disposable gloves when handing meat to avoid contamination.
- 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:
- 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.
- Transfer the sauce into a shallow saucepan and heat over medium for 3-4 minutes. Continuously stir until desired consistency is reached.
- 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.
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