Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yangzhou Meatballs (Lion's Head; 扬州狮子头)

This is a local specialty in Yangzhou city in the South in China. I heard a lot good things about it in the States. However, I have to admit that I have never had it in China, for one, I grew up in the North when my palate was just being developed; for two, the busy study kept me away from all the luxurious life events, including trying all kinds of cuisines, when I was actually in the South.

This weekend, I was inspired to give it a try at home. I half-followed a recipe I found on a Chinese website (thanks, but I forgot where I found it exactly). As many people already know that authentic Chinese dish does not have a followable recipe. In a written recipe, very often, one will find "a little soy sauce, a little salt and so on". So it is ultimately not followable to me.

My twist to make the meat mix is as following:
1.5 lb ground pork shoulder
1 medium sized potato, fine grated
1 small onion, fine chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro, fine chopped
3 spring onions
1 egg
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
ginger, fine chopped

Mix above ingredients together by stirring in one direction. I also added about 1 cup of water to make the mixture soft.

Heat up a heavy duty non-stick pan on low heat, add a table spoonful of olive oil.

Shape meatballs with hands, about 4" in diameter, and lay all of them in the pan before turn the heat to high. When it sizzles, add in one cup of cold water along the edge of the pan. Cover and simmer like making pot stickers.

In the meantime, to make the broth in a wok. I used baby cabbage and mushrooms. Simply, saute the mushrooms on medium heat for about 2 mins, then add the baby cabbage, saute for 2 mins. Add half liter of water to the work and boil.

When the juice in the meatball is gone, add the meatballs to the broth in the wok. Simmer for 10 minutes. Done!!!

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