Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Feb 20, 2008 12:48 AM

Lion's Head Meatballs Question

In Shanghai, do restaurants generally make them w/ pork or beef or both?...(i don't like eating beef, which is why i'm asking)...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's pork. I have never tried or heard of Lion's Head made of beef.

    1. Ditto what FourSeasons said.

      1. ditto again!
        i have, however, heard of the combination of pork & tofu.

        1. All my Chinese cookbooks specify pork.

          1. Pork usually, but sometimes pork mixed with lamb. I'm not sure whether that's a weird thing that only my Shanghai-born dad does, though.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cimui

              Thanks to all for the thoughts...i had one today that was, i think, pork mixed w/ some "river crab" in a clay pot w/ baby bokchoy...delicious, though i've not sure if it technically is a lion's head because of the broth and crab...yummy in any case...

              1. re: Simon

                I have lion head with "crab powder" before, not with crab meat. But I like it with just pork, because what I like about lion head is the meat juice that come out from the pork, and the pork used should have a certain percentage of fat in order to make it smoother.

                A restaurant can use any ingradient and call it Lion Head, it is just that it is not authentic.

                1. re: Simon

                  as far as i know, lion's head is the name of the ball itself, and there are a couple ways of cooking it - in a clear consomme/broth as you had, and "hong shao" (literal translation: red grilled), which means cooked in a heavy dark soy(?) gravy/glaze - deep-fried tofu is often cooked that way too.

                  1. re: e_ting

                    Yes, I've almost always had it in broth with bok choi around the meatball, supposedly arranged to look like the lion's mane. (You could also give it black soybean eyes, a nose, and a mouth while you're at it... not that Chinese people over the age of three really do this. =)