Friday, 28 April 2017

清炖狮子头 Meatball in Chinese Cabbage Soup

I saw this meatball in napa/chinese cabbage soup from a Taiwanese healthcare show “别让身体不开心”。The soup was prepared using simple ingredients without any additive like MSG. The cooking method is also very simple - just cook with the cabbage leaves placed at the bottom of a pot, add water, then rest the meatballs on top 😉

The clear Chinese cabbage soup received all its flavour and oil from the juice of the meatballs that rest above the vegetables​. I added some cut carrot for a more colourful presentation 😊

I omitted the water chestnuts and ginger from the original recipe and replaced by chopped onion 😬

28 April 2017
In my second attempt, I omitted shiitake mushrooms, and added water chestnuts, potato starch, and seasoning powder. Both the taste and texture of the meatballs was much better than the previous made. Perhaps it also attributed to I mixed the meat paste by hand instead of using a pair of chopsticks 😁


280g minced pork
3~4 de-shelled prawns, large
2 shiitake mushrooms, soaked & cut
1/4 tsp fried shallot crisp
1 tbsp white scallions
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp water chestnuts, finely cut
2 tbsp rice wine
Slightly less than 1/4 tsp salt
Pepper powder
1 tsp potato starch
1/4 tsp seasoning powder, "Knorr" brand Hao Chi *
1/4 tsp sesame oil

* Knorr Hao Chi 好吃 is a seasoning powder made of onion and garlic flavours.


1. Wash and soak shiitake mushrooms till softened. Squeeze dry the mushrooms, and cut into small bits.
Add a little olive oil and fried shallot crisp to a non-stick frying pan. When you smell the nice aroma, pour in the shiitake mushrooms, and stir fry at low heat till fragrant.
Allow the mushroom bits to cool down before use. Set aside.

2. Cut de-shelled prawns into small chunks, and marinate with a little salt, sugar and pepper powder. Cover and set aside.

Cut water chestnuts into fine bits.

3. Add minced pork, rice wine, salt and pepper powder in a mixing bowl.

Stir in one direction till the meat form into a lump, or becomes sticky. You'll see "thread" developed in the stiçky meat paste.
It is advisable to use your hand ✋ to mix instead of using a pair of chopsticks 🤓

Next, add in the potato starch and seasoning powder. Mix well.

4. Add white scallions, chopped onion,  water chestnuts and fried shiitake mushroom bits from (1) into the meat paste.

Next, mix in the prawns from (2), and sesame oil.

5. For a better texture and taste, the meat paste needs​ to be slammed for about 20 times. As the process is quite messy, I did it in the washing basin.

The meat paste became smoother and more cohesive at the end of the process.

Seal with a cling wrap and refrigerate for about 15 to 30 minutes.

Alternatively, transfer the meat paste to a Ziploc freezer bag. Slam the bag with the content onto the worktop for about 20 times.  Sealing the content in a Ziploc bag helps to cut off the splashing and flying-off parts during slamming 😀

At the end
I keep the bag of meat paste in the fridge while preparing the vegetable soup.



180~200g baby napa/chinese cabbage
1 tbsp carrot, cut
1/4 ~1/2 tsp salt
Pepper powder
350~400ml water


1. Wash the baby napa/Chinese cabbage and cut each leaf into two portion​s.
Cut the carrot into rings.

2. Lay the harder part of the leaves at the bottom of an 18 cm pot.

3. Scatter cut carrots on top of the first layer, then followed by the greener portion of the leaves.

4. Pour about 350ml of water, add about 1/4 tsp of fine salt, and shake some pepper powder to the vegetables​.
Need not add too much water as the veggies will release more water after cooking.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil

5. When the content starts to boil, shape the meat paste into ball shape, and rest on top of the veggies.

Cover the pot with a lid, and let the content simmer at low heat for about 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the ingredients simmer further to get a nice sweet aroma.

6. Garnish with some cut green scallions and coriander leaves before serving. Enjoy  😋♥


I use the similar method to prepare my winter melon soup 😁

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