Braised "Lion's Head" Meatballs with Napa Cabbage
These giant ginger and garlic-spiced meatballs are made with ground pork, which makes for a shorter braising time and a dish no less delicious for it. Todd Coleman

These giant ginger and garlic-spiced meatballs come from home cook Eatty Du. This recipe first appeared along with Andrea Sun’s story Nothing Better Than a Home-Cooked Meal.

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 12 tsp. sesame oil
  • 10 leaves napa cabbage
  • 4 oz. enoki mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 14 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 12 tsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 12 cup water chestnuts, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Chinese cooking wine


  1. Pour 1 tsp. sesame oil in a 6-qt. saucepan and arrange cabbage leaves in an even layer. Place mushrooms over the leaves in an even layer. Pour 2 tbsp. light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and 1 cup water over leaves and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine pork, water chestnuts, ginger and garlic. Add remaining sesame oil and soy sauce, along with cornstarch and wine; mix until evenly incorporated. Divide mixture evenly into about eight 3-oz. meatballs; arrange meatballs evenly on top of cabbage. Heat over medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer; cook, covered, until cooked through, about 25 minutes.