When I was a young girl, I would love to come home from school and find my grandmother cooking in the kitchen all day. Our house would be filled with fragrant chilies, fresh cut vegetables, roasted garlic, lemons, aged soy sauce, star anise, ginger and caramelized rock sugar. Lion’s head has been the No. 1 comfort food in our family.

My grandmother was originally from Qingdao, grew up in Beijing then relocated to Taipei, Taiwan in the 50’s after college. In addition to my grandmother’s unique passion to food and gourmet cooking, Fu Pei Mei, the renown and beloved mother of Northern style cooking largely influenced her cooking style throughout the 70’s and 80’s. In those years, my grandmother traveled and lived as an expat in Saudi Arabia and Katong, Singapore, where she embraced cooking as a way to be closer to home. In the 90’s, she devoted her time to her grandchildren in America; gifting her heart through the food she prepared every day. Grandmothers are the best and here is a loving recipe that has been enjoyed in our family for decades.

artisan foods

This is my Shangdong grandmother’s and mother’s version of lion’s head. Jesse and I make this dish often as it’s one of our favorite Chinese comfort foods. Slowly braise to get tender, melt in your mouth meatballs. It’s best served with fresh steamy rice.

1 pound ground pork
1 head napa cabbage
12 stalks scallions, finely minced
1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
1 egg
3 tablespoons cornstarch plus 1/2 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice wine
5 tablespoon soy sauce plus 2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy
6 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Wash and separate Napa cabbage leaves, drain well. In a medium bowl, mix the ground pork, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 egg, minced scallions and grated ginger. With a pair of chopsticks, mix in one circular motion either clockwise or counter…

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