lions head meatballs

ButcherBox Member Recipe: Lion’s Head Meatballs

Last Updated on May 2, 2022

Recently, ButcherBox asked our members to share their favorite recipes with a chance of one recipe being featured on Just Cook. We’re excited to highlight ButcherBox member Mindy C., and her beloved lion’s head meatball recipe below.


Growing up this dish would always appear on the dining table on Lunar New Year’s Eve. The round shape of the meatball signifies the reunion of the family, which is especially meaningful during Lunar New Year.


lions head meatballs with napa cabbage


It gets its name because the huge meatballs resemble a lion’s head. When I was a child, I was afraid of this dish when the adults would mention “lion’s head.”

When my grandma used to make them, they were gigantic and when I tasted them, I was so surprised that the meatballs were so tender, juicy, and flavorful. When the stew broth is poured over white rice, it tastes so wonderful and makes you want to get more bowls of rice.


lions head meatball ingredients


ButcherBox ground pork is ideal for this dish as it is lean and the fat portion is so perfect for these meatballs. This recipe makes me miss my grandma’s lion’s head so much!

lions head meatballs

Lion's Head Meatballs

4.84 from 6 votes
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Protein: Pork
Cut: Ground Pork
Course: Soups/Stews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Mindy C.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ButcherBox ground pork
  • ½ pound medium-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 5 grams minced ginger
  • 50 grams water

For the Stew:

  • 2 scallions cut into 5cm pieces
  • 10 grams ginger cut
  • ½ a napa cabbage separate the white and green sections2
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup water or soup stock
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper


Lion's Head Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 390°F.
  • Mash the tofu.
  • Put all the ingredients for the meatballs into a stand mixer and start mixing.
  • Stop when the ingredients combine well together and become slightly sticky.
  • Take the meat and threw it on the counter top to make the meat stick well together.
  • Make into meatballs and place onto a cooking sheet. (Will result in about 6-10 meatballs, depending on the size.)
  • Bake at 390°F for 20 minutes or until outside of meatballs are golden brown.

Lion's Head Meatball Stew

  • Heat oil on medium heat in a cast iron pot or Dutch oven. Stir fry the scallion and ginger.
  • Add in the cooking wine, oyster sauce, and soy sauce.
  • Add in the white sections of the napa cabbage and stir fry for one minute.
  • Pour in the water, and then add in the sugar and white pepper powder. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.
  • Add the meatballs to the stew.
  • Add the green sections of the napa cabbage, covering the meatballs.
  • Bring back to a boil. Once boiling, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste and serve.
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