Braised Lion’s Head
Before you freak out…let me just begin by assuring one and all that no lions were harmed in the process.
Braised Lion’s Head is a dish that originated from Huaiyang in Eastern China. I only found out about it while doing my usual food surf on the web. The dish consists of jumbo-sized meatballs that is cooked with vegetables, namely cabbage. The original version of this dish was steamed but it soon evolved into a soy-sauce braised dish.
While researching online, I found many variations to this dish. Some people deep fry the meatballs, some have very little sauce, some have lots, others prefer not to braise the vegetable with the meat. Even the ingredients for the meatballs are different. I guess it really up to you to create your own lions’ head huh? If anyone has been to China and tried the original, they may be able to shed some light here. I won’t post any links to the recipes here as I kinda picked bits and pieces from various sites and created my own.
The odd name of this dish is derived because the meatballs are suppose to resemble the lion’s head and the surrounding cabbage leaves, its flowing mane. This in itself was intriguing enough that I had a go at it. Turns out that the sauce was the winner! There was soy, sugar, sesame oil and I added a dash of mirin as well. Tops!! For the next attempt, I may try it with less liquid and have the sauce caramelise a lot more. It might create an even better, punchier flavour. We’ll see.
Hot, steamed rice drenched in its sweet, mellow flavours, chunky garlicky meatballs and trails of fresh, lightly cooked cabbage. Easy to cook and very yummy. A great one dish meal for that lazy evening…