Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lion Heads

Lion Heads is a Cantonese dish comprised of ground pork and cabbage.  The ground pork is shaped into large balls and cooked with shredded cabbage, which resembles a lion's mane.  This version is something I came up with over the winter, after reading a few different recipes. 

The first time I made this, I used a bag of shredded coleslaw mix, which was on sale, at a price that made it cheaper pound for pound than whole cabbage. I highly recommend that route if you are in a hurry. 

Lion Heads
Lion Head Meatballs (Chinese Style Meatballs with Cabbage)
1 lb bok choy, chopped
1 lb teriyaki meatballs (Aidell's Teriyaki & Pineapple Chicken Meatballs)
1/4 C dried shiitake mushrooms
1 piece kombu (seaweed)
2 C water
4T soy sauce
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
1 t sesame oil (opt)
accompaniments: chopped scallions or sesame seeds, chili garlic sauce, rice

Place mushrooms, kombu and 1 C water in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Layer 1/2 of the bok choy, meatballs, and remaining bok choy in the slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over cabbage. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Stirring occasionally.  Four generous servings.

Faster Version: Use 2 C chicken broth for the mushrooms, kombu and water, and 1 bag of coleslaw mix for the bok choy.  The night before you want to serve this, combine the remaining sauce ingredients with the broth in a jar and give it a good shake. In the morning empty the bag of cabbage into the cooker, toss the (still frozen if you wish) meatballs on top and pour the sauce over all.

The Verdict
This is a favorite in our house.  Next time I will chop the bok choy more finely.  While rummaging through the pantry, I found a package of slow cooker liners.  I can't recall from whence they came, but I have to say, clean up was much quicker.  

The Dish Bitch
cutting board
crockpot (used a cooking bag so it was easy)
half pint jar for measuring and mixing
wooden spoon

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