Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup

melt-in-your-mouth delicious
Melt-in-your-mouth delicious
Share it on your social network:
Or you can just copy and share this url


For meatballs:
2 stalks Scallions sliced diagonally, save some for garnish
1 thumb-sized Fresh ginger sliced
6 tbsp Water warm
400 g Ground pork with 20% fat or higher
100 g Ground chicken
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine Shaoxing rice wine
2 tbsp Soy sauce light
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Sugar
½ tsp Sesame oil
1 Large eggs
1 tbsp Cornstarch
For deep frying:
Cooking oil
For soup:
7 pieces leaves Napa cabbage cut in halves crosswise
6 large Shiitake mushrooms dried, soaked in 3 cups water overnight, sliced
½ tbsp Shrimp dried, optional
¼ tsp Salt or to taste
1 pinch White pepper ground

Nutritional information

  • For meatballs:

  • For deep frying:

  • For soup:

Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup


Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup is a traditional Chinese New Year dish. It’s called lion’s head because of the large size of the meatballs and the wavy Napa cabbage that resembles the lion’s mane. These homemade pork meatballs are juicy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The recipe yields 6 large meatballs or 1 per serving. 

The meatballs are simply a mix of ground pork and chicken, scallions, ginger, egg, Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar and salt. I also add a tablespoon of cornstarch to capture the meat juices while cooking the meatballs. To make the meatballs, roll them up, and then deep-fry in cooking oil. Since the meatballs are large, avoid cooking more than 2 meatballs at a time. Once the meatballs are golden all around the outside, place them in a pot over the thicker white part of the Napa cabbage. Add mushrooms along with the soaking water and aromatics. Season with salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Next, you’ll want to simmer the soup for 15 minutes before adding the leafy part of the cabbage over. Now, just simmer everything together for a few minutes and serve garnished with finely chopped scallions. Enjoy!

To make the Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup

Steps to make Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup


Soak scallions and ginger


In a small bowl, soak the sliced scallions and ginger in 6 tablespoons of warm water. Set aside to cool.


Make meatball mixture


In a large bowl, mix 400 grams ground pork, 100 grams ground chicken, 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 large egg, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Gradually stir in the scallion-ginger water. Reserve the scallions and ginger.


Heat oil


In a deep saucepan, heat enough oil for deep frying. For an 8-inch saucepan, you will need 800 milliliters cooking oil, about 3 ½ cups.


Shape meatballs


Divide the meat mixture into 6 even portions. Place one portion in a small bowl. Using a spatula or spoon, press the meat against the bowl to shape it into a ball. Repeat with the remaining portions.




Once the temperature of the oil reaches 360 °F or the small bubbles appear around the chopstick if you dip it into the oil, gently slide the meatballs into the oil. Make sure to slide the meatballs gently to avoid any splashing. Don’t add more than two meatballs at a time. Roll the meatballs from time to time and remove from the pan once they look golden all around the outside.


Cook soup


In a large pot, add the white part of the Napa cabbage and place the fried meatballs on top. Reserve the leafy part of the cabbage.


Add mushrooms


Add 6 sliced shiitake mushrooms along with their soaking water, discarding the solid bits at the bottom of the bowl.


Add remaining ingredients


Add the reserved scallions and ginger and ½ tablespoon dried shrimp if using. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of white pepper.




Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.


Add leafy part of cabbage


Add the reserved leafy part of the cabbage over the meatballs and simmer for another 5 minutes.



Finish with finely chopped scallions and serve warm with a side of steamed white rice.

This Lion’s Head Meatball Shiitake Soup is a perfect dish to serve for the Lunar New Year celebrations. Simple to throw together yet so complex in flavor. Give this recipe a go, and please don’t forget to tag us @cookmerecipes on Instagram!

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

  • Recipe Reviews:
Red Velvet Heart Cake Recipes– Homemade Red Velvet Heart Cake –Easy Red Velvet Heart Cake
Red Velvet Heart Cake
Carolina BBQ Chicken Wings
Add Review
Add Comment

Recipe Reviews

Average Rating:
Total Reviews: 1

So delicious meatballs! So good to try that! Thanks for sharing great recipe!

Write your own review

You can optionally upload your own image along with a review