Best Chinese Pork Recipe: Lions’ Heads

Lions' Heads

Check out the best Chinese pork recipe ever. This popular Chinese dish, Lion’s Head, does not only taste delicious but also looks beautiful.

To see cooking process of this dish, please watch Americans in Chinese Kitchens Episode 3 — Jiangsu Cuisine.

Total Time:

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 20 min

Servings: 2


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground leaf lard
  • 1/4 pound chopped peeled lotus roots
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 ginger slice
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 small piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 5 pieces baby bok choys, cleaned and cut into halves

Rub and squeeze the chopped leek and diced ginger in a glass of water, so that the flavor goes into the water. Remove the leek and ginger and keep the water. Bring ground pork, ground leaf lard and chopped lotus roots into a bowl. Add eggwhite, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of potato startch, 2 tablespoons of the prepared water with ginger and leek flavor in it, 1 tablespoon of salt and sesame oil into the bowl and mix them completely. Boil bok choy in water for 30 seconds and dry them. Adding some vegetable oil into the water can help preserve the green color of the vegetable.


Add 3 cups of vegetable oil into a small pot and place it over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to boil, use hands and a teaspoon to make meatballs and put them into the oil to deep-fry them. Use chopsticks to roll meatballs in the pot frequently to make sure all sides are fried for roughly equal amount of time. Take out the meatballs when they turn golden-brown. Discard the oil.

Heat a large pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan and heat for 20 to 30 seconds. Add sliced garlic and ginger slice into the oil. Remove garlic and ginger when fragrance comes out and keep the oil in the pan. Add 2 cups of water and the fried meatballs. Add cinnamon, star anise, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, 1/2 tablespoon of salt, sugar and pepper. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, covered. Roll meatballs in the pan frequently to make sure all sides are absorbing the sauce.

Mix 2 tablespoons of potato startch with 1/2 cup of water and pour in the pan to thicken the sauce. Place bok choy pieces in a circle on a plate in a way that makes them look like a flower (point tips of leaves towards the center of the plate). Place meatballs in center of plate, pour remaining sauce over them, and serve.

Leave a Reply