Lion's Head Meatballs and Choi

This traditional dish from Shanghai gets its name from the large meatballs surrounded by a mane of cooked greens. If you don't have choi on hand, substitute cabbage, kale, or broccolini.

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2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 lb ground pork
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
2 heads choi or about 1 lb of other greens, roughly chopped
1 tbsp vinegar, any variety except white distilled
2 cups chicken stock or water
cilantro, sesame seeds, and chopped peanuts (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the scallion, ginger, garlic, egg, pork, salt, sugar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch then mix well
  2. Form four large meatballs and slightly flatten
  3. In a dutch oven, heat a glug of neutral oil over high heat
  4. Brown each side of the meatballs and then remove
  5. Add the rest of the soy sauce, vinegar, and chicken stock and bring to a boil
  6. Place the greens in the pot then nestle the meatballs into the pot
  7. Cover and cook over medium heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the greens are wilted, about 7-8 minutes
  8. Remove the lid and spoon the meatballs, greens, and broth into serving bowls
  9. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, sesame seeds, and peanuts if using