[Sca-cooks] Lion's Head Soup

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Fri Sep 28 08:22:42 PDT 2007

This is a similar recipe from "Ni Tsan and his 'Cloud Forest Hall Collection
of Rules for Drinking and Eating'  translated by  Teresa Wang and  Gene
Anderson.  As you may know, this is a 14th century ms from China, actually
written/compiled by a noted painter of the time.

*43.  Water Dragonlets*

Chop finely two portions of lean pork meat to each one portion of fatty
meat.  Add a little spring onion, Chinese pepper, apricot kernel paste and
dry steamed cake powder (i.e., similar to breadcrumbs), and mix.  Moisten
hands with vinegar and roll the dough into balls.  Cover the outside with
real starch flour.  Boil in soup.  Take them out when they float to the
surface.  They can be served with clear or piquant stock.

1# Ground Pork
1/8 cup Spring onion, finely chopped
1/4  tsp. Szechuan pepper
2 Tbsp. Apricot kernel paste (use almond paste)
1 Tbsp. Breadcrumbs
Starch flour
1 qt. Chicken stock

Mix together all ingredients except for chicken stock and starch flour.  Make
the meat mixture into golf-ball sized balls and roll in starch flour.  Bring
chicken stock to a boil and drop the meatballs into the stock.  When they
float to the surface, remove them from the stock and serve, either by
themselves or with the stock.
Hope this helps...


On 9/28/07, Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I have a recipe for Lion's Head Soup that is very easy and appears to be
> fairly traditional. Now I don't know very much about Chinese or Oriental
> historical cuisine and someone asked me if this could be period. I know the
> cornstarch is right out but if anyone has "Soup for the Quan" or some other
> historical idea I'd appreciate it.  Is there something similar? This isn't
> an attempt at trying to make a modern dish period, just my ignorance in how
> far a similar dish goes back.
> I would think the cornstarch could be replaced by rice flour or even fine
> wheat flour.
> Lion's Head Soup1 pound ground pork 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2
> tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 medium head Napa
> cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth In a
> medium bowl, mix the pork, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a
> chopstick. Form into large meatballs. On a small plate, sprinkle the
> remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and roll the meatballs in the cornstarch.
> In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil.
> Brown the meatballs in hot wok until deep golden brown. Remove from the wok.
> Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
> Wipe the wok or skillet clean with a paper towel. Return the wok to high
> heat and cook cabbage until just wilted.
> Place the cooked cabbage on the bottom of a large soup pot or casserole
> dish. Add the meatballs and broth. Cover and simmer until meatballs are
> cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir and serve warm.
> I just cook this mundanely and never thought about serving it for a feast.
> So this isn't my idea. But you should try it, it's wonderful and simple.
> Gunthar
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