The shape of these giant meatballs is supposed to resemble a lion’s head and the green vegetables around it, the mane. Destination Flavour China
- 1 litre oil, for frying
- 60 ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 litre chicken stock or water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 green pak choy, halved lengthways
- 750 g pork mince
- 2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 80 g (½ cup) peeled water chestnuts, diced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cornflour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch of ground white pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the meatballs, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, stirring well in only one direction. Using damp hands, shape the mixture into 4 very large meatballs.
2. Heat the oil for frying in a wok to 170°C.
3. Dust the meatballs in cornflour and fry for 5 minutes or until well browned all over.
4. Transfer the meatballs to a heavy-based saucepan or baking dish. Add the soy sauces, sugar and enough stock or water to cover the meatballs.
5. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, then remove the lid and simmer for another 45-60 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and glossy.
6. Bring a separate saucepan or wok of water to the boil, then add the oil to the water. Season the water with a little salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook the pak choy for 1-2 minutes or just until tender, then drain well.
7. To serve, arrange the meatballs on a deep plate. Arrange the pak choy around the outside of the meatballs. Pour the braising liquid over the meatballs until they are moistened and glossy.
Photography by Adam Liaw.