Chinese Lion's Head Soup

Chinese Lion's Head Soup

Lei Lei 2

"This is my family's version of lion's head soup and for me it is the best type of comfort food! It is best served with white sticky rice, and wonderful enjoyed on a cold winter day."

Ingredients 35 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 431 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 431 kcal
  • 22%
  • Fat:
  • 34 g
  • 52%
  • Carbs:
  • 7.1g
  • 2%
  • Protein:
  • 24.1 g
  • 48%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 130 mg
  • 43%
  • Sodium:
  • 991 mg
  • 40%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Mix the ground pork, egg, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, ginger, monosodium glutamate, salt, and half of the chopped green onions together in a bowl. Use your hands to mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the napa cabbage, stirring constantly, until cabbage begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, water, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.
  3. Use a spoon to form the meat mixture into 1 inch balls. Drop them into the boiling soup. When the last ball has been added, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt before serving. Garnish with remaining green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.
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Reviews 55

  1. 69 Ratings


I grew up in an Asian household and we sure do love our soup! This was great once I made a few adjustments. We really like a lot of broth (as we have it with noodles), so I increased the liquid to 5 cups chicken stock and 3 cups of water. Even with that much liquid there was MORE then enough meat! I mixed in 2 green onions into the meat mixture and a dash of black pepper. I skipped sauting the cabbage and added it into the simmering soup the last few minutes of cooking, we don't like it mushy. As for the soup itself, if you add the meatballs in before it comes to a simmer, they will not fall apart. The last couple minutes of simmering I added in 3 thinly sliced green onions, a large handful of sliced cilantro, and a bit more soy sauce to taste. and DON'T SKIP THE SESAME OIL, this is key to the flavor. The meat filling and broth would also be good for wonton soup! Try adding in some sliced carrots or broccoli towards the end with the cabbage, very good!


This brings back childhood memories! For the meatballs, an easier way to make them is using a rounded "tablespoon" to make the shape easily as I dumped it one by one into the all chicken broth i a pot that had browned minced garlic. At the end of cooking everything, I added Lee Kum Kee brand of oyster sauce as needed at the end of cooking to add another dimension to the broth. The reason I cooked the meat in the broth first prior to boiling is to allow the meat to have more total time cooking in the broth (total 15 mins). After the meat has been in the simmering broth I added the stem parts of the napa cabbage into the broth/meat since they take longer to cook compared to the leaves, cooked this for 5 mins. Then I added the napa cabbage leaves cooked this for 5 mins. This way parts of the cabbage wasn't overcooked in the one pot.


I make this often in the winter..but I do something just a little different..I bake it..I layer some cabbage leaves in the bottom of my ceramic cook pot, then put in the raw meat balls and then I pour over the liquid that I have heated to just boiling. Then I layer the rest of the cabbage with some fresh ginger and garlic slices. I simmer it for about 2-3 hours in a covered pot on 300'...Or you can make it in the morning and put it in the slow cooker all day..Yummy!