Red Cooked Lion’s Head (Braised Giant Meatball)

Julie Chung started off the South Arm Community Center fall cooking session this week. Julie showed us how to make Giant Meatballs simmered with Suey Choy (Chinese cabbage). This dish is called “Hung Siew Si Ji Tao” in cantonese which literary means red cook lion’s head. The name of this dish came from the giant meatball which can be as big as a fist.

Julie served the Red Cooked Lion’s Head with some handmade noodles. The Chinese cabbages were very soft and flavourful and the giant meatball is very filing, not to mention.



  • 1.5 to 2 lbs lean ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/2 lb (about 8 pieces) water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 head of suey choy


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1 egg
  • sugar and white pepper to taste


Click on the link below for the instructions.


_MG_8119_edited-1Even though we are using lean ground pork, Julie taught us that to make very springy meatball, we have to chop the meat with a cleaver for several minutes. Into the chopped meat, finely chopped ginger, green onion and water chestnuts are added and mixed well. Lastly all the marinate ingredients are added in and mixed well with the meat mixture.
_MG_8124_edited-1To form the meatball, Julie grabbed a handful of meat mixture in her palm and squeezed the meat mixture out through her thumb and pointing finger like the photo.It’s up to you to determine the size of the meatball.
_MG_8125_edited-1Bring a pot of oil to a boil. The meat balls have to be deep fried in medium low heat until they are golden brown.
_MG_8126_edited-1In another deep sauce pan, heat a little bit of oil and lightly fry the stem part of the chinese cabbage.
_MG_8127_edited-1Layer the deep fried meat balls on top of the cabbages. You may add 1 or 2 dried scallop for added flavour.
_MG_8135_edited-1Lastly, layer the leaves part of the chinese cabbages on top of the meatballs.Add enough water to cover the meatballs. Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat to low to simmer for two hours, covered. The simmering will soften the cabbages and also impart the flavour of the meatballs into the cabbages.

You may also serve this with vemicelli (tung fun).

Julie, thank you for sharing with us again.

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  1. LotusRapper

    I believe the Chinese term “red cooked” is more akin to the term “braised”.

    Although in this case the meatballs need not be cooked for a lengthy period in the traditional sense of the word “braise” because the meat is ground and there are no tough ligaments and tendons to break down.

  2. Suanne

    Hi LotusRapper, thanks for the tip on the right word for “red cooked”.

  3. Melinda

    What a coincidence. I made a similar dish just the other night – meatballs (not giant, I’m afraid) and Chinese cabbage in a soup with shiitake mushrooms and noodles. But I used some fish sauce and a little sesame oil and didn’t use any rice wine. Next time I won’t mess around with rolling dozens of little balls!

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