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“This is traditionally served with rice as a main course of the meal, never as a starter. If cooking for just three or four people, this dish can be a meal by itself. The original recipe explained that the pork meatballs are supposed to resemble the shape of lions' heads and the cabbage is supposed to look like the mane. Tastes slightly better when not reheated. I snagged this as a Recipe of the Day years ago from a now-vanished website - and I wanted to consolidate it onto the 'zaar.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Allow yourself about 3 hours on the day it is to be served.
  2. Mix the ground pork thoroughly with the green onions and ginger, add the mushrooms and shrimp (if using), together with sherry, soy sauce, sugar, the lightly beaten egg, and finally, cornstarch.
  3. Shape the meat into 4 large round balls and put them aside. At this point, you can get on with the preparation of other dishes for your dinner.
  4. When you are ready to cook the lions' heads, heat the oil in a largish saucepan or casserole. While you wait for it to get hot, quickly cut the cabbage in quarters lengthwise (or in 6-8 segments if it is a round cabbage), add to the pot with salt and stir in to make sure that all sides of the cabbage are coated with oil.
  5. Place the meat balls on top and add enough stock or water just to cover the cabbage.
  6. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the casserole in the oven for 1hour at 350°F
  7. You can serve the dish from the casserole or, if cooked in a saucepan, transfer the cabbage to a large bowl with the meat balls arranged on top.

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