Lion's Head Meatballs


•    450 gm (1 lb) bok choy, Peking cabbage (Napa cabbage), or spinach leaves
•    1 – 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions), minced
•    1 teaspoon minced ginger
•    1 large egg
•    450 gm (1 lb) ground pork
•    3/4 teaspoon salt
•    1 teaspoon granulated sugar
•    2 1/2 teaspoons pale dry sherry
•    3 tablespoons light soy sauce, divided
•    1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
•    Water chestnuts 6-8 pieces. Chopped
•    Dried black mushrooms
•    Black or white pepper, to taste, optional
•    2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
•    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•    360 ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken broth


Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in warm water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Drain and cut into thin strips.
Wash and drain the bok choy or other greens. Cut crosswise into 3 inch strips. Mince the ginger and green onion.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork with the green onion, diced chestnuts, mushroom, ginger, salt, sugar, dry sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Asian sesame oil and the egg, using your fingers to mix together the ingredients thoroughly. Add as much cornstarch as needed to make so that the mixture is not too wet. (Start with 2 tablespoons and then add 1 teaspoon at a time).

Form the ground pork into 4 large meatballs. Flatten them a bit so that they are not completely round.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the 4 meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook the other side (adjust the heat if the meatballs are cooking too quickly).

In a flameproof casserole dish or saucepan that is large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to boiling.

Add the meatballs, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. 
Add the bok choy. (You can arrange the bok choy on top of the meatballs so that it steams, or lay some right in the broth if there is room). Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and there is no pinkness in the middle.