Lion’s Head 狮子头


Chinese Name: 狮子头

English Name: Large Meatball; Lion’s Head; Lion Head

Category: Huaiyang Cuisine淮扬菜

Main Ingredients: Pork

Lion's Head 狮子头
Lion’s Head

Lion’s head狮子头 is a traditional dish of Huaiyang cuisine淮扬菜 in China. Yangzhou lion’s head has three cooking methods: stewing, steaming and braising, so there are many varieties. The more famous ones are stewed crab meat lion’s head, braised lion head with clam and braised lion head with chicken.

Lion's Head 狮子头
Nice looking lion head

It is said that the lion’s head originated in the Sui Dynasty隋朝. During the visit of Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty隋炀帝, the chef made four dishes with the theme of Wansong mountain万松山, Jinqian Dun金钱墩, Ivory Forest象牙林 and Sunflower Hill葵花岗 in Yangzhou, including Squirrel Mandarin Fish松鼠鳜鱼, Qianqian Shrimp Cake金钱虾饼, Ivory Chicken Strip象牙鸡条 and Sunflower Chopped Meat葵花斩肉.

Later, Wei Juyuan韦巨元, the chef of Wei Zhi韦陟 in the Tang Dynasty唐代, also made sunflower meat chopping, which amazed the guests and renamed “sunflower meat chopping葵花斩肉” as “lion’s head狮子头”.

Lion's Head 狮子头
Hand-painted lion head

Yang Wanli杨万里, a poet of the Southern Song Dynasty南宋, has a poem: “but one crab is matched with two crabs, there are Yangzhou cranes in the world却将一脔配两蟹,世间真有扬州鹤.” In the Qing Dynasty清代, when Qianlong乾隆 went to the south of the Yangtze River长江, he brought this delicacy to Kyoto京都 and made it one of the Qing palace dishes.

Mr. Wang Zengqi汪曾祺 once said: “the lion’s head is loose but not scattered, and it melts at the entrance狮子头松而不散,入口即化.” The lion’s head is one of the six hot dishes for the First Banquet of the founding of the country开国第一宴. It is also a favorite state banquet dish of Premier Zhou周总理. It is also a famous signature dish in Huaiyang cuisine.

Lion's Head 狮子头
Lion head

This dish is also available in Yifeng, Jiangxi Province. It has been popular for more than 100 years. It has the characteristics of snow-white color, fresh and tender meat, and is suitable for all seasons. Chaohu District in Anhui Province安徽巢湖 celebrates the harvest of grain by putting up colored balls, playing with lions and celebrating the Spring Festival春节 every year.

At this time, local people make snacks shaped like lion’s heads to reward the lion dancers. This custom has been circulating since ancient times. Moreover, this snack has a slightly larger amount of alkali than ordinary fermented dough, so it is particularly crisp and fragrant. And it can be stored for several days and will not be soft.

Lion's Head 狮子头
Tempting lion head

Lion’s head is made of 60% fat meat and 40% lean meat, together with ingredients such as onion, ginger and eggs, which are ground into meat paste to make fist-sized meatballs, which can be steamed or braised, fat but not greasy. But modern people generally use lean meat. The cooking of lion’s head dish attaches great importance to fire skill. Simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes, and in this way, it will be fat but not greasy and melt in the mouth.

How to make Lion’s head?


  • 300g Lean pork stuffing
  • 200g Fat pork stuffing
  • A spoonful of cereal
  • A spoonful of ginger juice
  • Half a spoonful of salt
  • Half a spoonful of sugar
  • A spoonful of raw flour
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon pepper
  • Six mushrooms
  • Six slices of ginger
  • A spoonful of Shaoxing wine
  • A spoonful of braised soy sauce
  • A spoonful of oyster sauce
  • 125ml Clear chicken soup (or water)
  • A spoonful of sesame oil
Lion's Head 狮子头


  • Step 1, Cut the lean and fat pork into strips and then cut into small pieces.
  • Step 2, The cereal was powdered by hand; Soak the mushrooms and remove the stalks; Cut into thick slices.
  • Step 3, Put pork, ginger juice, salt, sugar, pepper, cornflour and crushed oatmeal into a large bowl, stir them with your hand until they are completely mixed, and then pick them up with your hand and beat them into the bowl a few times to increase elasticity. And then refrigerate it for 2 hours.
  • Step 4, Take out the meat and divide it into six parts evenly. Then dip your hands with water, make the meat into six big balls, and then dip it with a thin layer of raw flour.
  • Step 5, Heat the frying oil to medium temperature, put in meatballs and fry until the surface is slightly hard. And then turn the heat down and fry until seven or eight is ripe.
  • Step 6, Pour out the oil, leave only 1 tablespoon of oil, cook wine with medium hot fragrant ginger slices and mushrooms; Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, add meat balls to color, then add chicken soup and mushroom water; After boiling, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Take out the meatballs and put them on the plate.
  • Step 7, Collect the juice over high heat, thicken it with cornflour, pour sesame oil on the meatballs, and finally put green vegetables next to the meatballs.
Lion's Head 狮子头
Steamed lion head

Video Guide

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