A typical Shanghainese meatball, but done more-or-less as they would do it in Hong Kong.
WU SIK SEUNG TONG SI JI TAU
[Shanghai style lion heads in soup]
For the balls:
One pound ground pork.
Three rashers bacon, chopped.
Five or six matai (water chestnuts), chopped.
Two TBS soy sauce.
Two TBS sugar.
One TBS sherry.
Half TBS sesame oil.
One green onion, chopped.
One thumb of ginger, minced.
Two to three cloves garlic, minced.
Two eggs, beaten.
Four TBS cornstarch.
Pinch of five spice powder.
Pinch of freshly ground pepper.
For the broth:
1 pound bokchoi, bases trimmed.
One or two slices of ginger.
One and a half cups of superior stock or broth.
Note: you can substitute quatre epices for the five spice, or a little ground nutmeg.
To prepare the lion heads, mix the pork, bacon, ginger, garlic, matai (馬蹄), and green onion. Work it over with a chef's knife or cleaver till it is considerably finer in texture than it was. Use the blade to scoop it into a bowl, and add the remaining ball-ingredients. Mix well. It should be sticky but on the firm side, not gloopy. If necessary add a little more cornstarch.
Form into four large balls.
Heat a layer of oil in a deep pan or wok. Place the meatballs herein, and colour all over; whether you roll them around or turn them is up to you. Do not cook through, merely brown the outside and firm them up.
Remove them to a casserole. Heat up the stock or broth and pour over the meatballs; it need not cover them. Simmer for about ten minutes or so before adding the bokchoi to cook alongside. When the stems have become tender and the leaves are wilted, the dish is done.
I like to cook large chunks of cucumber (peeled and seeded) with the meatballs and cabbage; I am a barbarian.
Serve each ball with some of the soup and vegetables.
First posted here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2014/08/lion-heads-in-soup.html.