Lion’s head — large braised meatballs made of pork — is a famous Shanghainese dish. When I was a child, meat was scarce and lion’s head meatballs were only made for special occasions. Sometimes, we craved for lion’s head meatballs, but only had enough meat to make one for the entire family. We would cut the lion’s head into four pieces when we ate it, as the size of the lion’s head itself could not be compromised no matter what.
Today, I made lion’s head meatballs with 99% fat free ground turkey meat, and steamed them. Peter and I ate them in chicken broth with rice noodles. Peter the cardiologist couldn’t praise it enough. He said that this is one meat dish he could encourage his patients to eat. You can also try the lean turkey meat in a lettuce cup.
Chinese Turkey Meatballs
1-1/4 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 large egg
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp Shao Xing Cooking wine, or other Asian cooking wine
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped water chestnut, fresh or canned
In a large bowl combine the corn starch, ground turkey, water chestnut, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 tbsp of the soy sauce and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Gently mix with your hands until combined well. Shape meatballs 1/4 cup in size and transfer to a steamer.
Boil water. When the water is boiling, put in the steamer with the meatballs. Steam on high for 10 to 12 minutes.
I also pan fried some smaller meatballs as finger food. Audrey, the weekend meat eater, loved them. I think they can make a perfect appetizer for the Oscar night.
Recipe inspired by skinnytaste