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Lion's Head (Shi Tze Tow) Stew

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Why I Love This Recipe

This is a very traditional Shanghainese meatball and Nappa greens(Chinese cabbage) stew cooked in a sand clay pot. In this recipe the meatballs are cooked in a wok, but I prefer to cook it in my Dutch cast-iron pot. My mom has a secret ingredient that she uses in the meatballs to make it tender and very tasty...Rice Crispy Cereal. I know it sounds weird, but it really works!

Ingredients You'll Need

1/4 cup canned water chestnuts, minced
2 slices ginger, minced
3-4 Shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
2 green onions, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb. ground pork
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese rice wine(or sherry)
1 tsp. sugar
Black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup of Rice Crispy Cereal
1 lb. Nappa (Chinese cabbage), chopped
1 - 2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
4 tbsp. Cooking oil (peanut or olive is what I prefer to use)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small package of Fen See noodles(glass noodles), soaked


Combine the ground pork with the egg, water chestnuts, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl.

Mix in the cornstarch and the secret ingredient: Rice Crispy cereal.

Form the mixture into 4-6 large meatballs.

Heat a wok or heavy frying pan over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons oil.

When the oil is hot, add the meatballs.

Cook until browned, turning over halfway through cooking (about 8 to 10 minutes total).

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

In a separate small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the additional soy sauce. Season with salt and/or sugar if desired. Stir in the sesame oil and add the Shitake mushrooms.

Arrange the nappa on the bottom of the wok and add the meatballs.

Pour the chicken broth over.

Cover and simmer on low heat until the meatballs are tender (about 1 to 1 1/4 hours).

Add the Fen See noodles and simmer for additional 20 minutes.

Add more chicken broth if necessary.

Serve immediately.

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