Lion’s Head Meatballs

Chef Vivian Aronson shows us how to make her famous Chinese New Year family dish, Lion’s head meatballs. Vivian is not only a chef but a cookbook author and a social media influencer known as the cooking bomb. You can find her recipe down below or on YouTube. You can also click here to check out her cookbook.

[anvplayer video=”5155942″ station=”998122″]


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 pieces water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 green onion, 1 chopped into 2 inch pieces, 1 finely chopped for garnish
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water used for boiling the meatballs


  • Add soy sauce, salt, cooking wine, chopped ginger, cornstarch, and a beaten egg to one pound of ground pork
  • Add chopped water chestnuts, stirring in one direction
  • Bring water to a boil, turn heat to low and let it simmer while you prepare the meatballs
  • Take a portion of the meat mixture into your hands and roll it between you palms
  • Makes 8 meatballs
  • Increase heat of the water to high, add meatballs with a slotted spoon
  • Boil meatballs for 6 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon
  • Place them in a colander to drain
  • Reserve a cup of water for the sauce
  • Heat cooking oil in a wok over high heat until smoking and add the drained meatballs carefully one by one to the oil
  • Brown the meatballs in the oil turning them every 30 seconds until evenly cooked (2-3 minutes)
  • Add green onions and star anise and stir-fry for about one minute (until the meatballs are fragrant)
  • Add the remaining light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, sugar, and reserved cup of cooking liquid
  • Cook meatballs in the sauce over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens
  • Serve with chopped green onion as a garnish