Chinese Lion's Head Soup

  • PrepTime: 15 Mins
  • CookTime: 20 Mins
  • TotalTime: 35 Mins


  1. 1 pound ground pork
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  4. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  5. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  6. ¼ teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) (Optional)
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 green onions, chopped and divided
  9. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  10. 1 head napa cabbage, cored and cut into chunks
  11. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  12. 2 cups water, or as needed
  13. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  14. 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Mix the ground pork, egg, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, ginger, monosodium glutamate, salt, and half of the chopped green onions together in a bowl. Use your hands to mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the napa cabbage, stirring constantly, until cabbage begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, water, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium.
  3. Use a spoon to form the meat mixture into 1 inch balls. Drop them into the boiling soup. When the last ball has been added, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt before serving. Garnish with remaining green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.