Shanghai braised meatballs (Lion's head)
1 ½ lbs. ground pork or minced pork tenderloin
2 oz. dried Chinese black mushrooms
5 stalks Chinese cabbage (bok choy)
4 oz. bamboo shoots
2 green onions
1 inch ginger root
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons rice wine
2 Tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups cooking oil
4 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
5 Tablespoons stock or water
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
- Soak the black mushroom for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, this gives you the perfect time to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Dice the bamboo shoots into 1/8?pieces. You can usually buy fresh bamboo shoots from your local Asian markets, but if they are not available, canned bamboo shoots will do.
- Wash the bok choy, boil for about 3 minutes, and transfer to a serving plate.
- Finely mince the ginger root after removing the skin. Dice the green onions into 1/8?pieces.
- When the black mushroom is soft, remove the mushroom stem and dice into 1/8?pieces.
- Put the pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, green onions, ginger, egg, 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch, rice wine, salt, sugar, 4 Tablespoons of cooking oil, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly. Then knead the mixture into balls, each about a little smaller than a tennis ball.
- Heat 2 cups of cooking oil in a wok on high. Add the meatballs and fry until they appear brown on the outside. Remove the meatballs from the wok and drain off the oil from the meatballs..
- Discard the cooking oil in the wok, and pour the chicken stock (or water). Add the meatballs, and bring the stock to a boil. Then simmer for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove and place the meatballs on top of the boy choy already on a serving plate.
- Add the soy sauce to the remaining sauce in the wok, then add the cornstarch paste (be sure to mix the paste prior to adding to prevent clumps), and gently stir until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and they are ready to serve
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