Chinese lion's head soup

Chinese Lion’s Head Soup

This is a family version of lion’s head soup and it definitely fits the “comfort food” category, especially when enjoyed on a cold winter evening!
Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root minced
  • 1/4 tsp. monosodium glutamate MSG
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 green onions chopped and divided
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 head Napa cabbage cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water or as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil


  1. Mix the ground pork, egg, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, ginger, MSG, 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.
  4. Optional: This dish is best served with white sticky rice.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of