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Lion's Head Casserole

The name of this dish shi zi tou in Chinese - derives from the rather strange idea that the meatballs look like a lion's head and the Chinese leaves resemble its mane.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
450 g (1 lb) minced pork
10 ml (2 tsp) finely chopped spring onion
5 ml (1 tsp) finely chopped fresh root ginger
50 g (2 oz) mushrooms, chopped
50 g (2 oz) cooked prawns, peeled, or crab meat, finely chopped
15 ml (1 tbsp) light soy sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) light brown sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornflour
675 g (l/2 lb) Chinese leaves
45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) vegetable oil
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1/4 cups Basic Stock or water

method

1. Mix together the pork, spring onion, ginger, mushrooms, prawns or crab meat, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine or dry sherry and cornflour. Shape the mixture into 4 - 6 meatballs.

2. Cut the Chinese leaves into large pieces, all about the same size.

3. Heat the oil in a preheated wok or large frying pan. Add the Chinese leaves and salt and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the meatballs and the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 - 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

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