Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lion's head

Lion's head is a dish from the Huaiyang cuisine of , consisting of large pork meatballs stewed with vegetables. There are two varieties: the white , and the . The plain variety is usually stewed or steamed with napa cabbage. The red variety can be stewed with cabbage or cooked with bamboo shoots and tofu derivatives. The in the meatball tends to be made from fatty pork , often with some chopped for textural variation.

The name derives from the shape of the cabbage, which together with the meatball and a bit of imagination, resembles a lion's head.

The dish originated from the region of Yangzhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, with the plain variety more common in Yangzhou and the red variety more common in Zhenjiang. The dish became a part of Shanghai cuisine with the influx of migrants in the and early 20th Century.

In Northern China, especially in Beijing, the dish is known as "Sixi Wanzi" because the meatballs are usually served in a set of four. These meatballs tend to be smaller than the variety.

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