Wednesday, 10 April 2024

A Traditional Recipe for Lion Head Clear Soup

22 Jul 2023
A Traditional Recipe for Lion Head Clear Soup When it comes to traditional Chinese soups, Lion Head Clear Soup stands out as a delicacy that offers a comforting and wholesome experience. This time-honored recipe has been passed down through generations, and its flavors are cherished in various regions of China. The soup is known for its light and clear broth, tender meatballs, and the combination of nutritious vegetables that create a harmonious blend of tastes. In this article, vauro will explore the origins of Lion Head Clear Soup, the ingredients required, the cooking method, and some interesting variations. So, let’s dive into the world of this delightful culinary treasure.

What is Lion Head Clear Soup?

Lion Head Clear Soup is a classic Chinese soup that features large, tender meatballs made from a mixture of ground pork and seasonings. These meatballs, often referred to as “lion heads” due to their size and shape, are the star of the dish. The soup is named for its clear, savory broth that perfectly complements the succulent meatballs and various vegetables. Its simplicity in appearance is matched by the complexity of flavors it offers.

The Origin of Lion Head Clear Soup

The origins of Lion Head Clear Soup can be traced back to the Jiangnan region of China, particularly around the areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. This region is known for its rich culinary heritage, and the soup has been a part of their traditional feasts and celebrations for centuries. Its name “lion head” is believed to be a nod to the majestic appearance of the meatballs, resembling the mane of a lion.

Ingredients Needed


To prepare the meatballs, you will need the following ingredients:
  • Ground pork
  • Eggs
  • Ginger and garlic paste
  • Green onions
  • Soy sauce
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Cornstarch
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper


The broth forms the heart of the Lion Head Clear Soup. The ingredients for the broth include:
  • Chicken or pork stock
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Ginger slices
  • Light soy sauce
  • Salt and sugar


To add a nutritious touch and balance to the soup, the following vegetables are required:
  • Bok choy
  • Napa cabbage
  • Carrots
A Traditional Recipe for Lion Head Clear Soup

Cooking Method

Preparing the Meatballs

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, eggs, ginger and garlic paste, chopped green onions, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until they form a well-combined mixture.
  3. With damp hands, shape the meat mixture into large, round meatballs.

Making the Broth

  1. In a soup pot, bring the chicken or pork stock to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms, ginger slices, light soy sauce, salt, and sugar to the simmering stock.
  3. Allow the broth to infuse with the flavors of the ingredients for about 15-20 minutes.

Combining Meatballs and Broth

  1. Carefully place the prepared meatballs into the simmering broth.
  2. Allow the meatballs to cook for around 15 minutes, ensuring they are thoroughly cooked and tender.
  3. Add the bok choy, Napa cabbage, and carrots to the broth, and let them cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Variations and Additions

While the traditional Lion Head Clear Soup is a delectable dish on its own, some variations and additions can elevate its taste and appeal. You can experiment with the following:
  • Adding beaten eggs to the simmering broth for an egg drop effect.
  • Incorporating water chestnuts or bamboo shoots for added texture.
  • Enhancing the umami flavors with a dash of oyster sauce or mushroom seasoning.

Health Benefits of Lion Head Clear Soup

Apart from its delightful taste, Lion Head Clear Soup offers several health benefits. The use of lean ground pork provides a good source of protein, while the vegetables contribute essential vitamins and minerals. The clear broth is gentle on the stomach and can be particularly soothing during colder months or when recovering from illnesses.
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Serving and Presentation

To serve the Lion Head Clear Soup, ladle a generous portion of meatballs, vegetables, and broth into individual soup bowls. Garnish with some fresh cilantro or green onions for a pop of color and added aroma. Serve the soup with steamed white rice or some noodles for a more filling meal.


Lion Head Clear Soup is more than just a dish; it is a celebration of Chinese culinary heritage. The simplicity of its appearance and the complexity of its flavors make it an exceptional soup cherished by many. Whether it’s a family gathering or a comforting meal on a chilly day, this traditional recipe will warm both your heart and soul with its wholesome goodness.

Can I Use the Lion Head Clear Soup Recipe as a Base for Ratatouille?

Yes, the lion head clear soup recipe can indeed serve as a delightful base for ratatouille. This traditional Chinese soup offers a subtle yet flavorful broth that complements the vibrant flavors of ratatouille. By combining the aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices of the delicious ratatouille recipe, you can create a harmonious fusion of cuisines that will surely satisfy your taste buds.


Can I use other types of meat to make the meatballs?

While the traditional recipe calls for ground pork, you can experiment with other meats like chicken or beef for different flavors.

Is the soup spicy?

The traditional Lion Head Clear Soup is not spicy, but you can adjust the seasonings according to your preference.

Can I make the soup in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the broth and meatballs in advance and assemble them just before serving.

What is the significance of the name “Lion Head”?

The name “Lion Head” is inspired by the large and round shape of the meatballs, resembling the mane of a lion.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Absolutely! The soup and meatballs freeze well, making it a convenient option for future meals.