Chinese Meatballs

If your family loves Chinese food this meatball change-up is sure to become a family favorite.

If your family loves Chinese food this meatball change-up is sure to become a family favorite. 

Everyone loves Spaghetti and Meatballs but sometimes you want something just a little lighter. That’s when you need these Chinese Meatballs.

Chinese meatballs, usually called Lion’s Head, are light, tender and juicy meatballs with a savory flavor. They are very juicy due to the use of pork, which is a fattier meat, along with the technique of steaming them to help keep the juices inside the meatballs.

Traditionally, they are made with water chestnuts since they are cheap and bulk up the meatballs so you don’t need as much meat. The water chestnuts, ginger, scallion and soy sauce add that great flavor you would expect from Chinese food, but in meatball form.

If you’re looking to change up your typical meatball, try these Chinese meatballs for a light and savory twist. They go great eaten with the broth they are cooked in or serve them over white rice or soba noodles for a hearty family dinner.

Chinese Meatballs

Yield: 14 meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. oil, for frying
  • Chicken broth, for steaming


  1. In a large mixing bowl add ground pork, water chestnuts, scallion, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, 1 tablespoon corn starch, ginger and salt. Mix well until combined. Mixture should be wet, but you should still be able to form into balls. If needed add more corn starch. Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator 5-10 minutes to firm up. Remove meat mixture from the refrigerator and use an ice cream scoop to form into large meatballs.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and let it get hot. Add some of the meatballs in a single layer, spreading out evenly, and cook for 3-5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until golden brown on the outside (they will still be raw on the inside). Once browned, remove from pan and place on a towel-lined plate. You might have to do this in 2-3 batches depending on how big your pan is.
  3. In a large stockpot, add meatballs. Pour in chicken broth, just enough to cover the meatballs, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with some of the cooking broth.

Kelly Nardo

Kelly is the girl behind Eat the Gains, a food and fitness blog dedicated to providing wholesome and delicious recipes that fuel both workouts and everyday life. She is also a nutrition and CrossFit coach and runs a meal prep delivery service in Austin, TX. Her favorite color is orange and she has never met a vegetable she didn’t like - if you know, send it her way!