Guest Post: Denimelon Eats with Lion’s Head Meatballs

The wonderful thing about a Paleo Lifestyle is just that– its not just about food; it can affect and changes all sorts of aspects of our lives for the better. It may start as something as simple as changing the food you eat, which can push you to be creative in finding new foods to eat, but then it can inspire some to blog about their experiences, which in turn pushes them to develop skills in photography and writing that they didn’t even know they had! This is definitely true of Denise of Denimelon Eats. We have followed her on Instagram for a while now, and her success on that platform encouraged her to start her own blog. Denise has some truly great recipes on her site, many of which have an Asian influence like this recipe that she is sharing with us today! Enjoy!

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Hi all! This is my first guest post ever and I cannot be more excited that Stacy and Matt have asked me to do one for them! They’re an inspiration to the paleo world and I admire their commitment to this lifestyle to better themselves but also, to help others. I am relatively new to the blogging community, as I do not feel I’m the best at putting words to paper, so to speak. I kept my social networking to just Instagram, but it was the Paleo Parents that motivated me to finally start blogging. I never know what to say on these things! I spend way to much time thinking about food than I should. If I could speak in food, then I’d be good! HAHA.

Most days, if not all, I spend thinking of ways to recreate my favorite “non-Paleo” dishes. Asian food, in particular, has a special place in my heart. I love the complexity of flavors and all the varying textures it offers. I grew up eating a lot of home cooked Chinese food. My dad is the chef of the family and this dish is his specialty.

A classic dish originating from Shanghai (where my dad is from), this is a deliciously simple yet satisfying meal. The name, Lion’s Head Meatballs, comes from the fact that these are giant tennis ball sized meatballs (the lion’s head) braised in a sweet and salty broth, then tucked within Chinese cabbage or Shanghai Bok Choy which makes up the lion’s “mane.” After braising, the meatballs are so tender, they melt in your mouth. My dad’s secret? Japanese silken tofu. I replaced the tofu with finely diced mushrooms, which not only add moistures but also that undeniable umami flavor. There are not very many ingredients, but these pack a ton of flavor. Trust me, these are good.

Guest Post: Denimelon Eats with Lion’s Head Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 4 TBSP arrowroot flour/starch
  • 1 TBSP ginger, finely minced
  • 1 8oz package button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 TBSP + 2 tsp coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari (plus 1 cup reserved for broth)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Olive oil or other preferred fat (for frying meatballs)
  • 5-6 bundles of Shanghai or baby bok choy (for broth)
  • 4-6 cups of water (for broth)
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar (for broth)

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the mushrooms and place in the food processor. Process until the mushrooms look like ground meat. Toss the mushrooms in a large bowl along with the ground pork, arrowroot, ginger, coconut aminos, salt and pepper.
  2. Using clean hands, thoroughly mix the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined. Once combined, roll the meatballs to just about tennis ball sized (smaller is okay, but these are suppose to be big).
  3. Heat a pan over high heat, add the olive oil and fry the meatballs working in batches (I did 4 at a time to not overcrowd the pan). Sear all sides. Be gentle with the meatballs, as they will be very soft. Using a slotted spoon/spatula, drain the meatballs on a paper towel. Repeat until all the meatballs are browned. Set aside to prepare the broth.
  4. Remove the base stems of the bok choy and line the bottom of a 5 quart pot with the vegetables. Top the bok choy with the meatballs, making sure to keep the meatballs in one layer. Add enough water to cover up to half of the meatballs. Then add the coconut aminos and coconut sugar.
  5. Place the pot on the stove and bring the broth to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve meatballs over cauliflower rice or regular rice.
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Denise is a Southern California girl who ditched the wheat and adopted the Paleo lifestyle in 2012. By day, she’s a Quality Engineer working in Pharmaceuticals ensuring the safety of your drugs. By night, she’s a culinary ninja, paleofying everyday comfort foods. Follow her on Instagram, @denimelon to see what else she’s cooking!

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  • Tara S

    Would Lion’s Mane mushrooms be good in this soup? I read recently that they’re wonderfully medicinal, so I bought some at the farmer’s market. I didn’t know exactly how to use them, so they ended up going bad. :(