Steak Diane

Steak Diane

Steak Diane’s official origin is unknown, but it certainly gained popularity in upscale New York restaurants in the 1950s and 1960s, just like many other classic dishes. It was lavishly served tableside with a Cognac flambé, making it the Drake Hotel’s signature dish. But don’t worry; you can make this delicious steak dinner without using the torch at home.

Tender beef (typically filet mignon or pounded sirloin) in a cream sauce flavored with beef stock, mustard, Cognac, and shallots, chives, or parsley are the components of a traditional Steak Diane. There have been many delicious variations over the years, including mushrooms! tomato paste! However, this version has a few modern twists to add even more flavor and is pretty close to the original.

Although covering an expensive, seared steak in brown sauce may seem counterintuitive and distinctly 1950s, beef tenderloin is actually an excellent candidate for this savory, saucy treatment.


Baste away. 

Basting the filets with garlic- and thyme-infused butter, which is typically reserved for thicker, longer-cooking steaks, adds a subtle layer of flavor that is essential to the creation of the delicious sauce.


Soy sauce is the secret. 

Although unorthodox, adding soy sauce to the mustard and Worcestershire gives the dish a more complex umami flavor. Make sure to use unsalted butter and beef stock that does not contain salt to prevent this dish from becoming a salt bomb.


Do I really need to flambé? 

Sincerely, no. The alcohol will simply evaporate when deglazed over high heat, easing some of the pressure that comes with alcohol and open flame. Follow these easy steps for flambé fun if you’re making this for a dinner party, fancy date night, or just because you can’t resist the show:

In a small saucepan next to the stove, gently warm the Cognac over low heat before adding the shallots. This must not simmer; You don’t want to see it go down.

Remove the pan from the heat after the shallots and garlic have been cooked, and then add the Cognac. With a long match or a grill lighter, carefully light the Cognac on fire after returning to the heat. Swirl the pan gently until all of the flame is gone and the alcohol has completely evaporated. Continue using the mustard and reduced broth mixture.



  • 1 beef stock
  • 1 tbsp.Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp.Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 sauce
  • 4(4-5 -oz.) beef tenderloin steaks, about 1” thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp.unsalted butter
  • 4cloves garlic, divided— 2 smashed and 2 minced
  • 2sprigs thyme
  • 1large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1scallion, green and white separated, both minced
  • 1/4 c.Cognac
  • 1/2 c.heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp.fresh parsley, finely chopped



Step 1

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beef broth to a gentle boil and reduce until ½ cup remains, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the Dijon, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, and whisk until combined.

Step 2

Pat steaks dry with a paper towel, and season each steak with a pinch of salt and ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper on each side, gently pressing the pepper into the steak to help it adhere. Heat a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter, swirling to coat. (Be sure to keep an eye on the butter so that it doesn’t burn.) As soon as the butter stops sputtering and there’s a slight wisp of smoke, add the steaks to the pan and cook on one side for about 2 minutes. Turn the steaks, lower heat to medium, add the smashed garlic and thyme sprigs to the pan, and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes, basting continuously. Transfer steaks to a plate and set aside.

Step 3

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan, and return to medium heat. Cook the shallots and the minced whites of the scallions for 1 minute, with a small pinch of salt. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Increase the heat to medium-high, and deglaze the pan with Cognac, using a spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the Cognac has almost completely evaporated, about 30 seconds.

Step 4

Add reduced broth and Dijon sauce mixture, and simmer for 1 minute to thicken slightly. Whisk in the cream and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in the accumulated juices from the steak, and reduce heat to medium-low. Return steaks to pan to heat through a bit more, spooning the cream sauce over the top over each steaks for about 2-3 minutes (or until the center of steaks reach 125 degrees for medium rare, and the cream sauce has thickened slightly).

Step 5

Garnish with parsley and scallion greens. Serve with fluffy mashed potatoes.



Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Because this sauce is so potent, make sure you have some crusty bread on hand. This is by far the best chicken breast recipe available. The sauce is flavorful despite its simplicity. It is loaded with tomatoes, garlic, and, most importantly, cream. It’s bright and simple, and it works equally well in the summer and winter. When you want comfort food, this is a great dinner that is also good enough to serve to guests. We like it best with bread, but you can also put it on pasta or rice. Try it with our Tuscan Salmon if you like it as much as we do!



  • 1 tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp.dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp.butter
  • 3cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c.cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 spinach
  • 1/2 c.heavy cream
  • 1/4 c.freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lemon wedges, for serving



  1. Step 1In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Step 2In the same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.
  3. Step 3Stir in heavy cream and parmesan and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Step 4Serve with lemon wedges.



(per serving): 380 calories, 29 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar,28 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium


Chinese Noodle Soup

Chinese Noodle Soup

A straightforward and flavorful Chinese noodle soup with a broth that would make you think it came from your favorite Chinese restaurant! As this is a midweek version, soup broth purchased from a store is used instead of homemade broth. Because this recipe is more about the broth than the toppings, I kept the toppings simple. Vegetables and proteins are acceptable additions.

Chinese Noodle Soup is incredibly quick and easy – if you know the secret seasonings! You’d swear the Asian soup broth is from a Chinese restaurant, it’s that good. 10 minutes and just 352 calories for a big bowl. Use any noodles, any vegetables, any protein – or not! It’s terrific fridge-forage food.

This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!


Fast Chinese Noodle Soup!

This Chinese Noodle Soup is one of my classic “back pocket” recipes because it’s so versatile and incredibly quick. Because people who cook all day for a living need quick dinners for real life – ask any chef!!


Here’s a run down of how it goes:

  • Broth: Plonk and simmer 6 ingredients for 10 minutes (no trip to the Asian store required!);
  • Noodles: Prepare fresh OR dried noodles according to packet directions;
  • Toppings: Rummage in fridge and locate vegetables & proteins of choice. Chop roughly and cook with the noodles or in the soup. broth; and
  • Serve: Place noodles in bowls. Pour over soup and toppings.

See? 10 minutes!

Ladle of Chinese Noodle Soup Broth

Seasonings for Chinese soup broths

If you’ve ever been disappointed by a recipe for an Asian soup broth before, it’s probably because it was missing basic but essential flavourings. It takes more than just chicken broth and soy sauce to make a Chinese soup broth!

Here’s what all you need:

Ingredients in Chinese Noodle Soup Broth
  • Chinese cooking wine – the key ingredient. Just 1.5 tablespoons adds complexity and depth of flavour to the store bought chicken stock. Without it, the broth will taste “flat” ie missing something. Substitute with: dry sherry, mirin or cooking sake. Best non alcoholic sub for this recipe: substituting some of the soy sauce with oyster sauce (which adds extra “umami” into the broth to compensate);
  • Garlic and ginger – smash the garlic and slice the ginger to allow the fresh flavours to infuse into the broth. Keeping them whole makes it easy to pick out later – you could very well grate them straight into the broth using a fine grater, but you will get little bits in the soup (rather than being a clear broth);
  • Sesame oil – for the flavour!
  • Chicken broth/stock – use low sodium otherwise the broth may be a touch too salty for your taste. Use a decent one, because it’s the foundation of the soup broth (🇦🇺 I use Campbells. Better than Continental). Best option if you have it: homemade chicken stock!;
  • Soy sauce – either all purpose or light soy sauce will work here. Don’t use dark soy sauce or sweet soy sauce – the flavour of these are too intense; and
  • Sugar – just a touch, to balance out the flavours.

What goes in the noodle soup

And here’s what I put in the soup:

Add ins for Chinese Noodle Soup
  • Noodles – Chinese noodle soups are traditionally made with thin egg noodles (pictured above, and below in the soup). Fresh ones (sold in the fridge section) have a better texture than dried. But any noodles will be fine here – fresh or dried, rice noodles, white or yellow noodles, Hokkien, Singapore noodles, wide, thin, vermicelli, ramen noodles (yup!), diet noodles (like konyaku – been there, done that), zoodles (been there too). Really. ANY noodles will be great in this broth!
  • Bok Choy (also known as buk choi, buk choi, pak choi, or pok choi – crazy right??!) – or any vegetables. I like bok choy because you just split them in half down the middle and bam! You’re done! (Recipe notes includes an extensive list of chopping and cook directions for common vegetables)
  • Cooked Chicken (poach it using this method that guarantees juiciness)- or any other protein, as desired. Everybody keeps little containers of cooked shredded chicken in the freezer, right?!
  • Green onion or coriander/cilantro, or chives, or even finely sliced onion (red, white, yellow brown) – something for a little hit of freshness.
Chopsticks picking up noodles in an Asian noodle soup

How to make Chinese Noodle Soup

And here’s how it happens in 10 minutes. (And to all those cheeky buggers who will point out that if you have to simmer for 10 minutes, then it takes longer than 10 minutes – fine! You can take a 2 minutes off the simmer time!)

How to make Chinese Noodle Soup

PRO TIP: Never cook noodles in the soup broth unless a recipe specifically calls for it. Noodles suck up loads of liquid when they cook, so if you do that you’ll end up with way less broth than you expect. Learnt this the hard way. 

Overhead photo of Chinese Noodle Soup with chicken, noodles and buk choi

Make it even HEALTHIER!!

Being that this is a noodle soup recipe and all, noodles are a key ingredient here. Even so, it clocks in at just 352 calories for a bowl.

But if you want to cut down on the carbs and calories even further, just skip the noodles and load it up with tons more vegetables to make a Chinese vegetable soup. In fact, it’s one of my “go-to” diet dinners (which should happen more frequently than it does…).

Do I miss the noodles? Of course I do. But I console myself with a healthy dose of chilli paste and lots of fresh herbs, Chicken Pho style.

But before you make it diet, try it the way it’s intended. THEN healthify it!!!





  • 3 cups chicken stock/broth, low sodium (Note 1)
  • 2 garlic cloves , smashed (Note 2)
  • 1.5 cm / 1/2″ ginger piece, cut into 3 slices (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce , or normal all purpose soy sauce (Note 3)
  • 2 tsp sugar (any)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chinese cooking wine (Note 4)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sesame oil , toasted (optional) (Note 5)


  • 180g / 6oz fresh egg noodles (Note 6)
  • 2 large bok choy or other vegetables of choice (use any blanchable veg – Note 7)
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (or other protein of choice)
  • 1 scallion / shallot , green part only finely sliced (optional garnish)



  1. Place Broth ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Place lid on, bring to simmer then reduce to medium and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  2. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to packet directions.
  3. Cut bok choys in half (for small / medium) or quarter (for large). Wash thoroughly.
  4. Either cook the bok choi in the broth in the soup broth OR noodle cooking water for 1 min (if noodles required boiling).
  5. Pick garlic and ginger out of soup.
  6. Place noodles in bowls. Top with chicken and bok choy. Ladle over soup, garnish with green onions. Great served with chilli paste or fresh chillis.


Recipe Notes:

1.  Chicken stock/broth – just store bought chicken broth is fine here, but get a good quality one (Campbells in Australia is my favourite brand). Don’t use chicken stock powder with hot water for this recipe – the flavour is too chickeny.

2. Smashed Garlic – wack the side of your knife onto a garlic clove using the heel of your hand so it bursts open but remains mostly in one piece. This allows the flavour to seep into the soup but can be picked out before serving. You could just mince the garlic using a garlic crusher but you’ll have little bits of garlic visible in the broth, rather than being a clear clean broth.

3. Chinese cooking wine is a key ingredient to transform store bought chicken broth into a restaurant-quality soup broth. Dry Sherry is an excellent substitute. Otherwise, Japanese cooking sake or mirin are adequate substitutes (if you use Mirin, skip sugar).

If you cannot use alcohol, I think the best sub is as follows:

  • Reduce soy sauce to 1 tbsp
  • Add 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce (this has umami and will add complexity into the broth flavour to compensate for leaving out cooking wine).

4. Extra broth flavouring options: star anise, chilli, green onion (just fold them) or onion quarters.

5. Sesame oil – use toasted (brown colour, more intense sesame flavour), not untoasted (yellow, not common in Australia).

6. Noodles: Use any you want, fresh or dried but if using less, use less. Here’s a guide of amount of noodles per serving:

  • Fresh noodles, thin (ie from fridge section, this is what I use) – 90g / 3 oz per serving
  • Fresh noodles, wide and flat (like thick Thai rice noodles) – 150g/ 5 oz per serving (much denser, so you need more)
  • Dried noodles, pasta (yes, really!) – 60g / 2 oz per serving
  • Ramen – 1 pack / “cake” per person

Prepare according to packet directions – do not add into the broth (it sucks up lots of the broth).

7. Toppings: Cook proteins separately to keep things simple. My “go to” is shredded cooked chicken because I keep little bags in the freezer (poaching keeps it juicy). Egg is also great – just whisk it lightly, pour it in and whisk to create egg “ribbons” like in Hot & Sour Soup and Chinese Corn Soup. Chinese BBQ Pork Slices is fabulous (I order it at restaurants on soup), but I never have leftover when I make it.

Vegetables – cut and cook in either noodle cooking water (if noodles require cooking) otherwise if the noodles just require soaking, then cook the vegetables in the broth. Put the vegetables that take the longest to cook in first (like broccoli), and delicate ones last (like beansprouts).

Veggie suggestions – toppings commonly found on Chinese noodle/ wonton soups:

  • Any Chinese veggies (bok choy/buk choi/pak choi, gai lan/Chinese broccoli, choy sum). Cut Bok Choy into half or quarters lengthwise (pictured / video), for other veg, cut into batons about 5cm / 2″ long
  • Carrots – sliced on the diagonal
  • Bean sprouts
  • Green beans

Other veg – not common at Chinese restaurants, but works great!

  • zucchini (sliced)
  • green beans cabbage (thick slice)
  • asparagus, broccoli / broccolini and cauliflower,
  • any other vegetable that can be boiled.

8. Nutrition is per serving, assuming 1/4 tsp of sesame oil is used. The nutrition can be substantially enhanced by adding more vegetables! Reduce sodium even further by using low sodium soy sauce.



Chicken Cashew

Chicken Cashew

This cashew chicken with tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out.

This cashew chicken, or stir-fried chicken with roasted cashews in garlic sauce, tastes just like take-out from your favorite Chinese restaurant. It’s easy to make at home. You don’t need a wok — just a large nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves garlic and scallions. The rest of the ingredients come out of bottles and jars. As with all stir-fries, the dish cooks quickly, so be sure to have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Also, be sure not to cut the chicken pieces too small, or they will cook too quickly and overcook.



cashew chicken ingredients

Be sure to use a high-quality hoisin sauce like Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee; it makes a big difference.



To begin, place the cashews on a baking sheet in a single layer.

how to make cashew chicken

Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (They will crisp up as they cool.) Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the water, cornstarch, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.

sauce mixtureNext, season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until very hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet

how to make cashew chicken

Stir-fry until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

how to make cashew chicken

Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; then add remaining chicken, garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.

how to make cashew chicken

Add the sauce mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.

how to make cashew chicken

Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens, cashews and sesame oil.

how to make cashew chicken

Serve with rice.



  • ¾ cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, best quality such as Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 scallions (1 bunch), white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Asian sesame oil




Preheat the oven to 350°F.


Place the cashews on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside; they will crisp up as they cool.


Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the water, cornstarch, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. Set aside.


Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.


In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until very hot.

Add half of the chicken to the skillet and stir-fry until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; then add the remaining chicken, garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.


Add the sauce mixture to the chicken; cook, tossing, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nicely thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens, cashews and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

The Panda Express should go! You can make your favorite Chinese dish any time, any day with this straightforward recipe for beef and broccoli that only requires one skillet.

Beef and broccoli are a clear example of how delicious light meals can also be. Crisp broccoli florets and tender, juicy beef covered in a thick, savory sauce.

Beef and broccoli is the easiest, healthiest, and easiest-to-make way to satiate your hunger without feeling guilty.


Beef and Broccoli

One of the most well-liked Chinese dishes in the United States is beef and broccoli, and for good reason. Steak that is juicy and crunchy broccoli go well together.

And that condiment? It is unparalleled in its class! Soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, cornstarch, and sesame oil come together to make a flavor that is both unique and delicious.

Additionally, preparing it is a breeze! All you need is one skillet. And don’t worry, you can find everything you need for this recipe at your local supermarket.


Oyster Sauce. It’s a common ingredient in Asian cooking and gives dishes a wonderfully thick consistency and authentic flavor.

Sesame Oil. Another staple in Asian cooking. Apart from the unique flavor, its aroma is also enchanting.

Soy Sauce. Together with oyster sauce and sesame oil, it forms that signature sauce. If you want to control the sodium that goes into the dish, use low-sodium soy sauce.

Sugar. Just a teaspoon to counterbalance all that umami-ness.

Cornstarch. It helps thicken the sauce and helps keep the beef tender and juicy.

Flank Steak. Sliced very thinly against the grain. Top sirloin steak, top round steak, or tri-tip steak are good alternatives.

Ginger. Just a small slice gives the dish even more Asian flavor.

Tips and Tricks

Since beef is obviously a crucial component of this dish, you should select the best variety. A beef that is tender and lean is the best choicae for a stir-fry.

Because it is lean, tender, and simple to chew, flank steak is the best choice.

You can also use top sirloin steak, top round steak, or tri-tip steak if you can’t find flank steak.

You must cut the meat correctly in addition to obtaining the appropriate meat. If you don’t, the lovely, tender consistency won’t be there. Don’t worry; it’s easy. How to do it:

For thirty minutes, freeze the steak. It will be so much easier to slice this! The next step is to thinly slice it against the grain with a sharp knife.

The steak will probably be rubbery if you don’t slice against the grain.

Beef should be marinated for 30 minutes. In addition to giving it that irresistible flavor, the sauce’s cornstarch will keep the fries moist while they are being fried.

Cook the steak in a hot skillet to get the most tender beef possible. This will keep all of its liquids inside. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Otherwise, the steak won’t get a good sear from the oil. Instead of searing the meat, you’ll end up steaming it.

Even though the dish contains broccoli and beef, it is not very filling. To pair it with, you’ll need something heavy and starchy.

Adding steamed white rice to a stir-fry is the best way to finish it off. It’s straightforward, but it definitely works.

The rich, umami-packed sauce is absorbed by the rice, resulting in an absolutely mind-blowing meal.


How to Make the Best Sauce

We all know that the thick, luscious sauce on beef and broccoli is the best part. Follow these simple guidelines to create a sauce that will outperform Panda Express:

1. Nothing can be substituted for the soy sauce. This golden brown seasoning has a salty flavor that no other ingredient can match.

2. Another non-negotiable is sesame oil. Don’t skip it because it gives the stir fry that authentic Asian flavor!

3. A thin slice of fresh ginger is sufficient. Because ginger has such a potent flavor, you shouldn’t use too much! The ginger will overpower the flavors of the other ingredients if you overdo it.

4. This recipe yields a beautiful, thick sauce. If you want it to be a bit thinner, just add 1-2 tablespoons of water at the last step of cooking.

Homemade Beef and Broccoli

Can Beef and Broccoli Be Made Ahead?

Definitely! Beef and broccoli keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make it on the weekend, refrigerate, and just reheat when ready to serve.

Beef and broccoli is a healthy, tasty, and hearty dish, so it’s an excellent choice for kids’ school lunch! For a grab-and-go prep, place cooled rice in a microwave-safe container.

Top it with the beef and broccoli, cover, and refrigerate. Just microwave when ready to eat.



  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 pound beef flank steak, sliced into 1/8-inch thick cuts
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, more if needed
  • 1 thin slice of fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 pound broccoli, sliced into florets


  1. In a bowl, combine oyster sauce, sesame oil, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved.
  2. Place steak pieces in a large, shallow bowl. Pour over the oyster sauce mixture and coat steak pieces completely. Refrigerate to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir. Allow them to sizzle in the hot oil to flavor it, about 1 minute. Remove and discard ginger and garlic.
  4. Add the broccoli and stir until vibrant green and slightly tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Take the broccoli out and set it aside.
  5. Add more oil into the wok if needed. Add the beef and marinade. Stir until the meat has browned, and the sauce is reduced into a glaze, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked broccoli. Stir meat and broccoli until heated through, about 3 minutes.


Chinese Lion’s Head Pork Meatballs

Chinese Lion’s Head Pork Meatballs

A family-friendly recipe for pork meatballs made with breadcrumbs, water chestnuts, and aromatics to produce meatballs that are light, airy, and juicy with a lot of flavor.

Lion’s head (, shi zi tou) is another name for Chinese pork meatballs. They have savory meatballs that are light, tender, and moist. Because it is so comforting and easy to prepare in large quantities, this dish is a staple for my family. The savory meatballs served with rice are just as addictive as burgers. The best food pairing is starch and juicy, flavorful meat.

In China, you can find a lot of different versions of the Lion’s Head. Braised meatballs are one popular version in northern China. The way to cook those is very similar to the method in this recipe. After browning, however, those meatballs are braised in a liquid containing soy sauce instead of being steamed. Meatballs cooked in chicken broth are another type. They are typically served alone, not with rice.

Steamed lion’s head is the third type that I will discuss today. My grandmother handed down this recipe. Every two weeks, she used to make a large batch of these. She would reserve a small portion to serve to guests who might be staying at her house after she had cooked them. The remaining portions would be frozen and distributed to family members, including my parents. My favorite meatballs, these are even better than those from the restaurant. They are as tender as the pork in a slow-cooked Bolognese sauce and are extremely fluffy and moist.


How to make pork meatballs extra light

The secrets to creating super fluffy meatballs are:

  • Mix water into the meat to make a very tender patty
  • Add plenty of breadcrumbs
  • Add plenty of water chestnuts

Chinese pork meatballs prep steps

The truth is that you will need to add so many chestnuts and breadcrumbs that the patty will double in size. The water chestnuts give the meatballs a really cool and crisp taste, making them extra light.

My mother once told me that adding so many other ingredients to the pork was not intended to make the meatballs tender. Her parents needed to find a way to make these meatballs more filling with fewer ingredients because pork was scarce when she was a child. As a result, the meatballs’ moist and tender texture was just a nice side effect of being poor. My family still enjoys using this recipe when they cook. It has a homey flavor.


Method of Preparation

The meatballs are formed, browned, and steamed after being cooked in a frying pan.

Browning the meatballs after shaping them will give them a delicious crust and keep them juicy. Additionally, it helps the meatballs maintain their shape. A lot of fat is removed from the meatballs when they are steamed. The meatballs will be more flavorful and less greasy when they are done. Although the recipe may appear to require some time, it is actually very simple to prepare. In the kitchen, active cooking only takes 30 minutes.

Chinese pork meatballs cooking step-by-step

Additionally, one of my favorite lunch items are the meatballs. They freeze well and taste as perfect in the wake of warming. Stuff one of these into your lunchbox with steamed rice and a few greens, and you’ll make each of your partners envious when you heat it up in the workplace microwave.

The meatballs can also be served as a main dish for dinner with quick and easy sides like cucumber salad, okra stir-fry, or spinach salad.



  • 1 pound (500 grams) ground pork (lean fat ratio 7:3)
  • 4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or Japanese sake)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger , grated
  • 1/2 cup scallion , minced (or green onion)
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 12 to 15 water chestnuts , finely chopped (generate about 1 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (100 grams) panko (Japanese style breadcrumb)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)



Prepare the meatballs

  • Add ground pork into a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons water. Mix well with a spatula until water is fully incorporated.
  • Add Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, sugar, grated ginger, cornstarch, and scallion. Mix well.
  • Add chestnuts and eggs. Mix a few times.
  • Add panko. Mix well. Add sesame oil, mix until it forms a soft paste.
  • Heat peanut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until warm.
  • Use bare hands to scoop about 1/3 cup of the paste and shape it into a meatball (*see footnote 1). The meatball should be a bit runny, barely able to hold its shape (so the finished meatballs will be tender and juicy). If the meatballs cannot hold their shape, add a bit more panko and mix again. If the meatballs are still a bit tough, blend in more water and mix well, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the paste turns soft.

Cook the meatballs

  • Carefully place 3 to 4 meatballs in the skillet and make sure to leave enough space to flip them. When the bottom side is just set, carefully roll the ball with a spatula to cook the other sides. Continue to do this until all sides are set and browned (*see footnote 2). Transfer to a plate. Continue to brown the rest of the meatballs.
  • Add water to a steamer and place the plate of meatballs on the steaming rack. (*see footnote 3)
  • Heat the steamer over medium high heat, covered, until the water begins to boil. Turn to medium heat. Cook covered until the meatballs are cooked through, in 40 minutes.
  • Cook the second batch by using the same method. After cooking the first batch, check the water level and add more if it runs too low.
  • Serve warm over steamed rice as a main.

Storage and reheat

  • Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. After steaming, the meatballs will render some fat and liquid. Drizzle it on the meatballs before storage, to keep the them tender and moist.
  • The best way to reheat the meatballs is by steaming, the same method used to cook them. The meatballs will be heat up evenly and still be moist inside.
  • Alternatively, you can use the microwave. Make sure the container has some liquid (leftover grease or 1 teaspoon water) inside. Please a loose lid on top and heat it up in the microwave.


  1. This is a bit messy, but I find using bare hands to shape the meatballs is easier than doing so when wearing plastic gloves.
  2. It can be difficult to keep the meatballs in shape, because the meat mixture is quite runny. You need to handle them gently, so the balls won’t break apart. You can cook the top and bottom sides first, like cooking a very thick burger patty. Then you can use two spatulas to let the meatball stand, to cook the edges. The meatballs won’t look very pretty, but will still taste great.
  3. Unless you are using a very big pot, you’ll probably need to cook the meatballs in two batches. It’s fine to stack the meatballs.


Serving: 121g, Calories: 212kcal, Carbohydrates: 21.8g, Protein: 16.7g, Fat: 6.2g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 1141mg, Potassium: 362mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 2.9g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 11.6mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1.8mg