Lion’s Head Soup

Lion's Head Soup


Lion's heads soup

A childhood favorite from founder Molly Clark, Lion's Heads describe the starring shaggy meatballs flecked with rice. Ginger, scallion and sesame make this a great soup for when you have a cold, and give it a heavenly aroma when you don't.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chicken and rice soup, Chicken Soup, Meatball soup, Taking Stock Bone Broth
Servings: 4 people


  • Sauce pan


Meatball mixture

  • 1/4 Cup White rice we used long grain but short grain works great, too
  • 8 Ounces Ground Poultry Choose ground turkey or a mixture of ground chicken breasts (light) and thighs (dark) for a hearty flavor
  • 1 Whole Egg Optional, for binding the meatballs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 Green onion, divided into green and white parts, chopped The whites will go into the meatballs, the greens are reserved for a garnish
  • 3/4 Tbsp Toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce Soy substitutes also work great


  • Meatball mixture
  • 2 Cups Taking Stock Bone Broth Any flavor
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Green cabbage, chopped Napa or regular green cabbage
  • Scallion Greens Reserved from making Meatball mixture


Meatball mixture

  • In a bowl, mix rice, ground poultry, egg, minced ginger, chopped whites of the green onion (reserve green tops for soup garnish), toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce until all of the ingredients are combined and somewhat emulsified. The rice should be completely incorporated into the poultry mix, it should not be falling out.


  • Bring the chicken broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  • The meatball mixture will be loose; use a small scoop (1/2 – 1 ounce) to portion the meatballs directly into the simmering broth.
  • Cover the pan and poach the meatballs in the simmering stock until cooked through and rice is soft, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and cook the soup for an additional 5-10 minutes. Chicken meatballs should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the saved green onions.