Paleo Lion's Head Meatballs. Juicy Paleo meatballs simmered with napa cabbage in light savory sauce. The ultimate melt-in-your-mouth Paleo meatball recipe. Whole30 meatball Keto meatball recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Also great for meal prep !
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5 from 14 votes

Paleo Lion's Head Meatballs (Whole30, Keto)

Paleo Lion's Head Meatballs are Whole30 Keto friendly. Paleo meatballs with napa cabbage stew in light savory sauce. This is the best Paleo comfort food!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword Paleo Lion's Head Meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 13 2-inch size meatballs
Calories 151kcal
Author ChihYu


  • 1.5 lbs ground pork (80% lean, 20% fat / 70% lean, 30% fat)
  • Quarter of one whole nappa cabbage or Half of one whole savoy cabbage , separate stems from leaves
  • 2-3 halved baby bok choy , optional
  • Avocado oil/ghee , to pan-fry the meatballs

Meatball seasonings:

  • 4 bulbs , scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp , ginger, grated
  • 1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 large shallot , finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp arrowroot powder + more for dusting
  • (1-3 tbsp water or chicken/veggie stock) *
  • 1 egg* , if the meat mixture feels very watery skip the egg.

Braising mix:

  • 3 thin slices ginger
  • 1-2 bulbs scallions , dice to large sections (about 2-3 inch)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Coarse sea salt , lightly sprinkle over cabbage


  • Mix ground pork with ingredients under “meatball seasonings” with the exception of water. Use your hands to gently mix and press the ground meat in circular motion until the ground pork becomes almost like a soft paste-ish texture.* Optional, add 1 tbsp water/stock at a time to the mixture to keep it moist during mixing. Use up to 3 tbsp per 1.5 lbs ground meat.
  • Form about 12 to 13 2-inch size meatballs and lightly dust each meatballs with a bit more arrowroot powder. Use both hands to gently toss the meatballs from one hand to the other again so that the arrowroot powder will coherent well and spread evenly with the meatballs.
  • Heat 1 ½ tbsp avocado/ghee over a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot, lower the heat to medium. Carefully sear the meatballs until the surface is in light golden brown but not cooked through. Do this in batches so not to overcrowd the skillet. Set aside.
  • In a wok or dutch oven, saute 3 thin slices ginger and 2 bulbs scallions over medium-high heat with a bit salt until fragrant (about 10 seconds). Add meatballs in bottom layer. Add cabbage around the meatballs. Place cabbage stems closer to the bottom of the heating source and leaves over the stems and meatballs. Add the remaining braising mix (chicken stock/coconut aminos/sesame oil) and season with a bit more coarse sea salt over cabbage. Lower the heat to medium-low. Close with a lid. Half braise and half steam the meatballs and cabbage until the meatballs are completely cooked through and the cabbage turn softer (about 20-25 mins). If add baby bok choy, put them into the pot about 3 mins. before turning off the heat.
  • Drizzle the braising broth over meatballs and cabbage. Serve immediately.



* To keep the ground pork mixer soft and moist you can add 1 tbsp water/stock a time to the ground pork mixture up to 3 tbsp per 1.5 lbs ground meat. The texture of the ground pork mixture should feel soft and moist in your hands as opposed to dense and chunky.
*On the contrary, if the ground pork mixer feels too watery, please skip adding the egg to the mixture. And add a bit more arrowroot powder to help you form meatball shape. 
* To make ahead, complete Steps 1 through 3. Let the meatballs cool to room temperature and then carefully pack them in containers and store in the freezer. Label: Lion’s head meatballs half cooked. Defrost a night before in the fridge and follow step 4 to finish cooking on serving day.


Serving: 117g | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 219mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.9mg