10 Tasty Chinese Lamb Recipes to Spice up Your Dinner

The history of Chinese eating mutton can be dated back to more than 4,000 years ago. In Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), mutton became popular among folks. Up to Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD), mutton had “ruled” the Chinese dining tables. It was not until Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) that pork replaced mutton to take over the overlord status of Chinese diet. But this does not affect the Chinese people’s enthusiasm of lamb, especially in cold winter, because they believe mutton can warm them up. Here are the 10 famous Chinese lamb recipes that wouldn’t let you down.

1. Instant-Boiled Mutton Hot Pot

Chinese Name: 涮羊肉 shuàn yáng ròu
Flavor: salty, tender, aromatic
Ingredients: mutton, cabbage and other side vegetables
Cooking Methods: boil

Instant-Boiled Mutton Hot Pot is one of the best dishes in Chinese lamb recipes, which originated from Beijing. Mutton is cut into thin slices, 12-20 cm (5-9 inches) long and 3-6 cm (1-2.5 inches) wide and as thin as papers. When eating, it only needs to be boiled in the boiling hot pot for a few seconds. Then, you can take it out, dip in the sauce made of sesame paste, soy sauce, chili oil, oyster sauce, sesame oil, vineger, chopped shallots, etc., and enjoy. Remember to boil a slice each time and don’t boil multiple slices in one time, for the later ones will be over cooked.

Instant-boiled Mutton
Instant-boiled Mutton
Mutton Kebab
Mutton Kebab

2. Mutton Kebab

Chinese Name: 烤羊肉串 kǎo yáng ròu chuàn
Flavor: aromatic, salty, spicy, tender and juicy
Ingredients: mutton, onion, oil, cumin powder, salt, chili powder
Cooking Methods: roast or barbecue

Mutton Kebab is one of famous Chinese mutton dishes from Xinjiang. Nowadays, it is frequently seen in the food streets all over China. And Chinese often roast it in open-air parties with friends. The mutton from lamb’s hind legs is the best choice. Here is this Chinese mutton recipe. The mutton is first cut into small loafs, marinated with chopped onion for about half an hour, then threaded into skewers, about 5-6 loafs on a skewer. Next, sprinkle some salt, cumin powder and chili powder evenly on the mutton kebab, and roast them. It needs to be turned over and sprinkled with condiments several times.

3. Stewed Mutton with Radishes

Chinese Name: 白萝卜炖羊肉 bái luó bo dùn yáng ròu
Flavor: salty and aromatic
Ingredients: mutton brisket, radishes, the root of straight ladybell, ginger...
Cooking Methods: stew

This Chinese lamb recipe is especially popular in winter. Quick-boil the mutton dices to remove the blood, and then pick out to wash them clearly with warm water. Next, peel the radishes and cut them into loafs. Then, put the boiled mutton dices, radish loafs, the root of straight ladybell and ginger slices into a casserole to boil with clear water. When the water is boiling, turn down to low heat and stew for 2-3 hours. At last, add salt and you can eat the dish with thick soup.

4. Stewed Lamb in Brown Sauce

Chinese Name: 红焖羊肉 hóng mèn yáng ròu
Flavor: salty and spicy
Ingredients: mutton, chili sauce, cooking wine, pepper powder...
Cooking Methods: stew

The best mutton for this dish is from rams. Soak the mutton dices in clear water for two or three hours, and quick-boil them. Next, stir-fry mutton dices with cooking wine, minced ginger and shallots. When the color of mutton changes, add chili sauce and stir well. Then, pour the mutton into a casserole, and add water, aniseed, cinnamon and other spices to stew them. After the soup is boiling, scoop out the foams and add cooking wine, salt, pepper powder, carrot dices, dates and lycium barbarums. Stew them for 40-50 minutes until mutton is tender. After that, pick out ginger, shallot and spices, and season with cumin powder. You can eat the dish with alcohol and side dishes like tofu or marinated cabbage.

5. Quick-Fried Mutton with Scallions

Quick-Fried Mutton with Scallions
Quick-Fried Mutton with Scallions

Chinese Name: 葱爆羊肉 cōng bào yáng ròu
Flavor: salty and aromatic, shallot flavor
Ingredients: mutton, shallot, onion, garlic...
Cooking Methods: fry

This is a popular Chinese lamb recipe in Beijing. To cook this dish, the first thing is to marinate mutton slices with soy sauce and starch for 10 minutes. Next, drain the mutton slices out and stir-fry them. Then, stir fry onion dices, shallots and garlic slices in another wok. Afterwards, add fried mutton and go on frying with white vinegar, sesame oil, salt and white sugar. What calls your attention is the shallots must be fried well, to make the aroma give out. The fire should be high all the time and the cooking must be fast, otherwise the mutton will taste hard.

6. Stir-Fried Lamb with Cumin

Chinese Name: 孜然羊肉 zī rán yáng ròu
Flavor: salty and spicy, aromatic
Ingredients: mutton, parsley leaves, cumin, shallots, ginger...
Cooking Methods: fry

This Chinese mutton dish is also from Xinjiang. Cut mutton from hind legs of lamb into slices, and ground fried cumin to be powder. Next, mix cooking wine, salt and a little water well, and marinate mutton slices in the sauce with shallots and ginger. 20 minutes later, stir-fry the mutton slices until the color changes. After, sprinkle cumin powder, chili powder and salt evenly and stir well. When the food is severed on a plate, sprinkle some minced parsley leaves on the surface.

7. Stewed Noodles with Mutton

Chinese Name: 羊肉烩面 yáng ròu huì miàn
Flavor: salty and
Ingredients: mutton, hand-made noodles, shallots, ginger, star anise...
Cooking Methods: boil, stew

Origin from Henan Province, Stewed Noodles with Mutton is popular in Chinese lamb recipes. Soak the mutton loafs in clear water for at least 4 hours to ensure all the blood drain. Next, boil the mutton and spoon out the white foams, turn to low heat and stew them with shallots, ginger slices, star anise, myrcia and cassia bark for 2 more hours until the soup turns to be white and thick. Then pick out the mutton, and add vermicelli, black fungus, citron daylily and kelp shreds into the mutton soup to boil for 5 minutes. After that, add hand-made noodles into the soup and boil them to be well done, then add salt. At last, move them into a bowl, top the sliced mutton and you can enjoy the delicious dish.

Yangrou Paomo
Yangrou Paomo

Chinese Name: 羊肉泡馍 yáng ròu pào mó
Flavor: salty with thick soup
Ingredients: mutton, crumbled flatbread, bean vermicelli, sweet garlic, chili sauce...
Cooking Methods: boil
Yangrou Paomo is famous in Chinese lamb recipes,  as it is a local must-eat in Xi’an. The mutton is marinated for 20 hours and then stewed for 8-12 hours. If you want to taste this delicious lamb dish, you need to work first, that is tiring crumbled flatbread; the more dices you tire, the tastier the dish will be. Then, hand the crumbled flatbread to the chef to boil with the soup used to boil the mutton, together with bean vermicelli, corianders, black fungus and citron daylily. Before serving, the stewed mutton slices is topped and it is usually served together with sweet garlic and chili sauce.

9. Hand-Grabbed Lamb

Chinese Name: 手抓羊肉 shǒu zhuā yáng ròu
Flavor: tender, umami
Ingredients: lamb chop, shallots, ginger, peppercorns, spiced salt...
Cooking Methods: boil

Hand-Grabbed Lamb is a traditional dish  in northwestern China, popular among Mongol, Tibetan, Hui, Kazak, Uygur and other ethnic groups. To cook this dish, firstly, soak lamb chops in water for an hour and wash them to make sure no blood residue. Then, boil the lamb chops, and skim off the foams. Next, stew them with shallots, ginger slices and peppercorns for one and a half hour. Then, add some Chinese wolfberries and prickly ashes and keep stewing for an hour. It usually goes with dipping sauce like spiced salt, minced garlic and chives flower sauce.

10. Roast Whole Lamb

Roast Whole Lamb
Roast Whole Lamb

Chinese Name: 烤全羊 kǎo quán yáng
Flavor: a little salty, aromatic
Ingredients: lamb, salt, shallots, ginger...
Cooking Methods: roast

Roast Whole Lamb is an ethnic food in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. The best lambs for this dish is 1-2 years old. After taking out viscera, the lamb is stuffed with cut shallots, sliced ginger, peeper, aniseeds, fennel powder and mashed salt, soy sauce and sesame oil and roasted wholly in a sealed oven. It takes 3-4 hours to roast the whole lamb. The finished Roast Whole Lamb is golden with crispy skin and tender mutton, placed in a special wooden plate. When it is severed to customers, chef will peel the skin first and cut the lamb into thick slices with a knife. There are also shallots, mashed garlic, lotus-leaf-like pancakes and other side dishes for you to go with.

- Last modified on Apr. 21, 2021 -
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