A Collection of Chinese Lamb Based Recipes

Xian lamb kebab recipe
Xian lamb kebab recipe. Chris Radley/Chrisradleyphotography.com

A lot of Chinese people are afraid of eating lamb because lamb is a quite strong flavour meat and a lot of Chinese people are afraid of that special lamb flavour. So if you’re looking for Chinese lamb-based recipes, you won’t too many authentic recipes.

However in some places in China, local people absolutely adore eating lamb. Cities and regions include Xi’an, Xinjiang and most of Northern China.

When I was young I travelled to Xi’an with my parents and that’s the first time I tried a Xi’an lamb burger as well as a X’ian lamb broth and the incredible Xi’an lamb kebab. I had never tried any lamb delicious that were this delicious before.

I travelled to Xi’an again with my husband in 2007. We in fact travelled around China for a whole month and our favourite food memories were the diverse foods of Shanghai and the awesome lamb based foods on what’s known affectionately as Muslim Street. I’ve written an article here about our food experiences in Xi’an.

If you’re planning on travelling to China, I can’t recommend Xi’an enough. Not only is the food amazing and the architecture beautiful (the different towers dotted around the city are stunning), the Terracotta Army resides in Xi’an.

My favourite lamb recipe, as mentioned above, is Xi’an lamb kebab and Xi’an lamb burger. Once you have tried both dishes, you will never forget the flavour of these two dishes for the rest of your life. In China, at least in 2007, you could walk onto a plane with pretty much any kind of food you wanted. 

On one flight, one man walked onto a plane with a boiling hot tub of instant noodles (think Chinese pot noodle). So on the last day in Xi’an, where we stayed for around 5 days, we quickly ran to Muslim Street, bought half a dozen burgers, then flew back to Shanghai where my family was living. My dad loved these burgers so I surprised him with a few. Suffice to say they didn’t last long!

In China, lamb was made popular due to the influence of the Mongolians who conquered China in the 13th century AD under Genghis Khan. The Mongolians conquered China and established the Yuan dynasty which had huge impacts on Chinese culture and it’s history.

Below are some delicious lamb recipes:

Xi’an Lamb Kebab Recipe

Delicious Xi’an lamb kebab recipe.

California Asparagus and Lamb Stir-fry

An easy lamb stir-fry recipe that comes from the Californian Asparagus commission: lamb is cut across the grain, making it extra tender. It’s then stir-fried with asparagus in a flavourful sauce. 

Hunan Lamb

This is a delicious, strong flavoured spicy lamb stir-fry dish from Hunan. Hunan cuisine, also known as Xiang cuisine, is one of the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine (八大菜系), Hunan cuisine is famous for it’s hot and spicy flavor. Some people think Sichuan cuisine is hot, but it’s not entirely true. Sichuan cuisine focuses on “numbing flavours” while Hunan/Xiang cuisine focuses on “dry hot” or “purely hot”. 

Mongolian Hot Pot With Lamb

A classic northern Chinese dish, Mongolian Hot Pot is traditionally made with mutton. The easiest way to prepare the broth is simply to purchase a leg of lamb and heat it in boiling water before slicing. However, Chicken broth can be substituted. For the best results, use a firm bean curd. (to learn more about how to make hot pot, see my feature “Twenty-five Tips For Cooking Hot Pot”)

Mongolian Lamb With Spring Onions

Mongolian lamb is a popular northern China dish. This recipe teaches you a very simple and quick way to prepare this delicious stir-fry lamb dish in Mongolian style.

Mongolian Lamb

This is another recipe that will show you different methods of how to prepare this delicious Mongolian lamb dish.