Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup

This Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup recipe is inspired by the rich, milky broths of Western Chinese cuisine. It’s full of aromatics, but has a mellow earthy flavor from long-simmered lamb shanks, which cook down and fall right off the bone.  Bright green cilantro, Chinese celery, and chili oil cuts through the richness, making for an excellent bowl of noodles.  INSPIRED BY A TRIP TO XI’AN This dish is actually a riff of of 羊肉泡饃 (yángròu pàomó). Paomo is a dish served with torn bits of unleavened bread. Usually, you tear the bread yourself, and send the bowl of bread bits back to the kitchen to be cooked. After cooking, they have a chewy texture. They also sometimes come with thin clear vermicelli noodles in the soup. We ate this on a trip to Xi’an several years back, and it took us a second to realize what we should do with the piece of bread they gave us! We had to watch what everyone else around us was doing and follow suit!  Note that you may have also heard of a dish called ròu jiā mó (肉夹馍), which comes from the same region. That is what some translate as a “Chinese hamburger,” in which stewed meat is sandwiched in bread. Check out our Rou Jia Mo recipe! Nourishing and Life-affirming in Fall and Winter  If you’re spending your days in the chilly fall or winter air, this soup is a wonderful meal that gives you plenty of energy to make it through. Rather than the bread, we use thicker sweet potato glass noodles, but you could also use thinner mung bean vermicelli. Either would be delicious.  An Easy, Milky Chinese Lamb Broth The best part of this noodle soup is that there’s no pre-boiling or need for a finicky “simmer,” which can mean a lot of things depending on who you are talking to! My mom is the resident expert on getting perfectly clear soups and stocks with patience and finesse.  If you’ve been following us regularly, you know that patience/finesse is NOT my style, or my forté.  This recipe is much more my speed. You simply soak the lamb shanks in cold water for 20 minutes, brown them in oil, and then toss in water and a bunch of spices and simmer the heck out of it until the broth is cloudy and the meat is tender. The goal is to release the milky goodness from the marrow and sinew of the lamb meat and bones.  If you forget it, and it creeps above an energetic simmer at various points, there’s no reason for kitchen tears. It’s a very forgiving noodle soup in the grand dynasty of Chinese noodle soups. Ok, on to the recipe! Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup Recipe Instructions For this recipe, you can use either just 3 pounds of lamb shanks, or a mix of lamb shanks (2 pounds) and lamb neck bones (1 pound). Lamb neck bones usually have labels that say “for stewing” at grocery stores, but these can be relatively hard to come by. If using only lamb shanks, ask your butcher to cut 1-2 shanks into three pieces each, to expose more of the bone and the marrow for a richer stock. Let the meat soak in a pot of cold water for 20 minutes. Rinse the bones off and pat dry with a paper towel.   Rinse out the pot, and then place over high heat. Once any residual water in the pot has dried off, add the oil to the pot, along with the ginger slices and the thicker white and light green parts of the scallions. Cook for 1 minute. Add the lamb. Brown on all sides until lightly golden.  After browning the lamb, add the water. Also add the garlic, green parts of the scallions, and the spices (dried chili peppers, cardamom pods, star anise, bay leaves, sand ginger, cinnamon, black cardamom, coriander seeds, sichuan peppercorns, white peppercorns, and fennel seeds).  Cover and simmer over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 1 additional hour. The broth should turn cloudy and milky within the first 20 minutes of simmering.  Add the dried wood ears (be sure to rinse them of any dirt/debris first) and salt. Cook for another 30 minutes over low heat, for a total of 2 hours of cooking.  When you’re ready to eat, boil the noodles per the package instructions.  Transfer the lamb shanks to a cutting board. Debone them, and chop the meat roughly.  Serve each bowl with 2-3 ladlefuls of broth, poured through a fine-meshed strainer.  Top with a healthy pinch or two of chopped Chinese celery leaves and cilantro, and serve with chili oil, Chinese black vinegar, and white pepper as optional condiments. Looking for more authentic recipes? Subscribe to our email list and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube! Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup This Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup recipe comes from Western Chinese cuisine. It's aromatic and earthy from lots of spices and tender lamb shanks. by: KaitlinCourse:Noodle SoupCuisine:Chinese serves: 5 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 2 hours 15 minutes Total: 2 hours 35 minutes IngredientsUS Customary – Metric InstructionsLet the meat soak in a

Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup

This Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup recipe is inspired by the rich, milky broths of Western Chinese cuisine. It’s full of aromatics, but has a mellow earthy flavor from long-simmered lamb shanks, which cook down and fall right off the bone. 

Bright green cilantro, Chinese celery, and chili oil cuts through the richness, making for an excellent bowl of noodles. 

INSPIRED BY A TRIP TO XI’AN

This dish is actually a riff of of 羊肉泡饃 (yángròu pàomó).

Bowl of Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup

Paomo is a dish served with torn bits of unleavened bread.

Usually, you tear the bread yourself, and send the bowl of bread bits back to the kitchen to be cooked.

Tearing bits of bread for yangrou paomo

After cooking, they have a chewy texture. They also sometimes come with thin clear vermicelli noodles in the soup.

Bowl of yangrou paomo with wood ear and vermicelli noodles in Shaanxi

We ate this on a trip to Xi’an several years back, and it took us a second to realize what we should do with the piece of bread they gave us! We had to watch what everyone else around us was doing and follow suit! 

Note that you may have also heard of a dish called ròu jiā mó (肉夹馍), which comes from the same region. That is what some translate as a “Chinese hamburger,” in which stewed meat is sandwiched in bread. Check out our Rou Jia Mo recipe!

Nourishing and Life-affirming in Fall and Winter 

If you’re spending your days in the chilly fall or winter air, this soup is a wonderful meal that gives you plenty of energy to make it through.

Rather than the bread, we use thicker sweet potato glass noodles, but you could also use thinner mung bean vermicelli. Either would be delicious. 

An Easy, Milky Chinese Lamb Broth

The best part of this noodle soup is that there’s no pre-boiling or need for a finicky “simmer,” which can mean a lot of things depending on who you are talking to!

My mom is the resident expert on getting perfectly clear soups and stocks with patience and finesse. 

If you’ve been following us regularly, you know that patience/finesse is NOT my style, or my forté. 

This recipe is much more my speed. You simply soak the lamb shanks in cold water for 20 minutes, brown them in oil, and then toss in water and a bunch of spices and simmer the heck out of it until the broth is cloudy and the meat is tender.

Spices and aromatics for Chinese lamb noodle soup

The goal is to release the milky goodness from the marrow and sinew of the lamb meat and bones. 

If you forget it, and it creeps above an energetic simmer at various points, there’s no reason for kitchen tears. It’s a very forgiving noodle soup in the grand dynasty of Chinese noodle soups.

Lamb Noodle Soup with glass noodles

Ok, on to the recipe!

Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup Recipe Instructions

For this recipe, you can use either just 3 pounds of lamb shanks, or a mix of lamb shanks (2 pounds) and lamb neck bones (1 pound). Lamb neck bones usually have labels that say “for stewing” at grocery stores, but these can be relatively hard to come by.

If using only lamb shanks, ask your butcher to cut 1-2 shanks into three pieces each, to expose more of the bone and the marrow for a richer stock.

Lamb shanks on cutting board

Let the meat soak in a pot of cold water for 20 minutes.

Soaking lamb bones in pot of cold water

Rinse the bones off and pat dry with a paper towel.  

Rinse out the pot, and then place over high heat. Once any residual water in the pot has dried off, add the oil to the pot, along with the ginger slices and the thicker white and light green parts of the scallions. Cook for 1 minute.

Oil, ginger slices, and white parts of scallions on pot

Add the lamb.

Adding the lamb shanks to pot

Brown on all sides until lightly golden. 

Browned lamb shanks in pot with ginger and scallions

After browning the lamb, add the water.

Pouring water over lamb shanks in pot
Pot of lamb shanks with 12 cups of water

Also add the garlic, green parts of the scallions, and the spices (dried chili peppers, cardamom pods, star anise, bay leaves, sand ginger, cinnamon, black cardamom, coriander seeds, sichuan peppercorns, white peppercorns, and fennel seeds). 

Adding spices to mixture
Spices in lamb broth mixture

Cover and simmer over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 1 additional hour. The broth should turn cloudy and milky within the first 20 minutes of simmering. 

Add the dried wood ears (be sure to rinse them of any dirt/debris first) and salt.

Bowl of dried wood ears

Cook for another 30 minutes over low heat, for a total of 2 hours of cooking. 

Chinese lamb broth

When you’re ready to eat, boil the noodles per the package instructions. 

Transfer the lamb shanks to a cutting board. Debone them, and chop the meat roughly. 

Boiled sweet potato glass noodles, chopped cilantro and celery, and lamb meat

Serve each bowl with 2-3 ladlefuls of broth, poured through a fine-meshed strainer. 

Top with a healthy pinch or two of chopped Chinese celery leaves and cilantro, and serve with chili oil, Chinese black vinegar, and white pepper as optional condiments.

Bowl of Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup
Bowl of Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup topped with chili oil
Picking up glass noodles with chopsticks from bowl of lamb noodle soup

Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup

This Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup recipe comes from Western Chinese cuisine. It's aromatic and earthy from lots of spices and tender lamb shanks.

Bowl of Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup with Wood Ears, Cilantro, and Chinese celery

serves: 5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Let the meat soak in a pot of cold water for 20 minutes. Rinse the bones off and pat dry with a paper towel.

  • Rinse out the pot, and then place over high heat. Once any residual water in the pot has dried off, add the oil to the pot, along with the ginger slices and the thicker white and light green parts of the scallions. Cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the lamb, and brown on all sides until lightly golden.

  • When the lamb is browned, add the water. Also add the garlic, green parts of the scallions, and the spices (dried chili peppers, cardamom pods, star anise, bay leaves, sand ginger, cinnamon, black cardamom, coriander seeds, sichuan peppercorns, white peppercorns, and fennel seeds).

  • Cover and simmer over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 1 additional hour. The broth should turn cloudy and milky within the first 20 minutes of simmering.

  • Add the dried wood ears and salt, and cook for another 30 minutes over low heat, for a total of 2 hours of cooking.

  • When you’re ready to eat, boil the noodles per the package instructions. Transfer the lamb shanks to a cutting board. Debone them, and chop the meat roughly.

  • Serve each bowl with 2-3 ladlefuls of broth, poured through a fine-meshed strainer. Top with a healthy pinch or two of chopped Chinese celery leaves and cilantro, and serve with chili oil, Chinese black vinegar, and white pepper as optional condiments.

nutrition facts

Calories: 511kcal (26%) Carbohydrates: 92g (31%) Protein: 25g (50%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 77mg (26%) Sodium: 1063mg (44%) Potassium: 386mg (11%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 320IU (6%) Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) Calcium: 85mg (9%) Iron: 5mg (28%)