Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup is a humble comfort food, perfect for a cool day. In Chinese culture, certain foods such as lamb, cinnamon, anise, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, green onion, and chili are considered “warming”. Warming foods, also known as “yang” foods, are believed to add heat to the body, helping to improve circulation and prevent colds. The opposite of warming foods or yang foods are “cooling” foods or “yin” foods. When your body is too yin, you need to balance it with yang foods.
Growing up in a Chinese family, I remember my grandmother making some tonic soups with weird dried roots. My father made me vinegar-baked pig's trotters after giving birth to each of my children. I had heard of “reheat” and “cool” foods, but never thought much about it until recently. I read more about this way of eating “yin” and “yang” to balance our body, and it's quite fascinating.
With the onset of winter and the colder weather, I crave soups, especially Asian noodle soups. Compared to the heavier stews and soups that I usually crave in winter, Asian noodle soups are filling, filling, and surprisingly light.
Components of Asian noodle soup:
- Soup base - chicken, chicken / pork, beef, lamb, anchovies or dashi
- Vegetables - bok choy, nappa cabbage, cabbage, spinach, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts, mushrooms
- Protein - chicken, pork, beef, seafood (eg, clams, shrimp, squid), eggs, tofu
- Noodles - cellophane (mung bean) noodles, sweet potato starch noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, rice noodles, somen noodles, ramen
- Herbs - ginger, garlic, green onions, star anise, cinnamon stick, Szechuan peppercorns, Korean chili flakes
- Toppings - green onions, fresh herbs (e.g. cilantro, Thai basil, mint), sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, powdered white pepper, chili oil
Use your imagination to create your own version of an Asian noodle soup. It's a complete meal in a bowl.
This Chinese lamb noodle soup contains many “warming” spices. Sitting with a bowl of this is like wrapping yourself in a blanket and sitting by a beautiful fire. It will take the cold out of your bones.
This Chinese lamb noodle soup is especially aromatic due to all the hot spices - star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, garlic and green onions. I made the lamb broth in an Instant Pot, but you can also just cook it on the stovetop.
While the broth is cooking, you can prepare the ingredients for the noodle soup. There are a few ingredients you may not be familiar with, such as cellophane noodles and cloud ear mushroom. I agree that the names of these ingredients might sound strange, but these are common Chinese ingredients that you should be able to find in a local Asian market.
Cellophane noodles are actually made from mung bean starch. They are sometimes referred to as glass noodles or mung bean noodles. They usually come in individual packages weighing 50 grams each.
Cellophane noodles should be soaked for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Soaked noodles only take a few minutes to cook.
Cloud ear fungi are sometimes referred to as cloud ear fungi and actually grow on trees. They come dried and must be rehydrated. Cloudy ear fungus is similar to wood ear fungus, but it is more delicate and less thick. If you can't find the cloud ear fungus, you can use the wood ear fungus. I buy a compressed cloud ear mushroom, which takes up very little space.
Cloudy ear fungus replenishes in water in about 1/2 hour. Once soaked, the cloudy ear fungus grows considerably. When cooked, Cloudy Ear Mushroom has a chewy, slightly crunchy texture. They don't have a lot of flavor on their own, but are wonderful in soups for a textural contrast.
Assembling this soup for serving is very easy once you have the lamb broth and soaked the cellophane noodles and cloud ear mushroom. Noodles, cloud ear fungus and cabbage are cooked in lamb broth. Then everything is divided between the serving bowls. I love the white pepper powder, sliced green onions, and hot chili oil on mine.
Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup
- 2 pound sterling lamb shanks
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan Pepper
- 2 star anise
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 white cardamom pods
- 1 black cardamom pod rift
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 Green onions crushed, cut into 2 "pieces
- 1 slice ginger peeled, 1 "thick
- 1 Clove Garlic peeled, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Shaoshing Wine
- ten grams cloud ear dried mushroom
- 100 grams dried cellophane noodles 2 packs
- 4 cups green cabbage minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- white pepper powder to taste
- sliced green onions For garnish
- Chili oil if desired
Put the lamb shanks, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, fennel seeds, white and black cardamom pods, cinnamon, green onions, ginger, garlic and wine in Instant Pot. Add water to the maximum fill line (~ 14 cups).
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Remove the lamb and let cool; remove the meat from the bones and shred it.
Lamb noodle soup
Soak the wooden ear mushrooms in lukewarm water for 1/2 hour. Drain.
Soak the cellophane noodles in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Drain.
Bring 8 cups of lamb broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add cabbage and wood ear mushrooms. Cook, 3-4 minutes, until the cabbage is soft but still has some bite.
Add the noodles to the cellophane. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add salt, season to taste.
To serve, divide the noodles, cabbage, mushrooms and lamb among four bowls. Pour the soup on top. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top. Sprinkle white pepper on top and drizzle with chili oil, if desired.
Adapted from Xi'an Famous Foods
Chinese Lamb Noodle Soup
Quantity per serving
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value *
Saturated fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 64 mg21%
Sodium 669 mg29%
Potassium 356 mgten%
Vitamin A 128 IU3%
Vitamin C 27 mg33%
Calcium 59 mg6%
The iron 3 mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
For more Asian noodle soups, you might like:
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and alimentation tips that are actually based on good technique.
These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.
The key to a saine diet is to eat the right amount of kcal for how réactive you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It’s recommended that men have around 2, 500 kcal a day ( 10, 500 kilojoules ). Women should have around 2, 000 kcal a day ( 8, 400 kilojoules ). Most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer kcal.
Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Choose higher fibre or wholegrain varieties, such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.
They contain more fibre than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer. Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the kcal of fat.
Keep an eye on the fats you add when you’re cooking or serving these genres of foods because that’s what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.
It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit ?
A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit ( which should be kept to mealtimes ) is 30g. A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some genres of fish.
You need some fat in your diet, but it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you’re eating. There are 2 main genres of fat : saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.
Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.
When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. All variétés of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.
Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy ( measured in kilojoules or calories ), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies. This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.
Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.
More than 22. 5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.
About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1. 5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.
Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt ( about a teaspoonful ) a day. Younger children should have even less.
As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It’s also important for your overall health and wellbeing.
Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.
Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more réactive. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a saine weight.
Check whether you’re a healthy weight by using the BMI saine weight calculator. Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity. If you’re underweight, see underweight adults. If you’re worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.
You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they’re high in kcal. They’re also bad for your teeth.
Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass. Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.
Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight. But a saine breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast. Further informationThe Eatwell Guide can help you get the right balance of the 5 main food groups. The guide shows you how much of what you eat should come from each food group. Read more about eating a balanced diet and understanding calories.