Lamp soup with diced Chinese bread is a traditional dish in central China where wheat is widely grown instead of rice. Because there are proteins, starch, veggies all in one bowl, a bowl of soup like this can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Served piping hot the second right after it is cooked, a bowl of lamb soup does not just provide you energy to get through the day, but also brings you comfort in cold winter time.
The authentic way is to make lamp soup with both lamb and lamb bones. I don’t have any lamb bones, so I substitute with a free range chicken.
And the dense hearty pan grilled Chinese bread is a must for the dish. O(∩_∩)O~
They always come with pickled young garlic and chili sauce.
Ingredients for the lamb soup:
1 large piece of lamb leg (about 2 to 3 pounds)
1 free range chicken
1 large piece of ginger root, sliced into thick pieces
2 to 3 stalks green onion
3 bay leaves
1 black cardamom pot
3 to 4 pieces of dried rhizome/ dried ginger slices
2 star anises (optional)
1/2teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
For individual serving:
For the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup water
a pinch of salt
Rinse the chicken under cold running water. Pat dry and chop the chicken into 3 by 4 inches pieces.
Soak the lamb in a large pot of cold water for 2 hours. Change the water two to three times in between.
Wrap the bay leaves, star anises, cardamom, rhizome, Sichuan peppercorns and black peppercorns with a piece of coffee filter.
Tightly tie it up
Blanch both diced chicken and lamb in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well.
In a large Staub Dutch oven pot , add chicken and lamb. Fill the pot with fresh boiling water. The water should be 4 to 5 inches above the meat.
Heat the pot over high heat until it boils. Add rice cooking wine, spices wrapped in coffee filter paper, green onions and ginger root slices.
Reduce the heat to simmer for about 2 hours.
Discard the green onions.
Add sugar, ground white pepper and salt to taste.
Continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Now we have a nice pot of lamb soup. Remove from heat. Transfer the lamb to a plate. Allow it to completely cool down.
When the soup is simmering on the stove, I make the Chinese bread.
Add flour, salt and water to s stand mixer mixing bowl.
Set it to speed 2. Knead for about 10 minutes.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a wooden board. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rest for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal pieces.
We are on a low carbohydrates diet so that I divide it into 16 pieces.
Each piece weighs 28 grams. I use a kitchen scale to make sure they are all the same size. The stand size is bigger than this. O(∩_∩)O~
With a small rolling pin, roll each piece flat.
Fold it in the middle.
Roll up from one end all the way to the other end.
Repeat the process until all the pieces are finished.
With your palm, press them down and then roll every single one into flat disc shape.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium low heat.
Add the bread dough pieces. Cover with lid. Cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes until they are golden brown. if you are doing larger dough pieces, remember to extend the cooking time accordingly.
The traditional way is to break them apart with finger tips. I just find it more efficient and easier to dice them up with a sharp knife.
Slice the lamb
The correct way is to fill each individual bowl with dice bread, wood black mushroom, green bean noodles and lamb.
Add 1 to 1 1/2 lamb stock to a small soup pot. Heat over high heat until it boils. Add what is in the bowl to the pot. Cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer everything back to bowl. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Add pickled garlic and chili sauce on the top.
Serve it hot immediately. The lamp soup goes really well with cilantro and pickled garlic. Try not to skip them because it is the most authentic way to enjoy it. O(∩_∩)O~
I made the pickled garlic from what I harvested from our backyard vegetable garden.
They get better when sitting longer in the sugar vinegar brine.
And yes, I made my own chili sauce too. The recipe is here.