Recipe: Yangrou Paomo - Bread and Mutton Soup

by Habeeb Salloum, Jul 4, 2005 | Destinations: China / Beijing

Serves 8

An Arab influenced dish brought along the Silk Road, Paomo is said to be the dish that made Xi'an a jewel in the Chinese culinary world. It gets its name 'mo' derived from the Arabic turml (unleavened bread) and is the most popular food in the city.

mutton, lamb or beef bones (from 4 to 6 pounds), broken into medium sized pieces.
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small hot pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 pound wheat noodles
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 pound very thinly sliced raw lamb
1 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
4 cups cubed hard bread or Chinese crullers

Place bones, onions, garlic, hot pepper and ginger in a large saucepan, then cover to 2 inches above bones with water and bring to boil. Cover and cook over medium/low heat for 4 hours, adding more water if necessary.

In the meantime, cook noodles according to directions on package and set aside.

Strain and discard bones and vegetables, then return broth to saucepan, adding water if necessary to make 8 cups. Stir in salt, pepper and cumin, then bring to boil and cook over medium heat for a 5 minutes. Allow to stand piping hot.

Divide evenly remaining ingredients, except bread, but including noodles, in 8 large soup bowls, then pour broth over ingredients and stir in bread, evenly divided, into the 8 bowls. Serve pipping hot.

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