Winter recipe: Lamb Angelica Soup

lamb sou[

Photo courtesy of this site

My apologies to the vegetarians and vegans for this recipe. I just couldn’t resist sharing it, after sampling some very tasty versions at various night markets and restaurants in Taiwan.

This recipe is actually based on a formula from an herbal classic (金匮要略 Jin Gui Yao Lue, Prescriptions from the Golden Cabinet, by the famous herbalist 张仲景 Zhang Zhong Jing), in which is is called 当归生姜羊肉汤 Dang Gui Sheng Jiang Yang Rou Tang. It was originally prescribed for tension and pain in the abdomen and sides of the torso due to excessive Cold, and deficient Blood/Yang/Qi.

The soup is warming, so it’s great for winter, and especially for those with Blood Deficiency (e.g. pale, dry skin, lips and tongue, dry scalp/hair, possible insomnia, dull headaches, and general achiness) and/or Kidney Yang weakness, which manifests as chronic, dull low back pain, frequent clear and copious urine, cold legs or overall body (do you wear more clothes than other people?), looser bowel movements, possible reproductive health issues.

Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica) is a famous herb that is widely used, especially for menstrual and reproductive health, to nourish the body’s Blood which is lost every month, as well as to promote healthy circulation of Blood and Qi.

NOT FOR YOU IF: You’re pregnant, you have excessive Heat signs, e.g. you run hot, are always thirsty for cold water, have red inflamed and pus-filled skin issues, frequently have dry constipation, have a hot temper, etc. (If unsure, just ask your TCM practitioner.)

The exact version of the recipe I’m sharing is adapted from this website.

Ingredients: Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica, sliced) 10g, Sheng Jiang (fresh ginger) 20g, lamb 500g, rice wine 50g, salt 5g, spring onion 10g

  1. Trim the lamb of fat, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and rinse them. Blanch the lamb in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then refresh it in cold water and rinse clean.
  2. Clean and cut other ingredients (ginger in slices, spring onion into short lengths).
  3. Place lamb pieces into a pot or casserole, add ginger, spring onion, Dang Gui and rice wine. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.
  4. Remove Dang Gui, add salt, and serve. Eat lamb and drink the soup.


  1. Dang Gui can be put into a piece of cloth so it can be easily removed before serving.
  2. Some vegetables, such as carrots, can be added according to personal preference.
  3. Don’t have food with cold characteristics at the same time, for example watermelon or cucumber. Otherwise, the warming function of lamb will be compromised.
  4. The soup doesn’t need to be finished at one go, it can be served 2-3 times.

My own personal note: You may wish to add some goji berries for extra taste and nutrients.


p.s. I just came across this “Chinese Soup Lady” website, which has many more soup recipes. Of course, as always, it’s best not to use a particular kind of soup medicinally (in large quantities) without consulting a practitioner.