- 100 g bean thread vermicelli noodles
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 12 dried wood ear mushrooms (see Note), soaked, drained
- ½ cup dried daylily buds (see Note), soaked, drained
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese fermented rice wine (huang jiu) (see Note)
- 1½ tbsp Chinese black vinegar (chinkiang) (see Note)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 6 stale buns, torn or chopped into small pieces
- thinly sliced spring onions, chopped coriander leaves and chilli paste, to serve
- 1.8 kg lamb bones
- 2 kg lamb shoulder on the bone
- 5 cm-piece ginger, sliced
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 3 star anise
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 2½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cassia bark (see Note)
- 2 Chinese black cardamom pods (see Note)
- 125 ml (½ cup) Chinese fermented rice wine (huang jiu) (see Note)
- 8 small garlic bulbs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 310 ml (1¼ cups) rice vinegar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pickling time 7 days
Use the burger bun recipe, then leave for up to 2 days until stale. The stock can be made up to 2 days in advance. You will need to start the recipe 1 week in advanc.
To make pickled garlic, remove loose outer layers from bulbs, keeping bulbs intact. Place sugar, vinegar, 310 ml water and 2½ tsp salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Add bulbs and place a small plate over them to keep them submerged. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool. Transfer bulbs and pickling liquid to a sterilised jar (see Cooking Notes) and pickle for at least 1 week in fridge. This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
To make stock, place ingredients in a large stockpot. Add 5 L water or enough to just cover lamb. Place a plate over lamb and weigh down with something heavy to keep submerged, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, occasionally skimming off any impurities, for 3 hours or until meat is nearly falling off the bone. Remove lamb from stockpot and, when cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and thinly slice. Set meat aside and return bones to stock. Cook for a further 3½ hours or until rich and meaty. Strain stock through a muslin-lined colander, discarding solids. Allow to settle before skimming any fat from surface. Set aside.
Add lamb to a large pan with 500 ml stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, soak noodles in boiling waterfor 10 minutes, then drain. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add noodles. Tear mushrooms and add to pan with daylily buds, stirring to combine. Add reserved stock, soy, rice wine, black vinegar and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer, then stir in bread. Drain lamb mixture, adding cooking liquid to noodle mixture. Divide among 6 bowls. Place lamb slices on top and scatter over spring onions and coriander. Serve immediately with chilli paste.
• Wood ear mushrooms, dried daylily buds, Chinese fermented rice wine, black vinegar and black cardamom are from Asian food shops.
• Cassia bark available from Asian food shops.
Photography Chris Chen
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2013, Issue 25. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.