Members' Recipes Archive

November 2002
Red-cooked Lamb with Sweet Potatoes
Nina Simonds

Red-cooked Lamb with Sweet Potatoes

By: Nina Simonds

Serves: 6

Lamb is considered to be the most 'warming' meats for the body and is relished in all types of wintertime dishes. The meat increases qi or body energy and is used to treat general weakness, anemia, and impotence.
Once simmered in the fragrant soy sauce braising mixture, the lamb becomes tender and redolent of cinnamon, ginger, and aniseed. The sweet potatoes or yams are the ultimate complement to the savory stew. You may substitute beef or chicken for the lamb and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Serve this dish with steamed jasmine rice for a satisfying and sumptuous meal.
This recipe comes from my book A Spoonful of Ginger which explores the health giving benefits of food.


1 teaspoon canola or corn oil

8 cloves garlic, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife or a cleaver and sliced thinly
8 stalks green onions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch sections, smashed lightly
8 slices ginger root, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife or a cleaver
1 teaspoon hot chile paste, or more to taste
2 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon aniseed

5 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon sugar

3 pounds lamb shoulder for stewing, trimmed of any fat or gristle, and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
4 sweet potatoes or yams, weighing about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
1/2 pound fresh spinach, stems trimmed, leaves rinsed and drained


1.Heat a large pot or a casserole, add the oil, and heat until hot. Add the Seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the Broth mixture and bring to a boil. Add the lamb and boil again. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 1 hour until the lamb is just tender, skimming the surface to remove any fate.

2.Add the sweet potatoes and continue cooking, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until tender. Skim the surface to remove any fat or impurities. Remove the gingerroot slices and cinnamon stick, and discard.

3. Add the spinach leaves and carefully mix in, leaving some on the top. Cover and cook until wilted, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and serve the lamb, sweet potatoes, and spinach with rice.

© Recipe copyright 2002 Nina Simonds


Author: Nina Simonds Email:

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