Lamb in Honey Sauce

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 30m

Serves 4

Little is written about lamb in Chinese cooking as it plays a relatively small role in China's gastronomy. Most Chinese find the odor of mutton disagreeable. But because the texture of the meat is excellent, Chinese cooks take time and care in preparing lamb to minimize its less attractive features and maximize the best.
This recipe was reputedly created exclusively for the Dowager Empress Cixi of the Quig dynasty (AD 1644-1911), whose royal taste was for many concoctions made with honey.
Honey is probably the oldest and most respected sweetener in China, dating from as early as Tang (AD 618-906), when the bees of most of northern China provided honey for the palace tables of Changan (now Xian).


  • 1/2 pound lean boneless lamb
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (available from Chinese stores)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • For Seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine (available at Chinese stores) or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice (use a garlic press)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch


Slice the lamb across the grain into thin slices. Place in a dish and mix well with the hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Dust with the cornstarch to coat the meat pieces evenly.

Heat the peanut oil in a preheated wok until moderately hot. Stir-fry the lamb for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with chopsticks to separate the slices. Remove and drain well.

Pour off the oil, leaving 1 tablespoon behind, and stir in the seasoning ingredients. Bring to a boil. Return the lamb to the wok and stir quickly over maximum heat until the seasoning ingredients coat the lamb slices. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2596

nutrition information per serving

213 calories; 14g total fat; 36mg cholesterol; 318mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 12g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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