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Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

xian lamb kebab

Four years ago I travelled to Xian, China with my husband. One of favourite places was Xi’an. Not only was the weather more manageable in July than the other parts of China we went to (think 40C+ dry heat instead of 40+C humid heat) but it also had some really great surprises. We will always remember the first time we went to muslim street in Xian city centre and there were so many kebab restaurants. Throughout the whole of muslim street all we could smell was the spiced beef and lamb. Vegetarian street this was not but if you like meet this could be considered heaven.

Xian Muslim Street BBQ

It was a great experience to drink ice cold beers and eating many kebabs at the same time. I love to have good food in my holiday. Food doesn’t necessarily have to be Michelin star or five-star dining. Many holes-the-wall or walk-in restaurants like these sell the best food.

Also, to give you an idea of what we paid. Between Chris and I we had maybe 35-40 skewers of lamb meat and lamb kidney. We also had a big soup, naan bread type thing and 6 or 7 beers. Total cost was about £8. How awesome is that?!

After four years, I still can’t forget the taste of this Xian lamb kebab. We also saw the terracotta army, which was incredible, but the food will always be as memorable to us at the army. Xian has stunning food, nice people and the architecture (it has the oldest mosque in China) is quite stunning. If you ever go to China, make sure you go to Xi’an, you won’t regret it.

Chris Radley Photography and Liv Wan in China


Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 people



  • 400 g lamb leg cut into 2cm sized dices
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop finely


  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Marinade lamb with all seasonings for at least 1 hour.
  2. Skewer the lamb and preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Roast the lamb for 5 minutes then turn the oven to grill and grill the lamb kebab for another 5 minutes. It’s then ready to serve.


Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

hot and sour soup

Hot and sour soup is a very common dish in both Taiwan and China. People usually have fried or plain dumplings with hot and sour soup. The sourness of this soup is very good for one’s appetite and my mother use to tell me when I got flu that it will go away quicker if I drink a lot of this soup when I was young.

I don’t know if it’s true or not but I think drinking a lot of hot fluid is good for your body when you catch the flu, right? But please go to doctor if you catch flu or don’t feel well.

The Eastern way to cook soup and western way to cook soup are so different. Most of the western ways to cook this soup are to puree the soup to make it really smooth and soft but in eastern people usually like chunks of meat, fish and vegetables in their soup that they actually can see it. I have to cook a few different kinds of “western soup” when I work and it’s a precious experience for me because I can learn western cooking during work and learn eastern cooking from my family or learn it by myself in my personal time. It’s always fun to learn new things, don’t you think?

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography


Hot and Sour Soup

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people



  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • 80 g pork loin
  • 10 wood ears soak in warm water for 15 minutes to soften then julienne
  • 1 medium carrot julienne it
  • 300 g fresh tofu drain the water and cut into 5cm strips
  • 2 eggs beaten

Marinade for pork

  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp rice wine


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp dark rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp normal rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp potato starch


  1. Marinade the pork for 15 minutes.
  2. Boil a pot of water to blanch pork, carrot, wood ear and tofu then leave it on aside.
  3. Boiled the chicken stock and add all the ingredients from step 2 to bring it to boil again.
  4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt into the soup, then mix the potato starch with a little bit water first (Remember the potato starch with water must be mix evenly and without any lumps) and add into the soup to make it look a bit dense and sticky.
  5. Turn the gas power to lowest heat and pour the egg into the soup. Stir the soup gently after 30 second and turn off the gas.


Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Beef Shank with spring onion pancake wrap originates from Northern China. Northern Chinese cuisine uses flour as an ingredient very often while Southern Chinese cuisine uses rice as an ingredient very often.

The weather in Northern China, with it’s extreme climate changes from very hot to very cold is far from ideal for growing rice so they grow wheat which is more suitable for the weather in north China. South China’s weather is humid and warm. It’s the best weather for grow the rice so we can usually find a lot of rice dish from south China, for example: rice cake, rice ball.

Most of the Beijing cuisine restaurants in Taiwan definitely sell this beef shank wrap. I love to have a bowl of soup or cup of pearl milk tea with this wrap for my dinner or lunch when I lived in Taipei. This is yet another sublime dish which is very hard to say not to. When I lived in Taipei I found it difficult to control my weight but now I live in Edinburgh if I want to eat some real, traditional food from China I have to call my mother and grandma to ask them how to make it. It makes me laugh when my mother tells me her cooking skills have improved after she has read my recipes on my blog.

Here is the recipe for this yummy beef shank with spring onion pancake wrap and I hope you will enjoy it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

how to make Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap


Beef Shank with Spring Onion Pancake Wrap

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4 people


Ingredients for stewed beef shank

  • 800 g beef shanke
  • 2 spring onions cut 3cm lengthways
  • 4 thin slices ginger
  • 2 shallots peeled and chopped roughly
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 dried chili or you can use fresh chili

Seasonings for stewed beef shank

  • 1 Chinese spice bag (available in Chinese supermarket) or use 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp spicy bean paste

Ingredient for spring onion pancake

  • 350 g bread flour
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • 400 ml warm water
  • 6 spring onions chopped finely
  • Handful white sesame
  • 60 g lard


Procedures for stewed beef shank

  1. Cook the beef shank in boiling water for a couple minutes and rinse under cold water. Leave it to one side.
  2. Stir fry spring onion, ginger, garlic, shallot, chilli until you can smell the fragrance and add spicy bean paste to stir fry for another 30 seconds.
  3. Place step 1 and 2 into a stock pot and add all the seasonings. Pour the water into the stockpot to cover the shank and use full gas power to boil the shank. After it’s boiling turn the gas power to the lowest and leave to simmer for 2 at least.

Procedures for spring onion pancake

  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar with warm water together and knead it until it’s nice, soft and smooth.
  2. Cover the dough with a clean, wet tea towel and leave it on aside for 20~30 minutes.
  3. Separate the dough into 10 small dough balls and flatten them individual.
  4. Brush Lard on the flatten pancake first and sprinkle spring onion, sesame, a couple pinch of salt.
  5. Roll the dough as the way in the procedures photos.
  6. Just use a little bit of oil to pan fry the pancake until both side are golden brown, crispy.

Recipe Notes

* Slice the beef shank into really thin slice and wrap them with spring onion pancake, Hoi sin sauce, spring onion or any salad, vegetable you like.


Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

chicken chow mein

My friends and family are always fascinated to know what kind of food Chris and I eat at home. Most people think we eat really posh Chinese food, like we have a large feast with peking duck, dumplings and so forth, but actually most of the time we eat fairly simple food and often a lot of junk.

While we both love eating Taiwanese and Chinese food, especially Chris, usually once a week we eat an amazing 14” pizza from Asda but the rest of the time we eat things like chow mein.

Listening to people while I’ve been living in the UK, a lot of people are really fascinated about chow mein and think it’s a really complicated dish, but for me it’s a simple, tasty and quite importantly, a cheap meal.

Chow mein in my country is like chicken and mushroom pie here. It’s just normal food. So, for my loyal readers, this is what we eat on a very regular basis. If it’s not this, it will be something equally simple like fried rice or Korean fast noodle. Sadly Taiwanese fast noodles, which are simply awesome, are very difficult (if not impossible) to buy here.


Chicken Chow Mein

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 people



  • 1 medium Carrot
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 1/2 Chili chop really finely
  • 2 Spring Onions chop finely
  • 1 thin slice ginger chop finely
  • 1 pepper any colour, I used green
  • 50 g Chinese white chive cut 2cm lengthways
  • 150 g Chinese dried noodles available in any Chinese supermarket


  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Couple pinches Black Pepper

Marinade for the chicken

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine


  1. Cut the chicken breast into fine stripes and marinade for 30 minutes at least.
  2. Julienne the carrot and green pepper.
  3. Cook the Chinese dried noodle in a pot of boiling water until al dente and rinse under cold running water and drain again. Drizzle with a dash of sesame oil and toss through to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
  4. Heat a frying pan with some oil with full strength gas power to fry the chicken breast until the meat turned white colour and turn off the stove and leave it on a side. (At the time of writing this article I haven't found a good wok in the UK. I tried a Ken Hom wok but every time I try to stir fry of food with a bit of potato starch in it it always sticks to the wok really badly, effectively ruining the wok). These woks are completely useless.
  5. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry chilli, spring onion, ginger and garlic first then add all the vegetable. Stir fry all the vegetables until it’s soften.
  6. Add noodle and chicken into wok and keep stir fry for a couple minutes then add all the seasonings for chow mein and give it a good stir fry for another couple minutes.
  7. Place it into a plate and serve.


Gong Bao Chicken Recipe

Gong Bao Chicken Recipe

gong bao chicken

Gong Bao Chicken is a popular dish in Chinese food, especially for people who love spicy food.

Gong Bao chicken is a classic dish in Sichuan cuisine and this dish is named after Qing Dynasty Governor Ding BaoZhen’s title.

Ding Baozhen was born in Guizhou, China. He especially loved to have his meat to sauted with chili so after he worked in Sichuan as a governor he asked his chef to saute chicken with chili and peanut. This is how Gong Bao chicken was created.

There are many ways to cook Gong Bao Chicken but today I share with you a classic method that I have used for years. I hope you enjoy it.


Gong Bao Chicken

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 people


  • 2 chicken legs including thighs
  • 2 spring onions cut 3cm lengthways
  • 1 tsp ginger chop really finely
  • 1 handful peanuts fry with a little bit oil until they have turned brown in colour and sprinkle a pinch of salt for seasoning
  • 10-20 dried chilis cut in half

Seasonings for Marinade

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp salt

Seasonings for this dish

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. 1. Remove all bones from chicken, cut into 2 cm cubes. Marinade chicken with the seasonings for unless 30 minutes

  2. 2. Fry chicken in heated oil for 1 minute until all the chicken dice cooked outside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil to fry dry chilli until it turns dark red. Add ginger and chicken into it, sauté it quickly and add seasoning for this dish and turn to slightly lower heat because potato starch will thicken the dish and easily burn

  3. 3. Add fried peanut and spring onion lastly and stir for another 10 second then turn off fire. Place it into a dish and serve