Instant-boiled mutton (Chinese: 涮羊肉; Pinyin: Shuàn Yángròu), also called the Mongolian Fire Pot or dip-boil mutton, is a very popular Chinese hot-pot dish. In Beijing (Peking), hot pot is eaten year-round. Typical Beijing hot pot is eaten indoors during the winter. Different kinds of hot pot can be found in Beijing – typically, more modern eateries offer the sectioned bowl with differently flavored broths in each section. More traditional or older establishments serve a fragrant, but mil .

The Instant-boiled mutton dish often uses mutton from the back, rear legs and tail of the sheep and is dipped and boiled in soup in a hotpot. Instant-boiled mutton is served with seasoning made of sesame sauce, preserved bean curd, leek flower, sliced spring onion and ginger and shrimp oil. The mutton is fresh, tasty and not greasy or smelly.

Instant-boiled mutton

Instant-boiled mutton

History of Instant-boiled mutton

The legend of Instant-boiled mutton can date back to the Yuan Dynasty. It is said that in the year when Kublai Khan led the army to go on an expedition to the south, he suddenly wanted to eat stewed mutton of his hometown. When the chef butchered the sheep for mutton, the enemy was approaching. With nimble wits in this emergency, the chef cut off a dozen of mutton slices, and stirred them in the boiling water. As soon as the color of the slices changed, he immediately scooped them up into a bowl, cast some salt, diced green onion and ginger. When Kublai Khan finished the mutton, he led the army to confront the enemy, and finally won the battle.

When preparing celebration feasts, Kublai Khan ordered that particular mutton dish. This time, the chef selected delicate and tender mutton from sheep legs, cut into thin slices, and added a variety of seasonings. After instantly boiled, the mutton was more fresh and delicious. Kublai Khan named it “Instant-Boiled Mutton”. In the Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty, Instant-boiled mutton gradually became popular among the common people.

Cooking method of Instant-boiled mutton

meat for Instant-boiled mutton

Frozen meat is sliced deli-thin to prepare it for hot pot cooking. Slicing frozen meat this way causes it to roll up during cooking, and it is often presented as such. Meats used include lamb, beef, chicken, and others. The cooking pot is often sunk into the table and fueled by propane, or alternatively is above the table and fueled by a portable butane gas stove or hot coals. Meat or vegetables are loaded individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and cooking time is brief. Meat often only takes 15 to 30 seconds to cook.

There are often disagreements between different styles of hot pot enthusiasts. Some like to place items into the hot pot at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the cooking process, while others prefer to throw everything in at once and wait for the hotpot to return to a boil.

Eating method of Instant-boiled mutton

In China, when having instant-boiled mutton, people put a hot-pot filled with water at the middle of a table. Normally food materials boiled in the pot include Tofu, Chinese leaves, bean vermicelli etc. Lamb is pre-sliced and served on the table. The requirement on the lamb slices is that the slice must be very thin like a paper, and each slice is complete.

Eating Instant-boiled mutton

Because lamb can be cooked in very short time and longer cooking will make the lamb more solid, the way of having the lamb is to take some pre-sliced raw lamb using chopsticks, put it in the boiling hot-pot and take out as soon as the lamb changes color.Each person has a small bowl to hold some sauce. Cooked lamb is eaten with the sauce. The sauce normally is a mixture of sesame sauce, chili oil, leek etc.

Besides Instant-boiled mutton, there are lots of famous hot-pot dish in china. There are all types of hot pots – spicy, non spicy, and with all different types of theme flavors. Among which Sichuan Hot Pot attracts many visitors. Sichuan Hotpot was recorded even in the Three Capitals Rhapsodies written by Zuo Si, a writer of the Jin Dynasty, which can be a proof of its history of at least 1700 years, A History even longger than Instant-boiled mutton. We’ll come to Sichuan Hot Pot near future.

{September 26, 2010} {Tags: }