Winter means mutton season for Songjiang locals

Nothing can be better than a big bowl of steaming hot mutton soup in the cold winter.

Mutton is higher in protein and lower in unhealthy, saturated fat compared to many other meats. In traditional Chinese medicine, mutton is "warm," which drives away the inner coldness.

Residents of Songjiang District have created many recipes to enjoy the meat.

It's been a seasonal ritual for Songjiang locals to gulp down mutton and slurp the pleasantly savory broth, which is believed for centuries to store yang (hot) energy and help people get through the winter.

Winter means mutton season for Songjiang locals
Ti Gong

A Songjiang chef is slicing the mutton.

Braised mutton

Cube the meat and combine with vegetables such as onions and root vegetables, or add tomatoes. You can use red wine and quality vegetable stock to make great casseroles and stews. Many herbs go well with mutton, and thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and basil bring out the flavor.

Sliced mutton

Stew the meat in a bamboo steamer with green onions, sliced ginger, rice wine, white radishes and salt, until the meat is tender. Eat it cold. Serve with sweet-flavored sauce, or salt. This is a traditional Shanghai appetizer.

Roasted mutton

Put the mutton into a roasting dish with water. Sprinkle well with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add chopped green onions and garlic. Put on the lowest heat. Cook for five hours, and then add potatoes half an hour before serving.

Mutton noodle soup

The soup is made from hours of stewing of mutton, bones and entrails, as well as ingredients such as ginger, onions, cinnamon, dried tangerine peels and many others. When the soup is done, boil noodles. Best to serve with the sliced mutton.