Yang'aliu steamed mutton
Yang'aliu steamed mutton is one of the most famous mutton dishes in Jiaxing. [Photo/jiaxing.gov.cn]
As winter approaches, mutton is becoming popular among Jiaxing residents. An old local saying goes that sheep should be slaughtered after the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month and grass should be cut to feed them after Tomb-Sweeping Day.
There are many famous mutton dishes in Jiaxing, but the most famous is steamed mutton from Xincheng town, Xiuzhou district. Yang'aliu steamed mutton is the most famous in Xincheng.
The dish's preparation process has even been shortlisted as an intangible cultural heritage item in Xiuzhou.
The sheep used to make Yang'aliu steamed mutton must be one year old, as their meat is the best at this time. Other ingredients include dried dates, dried wolfberries, old ginger, chili, sugar, yellow rice wine, spices, soybean sauce, and salt to drown out the scent of the mutton.
"When the dish is finished, people should be able to smell it from a distance," said one local.
Main ingredients: 300 grams of mutton
Seasoning: 10 g of old ginger, 15 g of dried dates, 10 g of foeniculum vulgare, 5 g of cinnamon, 30 g of yellow rice wine, and more
Preparation: Put the mutton into a large pot, boil it, add seasoning, place the pot over a mud stove, and steam it for two to three hours.
Features: With a glossy surface, the dish is jujube red and tastes soft and oily but not very greasy.