Tag Archives: Tibet

Tibetan Lamb Stew

As I noted in my previous post about traveling in Tibet, Snowland Restaurant was one of the Tibetan-owned restaurants I visited while in Lhasa. At Snowland, Indian food is offered, but my friend and I ordered Tibetan. The yak stew with potatoes and lamb stew with turnips were more like soup than what we’d think of as stew, but both were very flavorful. They were served with plates of white rice, and we ladled our stews over the rice. I really liked both stews, but I figured it would be easier to get lamb here in the U.S., so that’s the stew reproduced below.

Lamb is not cut up quite the same in Tibet as it is in the U.S., so it was hard to determine exactly what cuts went into this stew, but I’m guessing the recipe was probably something along the lines of “add one whole lamb” (or, in a restaurant, add two or three). Also, the rangy, scrub-fed lambs of Tibet are heaps leaner than American lamb. That said, I found that lamb shanks and a couple of shoulder blade chops worked well. We had a few ribs in our bowls in Tibet, but the riblets I’ve found locally were very fatty, so I recommend not using them–except that they are probably the cheapest cuts of lamb that you can buy, if your budget is tight but you love lamb. Your local grocery story may not have these cuts; a real butcher or an ethnic grocer may be a better bet. In fact, an ethnic grocer may be able to just give you a 1/4 lamb. Continue reading


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Want Tibet?

Several years ago, while traveling in China, I had the opportunity to visit Tibet for a few days. It was not a long enough trip, and I keep hoping I’ll get back, but that hasn’t happened yet. However, I think Tibet is a destination worth sharing, as it is so remarkable. Of course, tourism has increased since I visited, with the Chinese government now encouraging visitors. But the beauty and cultural heritage of Tibet are still worth exploring.

The landscape of Tibet, while harsh, is tremendously beautiful. Mountains are the most obvious feature, forming the backdrop for everything. The primary color of the region is tan-to-gold, from the arid mountains to the sand that runs up walls, fills gaps, forms dunes at the mountains’ bases to the golden grasses and scrub that spread away from the precipitous walls. The off-white houses are sand-blasted to a tan that melts into the background. But there are other colors. The lakes reflect the vividly blue sky, and greenery and even flowers cluster around their shores. And Tibetans have introduced color wherever possible, from brightly painted roadside Buddhas to cascades of prayer flags, which one begins to see well before reaching Lhasa. Continue reading

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