This is the dish that reminds me of home, the dish that my mother knows to make every single time I come home, without asking. This is our Christmas ham and our Thanksgiving turkey. It's a young heirloom, because my mother created the recipe herself, but the number of times I've requested it is enough to span several generations, and I will certainly be passing it on if I can help it. —Cynthia Chen McTernan
lamb shank (about 2 shanks)
star anise, whole
slices of ginger
large garlic cloves, smashed
green onions, sliced into 2-inch pieces
radishes, ends trimmed
Chinese shaoxing wine (but any other will work, too)
soy sauce, depending on how salty you prefer
water, with more if the liquid boils down too much
bundles rice stick noodles
chili oil, garlic chili paste, or Sriracha
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Place lamb shanks into the water and parboil for 5-10 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms. Drain.
Place the shanks back in the pot with star anise, ginger, garlic, green onions, half the radishes, cooking wine, rosemary, soy sauce, water, and sugar. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add the remaining radishes and continue to simmer for about 20 more minutes, or until the sauce reduces. You may need to add more water if the sauce boils down too much.
In the meantime, soak rice stick noodles in warm water for about 5-10 minutes. When they have softened somewhat, add the noodles to the pot, stir well to submerge (again, you may need to add a bit more water) and cover, simmering for another 10 minutes or until noodles are ready.
Last, add the chili paste (optional) and cilantro. Serve!