Lamb with cumin, garlic, and chiles

This is another fast, simple, and savory dish. It’s similar to the Uighur cumin lamb I posted a while back, but not as heavy on the cumin and with a lighter taste that comes from the green onions and the cilantro garnish. The dried chile peppers impart a wonderful heat to the dish, and of course, a wonderful color, but they aren’t meant to be eaten.

Lamb with cumin, garlic, and chiles


For the marinade:

  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sayce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp potato flour

For the lamb:

  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 lb lamb shoulder, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-15 dried red chiles, cut into pieces, seeds discarded
  • 5 green onions, white parts only, sliced diagonally
  • roughly chopped cilantro (for garnish)

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil


  1. Combine the lamb with the marinade ingredients, stir well, and let sit for about a half hour.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in your wok until it just begins to smoke, then add the lamb. Let it sit undisturbed for about 1 minute, until it begins to turn opaque and brown on one side. Then stir fry for another minute or two until cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and sir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the chiles and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Next, add the onions and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the sauce ingredients and stir until everything is heated through. Turn onto a serving plate and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with rice.

Variations: Substitute beef or pork for the lamb. Alternatively, instead of just adding cumin, add up to 1 Tbsp of Xinjiang dry spices.

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2 Responses to Lamb with cumin, garlic, and chiles

  1. Tina says:

    Cumin Lamb, one of my FAVORITE dishes! I always wondered how they make it!

    Thanks for sharing!
    -Tina at

  2. TastyAsia says:

    Hi there Tina, you can find another cumin lamb recipe at the link in the first line of this post. Try them both! In this recipe, the garlic and peppers are the predominant flavors, but in the other one, cumin and rich spices from Xinjiang take center stage. Thanks for the comment.

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