Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

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One of my favorite things to order when I go to a Sichuan restaurant is Cumin Lamb Stir Fry (aka 孜然羊). Something about cumin and lamb stir fried together, it just really go super well together. I absolutely love the flavor combo! What else is awesome? You can actually also make this at home, and it’s not hard!

What is Cumin Lamb?

First things first, what is cumin lamb? Cumin Lamb is a super flavorful stir fry with slices or chunks of lamb cooked with cumin and chili. Often times cooked with scallions, onions, chili pepper, chili powder, Sichuan peppercorn, and sprinkled with cilantro.

Cumin Lamb Origin

As someone that always ordered Cumin Lamb in Sichuan restaurants, I was surprised to find that it in fact, is not originally from Sichuan!

It originates from the Uyghurs community. Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking minority ethnic group that mostly reside in Xin Jiang, which is Northwest China.

As you may have noticed, tasty food spreads, and so this flavorful dish is served in many Uyghur restaurants in Sichuan. Over time, it became a very popular dish in Sichuan also. So that’s why you will find Cumin Lamb in almost every Sichuan restaurant here in the states!

Paleo Cumin Lamb

Since I get asked this all the time, I’m being proactive and letting you know how to make this dish paleo!

Soy sauce – You can use coconut aminos to directly replace soy sauce in just about any recipe in a 1:1 ratio.

Cornstarch – The corn starch is actually used to tenderize the meat. Instead of cornstarch, you can also use tapioca starch to do this.

Sugar – you can 100% just skip the sugar. I do this sometimes, but if you feel the need to sweeten the dish, you are free to use some honey.

How to make Cumin Lamb?

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb boneless lamb, sliced thinly – if you ever go to Asian supermarkets and see the Hot Pot section, they have meat prepared like this already.
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 to 8 dried red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorn (optional)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, mix cornstarch, 1 tbsp cooking oil, and soy sauce, and add sliced lamb to coat.

Slice ginger thinly and cut scallions in to about 1-1/2 inch length.

Heat a wok or large skillet with 2 tbsp cooking oil and when oil is hot add lamb and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the meat is mostly browned. Remove lamb from heat but keep the oil / juice in the wok / skillet.

If there wasn’t a lot of oil left behind, go ahead and add 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Add sliced ginger in to oil, and stir in cumin.

Add the lamb back in to wok, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar, scallions and red chili pepper, and dried red peppers.

Cumin Lamb Stir Fry
Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

Stir fry until lamb is cooked thoroughly, and then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

Cumin Lamb Stir Fry
Cumin Lamb Stir Fry
Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

Pro tip – the next day, you can make cumin lamb noodles! This can be dry noodle by just adding noodles and mixing with the sauce and cumin lamb stir fry, or even cumin lamb noodle soup!

Cumin Lamb Noodle Soup
Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb boneless lamb, sliced thinly - if you ever go to Asian supermarkets and see the Hot Pot section, they have meat prepared like this already.
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 to 8 dried red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorn (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix cornstarch, 1 tbsp cooking oil, and soy sauce, and add sliced lamb to coat.
  2. Slice ginger thinly and cut scallions in to about 1-1/2 inch length.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet with 2 tbsp cooking oil and when oil is hot add lamb and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the meat is mostly browned. Remove lamb from heat but keep the oil / juice in the wok / skillet.
  4. If there wasn’t a lot of oil left behind, go ahead and add 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Add sliced ginger in to oil, and stir in cumin.
  5. Add the lamb back in to wok, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sugar, scallions and red chili pepper, and dried red peppers.
  6. Stir fry until lamb is cooked thoroughly, and then remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

Notes

Pro tip – the next day, you can make cumin lamb noodles! This can be dry noodle by just adding noodles and mixing with the sauce and cumin lamb stir fry, or even cumin lamb noodle soup!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 582mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 32g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

Did you like this recipe?

If so, follow my Pinterest account for more delicious recipes here! If you make it, sure on Instagram and remember to hashtag #ohsnapletseat 🙂

By the way, if you love the flavor of this dish – you’re also going to love my Pan Fried Lamb Chops with Cumin! Recipe here.

Pin for later!

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