Cumin Lamb Chops with Charred Scallions and Peanuts

“The spicy cumin salt in this recipe is reason enough to go out in search of the finest lamb chops you can find, but it’s truly good on chicken, pork, and beef as well (and potatoes, strangely enough). When buying your chops, you’ll likely have a choice between New Zealand chops (which tend to be more petite) and American (probably from Colorado; these are a bit heftier). Both are equally delicious, and you can’t go wrong; just make sure, whichever ones you get, they are un-frenched, meaning they still have all the meat and fat on the bone. Choose these not only because they look better but also so you can gnaw on the bones.” Reprinted from Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Cumin Lamb Chops with Charred Scallions and Peanuts
Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed

  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 1/2 pounds rib lamb chops, un-frenched

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted peanuts (optional)

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine the cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in a spice mill or mortar and pestle, and process or pound to a coarse powder (alternatively, place all the spices in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or heavy skillet). Add the salt to the spice mixture and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb chops (which should all fit in the skillet) until both sides are deep golden brown but the inside is still a nice pinkish rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the size. Transfer the chops to a large serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, add the scallions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and all coated in the Sichuan-y, lamby fat. Add the vinegar and peanuts (if using), season with salt and black pepper, and serve alongside the lamb chops.

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