Spicy Sichuan-Style Lamb with Cumin


Cooking pieces of lamb shoulder in a superhot cast-iron skillet makes them wonderfully browned and tender. Slideshow: F&W’s 10 Favorite Chinese Recipes 

Spicy Sichuan-Style Lamb with Cumin
Photo: © Johnny Miller
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/4 pounds trimmed boneless lamb shoulder, thinly sliced

  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • Steamed rice, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the canola oil with the cumin, crushed red pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the lamb and onion and turn to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet until very hot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and swirl to coat. Add the lamb and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Add the broth and cook, stirring and scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet, until the broth is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Serve with rice.

Suggested Pairing

Aromatic, concentrated Syrah from Chile.

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