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Real-Deal Xinjiang Cumin Lamb

Real-Deal Xinjiang Cumin Lamb (孜然羊肉)

4.96 from 21 votes
The real-deal Chinese cumin lamb stir fry recipe that yields highly addictive results.
{Gluten Free Adaptable}
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Marination Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Servings: 4
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 1 lbs (450 g) lamb leg , cut to 2/3-inch (1.5-cm) cubes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry for gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Spice Mix

Stir Fry

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole dried Chinese chili peppers (or Korean chili peppers)
  • 1/2 onion , sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 5 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro , chopped


  • Toasted sesame seeds (Optional)


  • Combine lamb, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and salt in a big bowl. Mix well. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature (1 hour of marinating time is highly recommended), or in the fridge up to overnight.
  • Combine the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.
  • When you’re ready to cook, drain the extra liquid from the bowl of lamb. Add the cornstarch. Stir until all the lamb pieces are coated.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the lamb pieces and spread them out with a pair of tongs or chopsticks, so they don’t overlap. Let cook without touching until the bottom side turns golden, 1 minute or so. Flip the lamb and cook the other side until slightly golden, while the inside is still a bit pink, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer the lamb to a big plate.
  • Your pan should still have some oil left in it. If not, add more oil so there are about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the dried Chinese chili peppers, onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, until the onion just starts to turn tender. Add back the lamb and sprinkle the spice mix all over. Stir immediately to coat the lamb with spice. Remove the pan from the stove and carefully try one piece of lamb. Sprinkle a bit more salt on it, if needed.
  • Add the cilantro and give it a final stir. Transfer everything to a big plate immediately.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 333kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.1g, Protein: 33.2g, Fat: 15.9g, Saturated Fat: 4.4g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 612mg, Fiber: 1.1g, Sugar: 1.3g