This Chinese lamb stir-fry features the robust flavours of cumin and chilli, and is utterly divine (plus surprisingly quick to make). Pair it with some braised cabbage and steamed rice and you’ve got a dinner party menu or delicious weeknight meal on your hands!
500g (1lb) lamb leg steaks (you could also use lamp rump or backstrap), cut into 1.5cm (about ⅝ inch) chunks
3 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 leek, finely sliced (or cut into 8cm/3-inch matchsticks)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.5cm (about ⅝-inch) piece ginger, finely grated
handful dried chillies (optional)
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
steamed rice, to serve
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
Place the lamb in a large bowl and add the soy sauces, Shaoxing wine and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover the bowl then set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients (you can marinate overnight, if you like).
For the spice mix, combine everything in a bowl and mix well. Set aside for later.
Drain the lamb very well, reserving any liquid, then toss the lamb with the cornflour in a clean bowl. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a wok (or a large, heavy-based frying pan) over high heat. Add the lamb, then stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until golden; you will need to work it a bit with tongs to separate the pieces to begin with (the cornflour makes the lamb a bit sticky). The lamb should still be pink in the middle, although cook it for longer if you like it more well done. Using a slotted spoon, remove and transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining oil to the wok if needed, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Go in with the leek, garlic, ginger and dried chillies, then stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until the leek has slightly wilted.
Return the lamb to the pan along with the reserved marinade and the spice mix. Toss to combine well and heat everything through, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve with steamed rice.
– If you don’t like leeks, or they aren’t in season, use two large onions instead – the dish will still be delicious.