Xinjiang Cumin Lamb

August 5, 2022


Yang Rou Chuan and cumin lamb are both popular Xinjiang dishes or grilled lamb skewers. Like chuan, it has spread beyond Xinjiang to become a popular dish throughout China. It’s most prevalent at real Hunan, Sichuan, and Chinese halal restaurants, where I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Lamb seasoned with whole cumin seeds is a favorite dish for a reason, and it’s easy to understand why. The combination of cumin and lamb is a marriage made in culinary heaven. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, especially if you throw in some fiery peppers and lots of cilantro. With white rice.

It’s really one of my mother’s favorite dishes, despite the fact that she doesn’t normally enjoy lamb. That’s how wonderful it is. It turns out that most Shanghainese people don’t like lamb, and I was one of them. Shanghainese restaurants do not serve lamb dishes.

However, I have no idea why it is the case. Lamb’s health benefits include removing moisture from the body, warming the blood, and increasing Qi in general, all according to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). The greatest season to consume lamb is in the fall and winter, so it’s not unexpected. The end of summer is a perfect time to share this dish.

Last but not least, a fantastic cumin lamb relies heavily on the fat of the animal. Listen to what I have to say. Lamb that is too thin is rough and unpleasant to eat. The addition of a little extra marbling makes all the difference in the dish’s flavor and savoriness. I used leg of lamb, which was a little too lean for my liking. The shoulder chop of lamb is superior to the leg, in my opinion. If at all possible, include some of the rendered lamb fat into the recipe.



  • 450g of shoulder lamb, cut into ½-inch by 2-inch
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch


  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 2 chopped red chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • Large handful of chopped cilantro
  • Salt


  1. Before chopping, pat the lamb dry with a paper towel. Once the lamb has been chopped, mix it in a bowl with the marinade ingredients. 30 minutes should be given for the food to marinade.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat once the lamb has marinated. When the cumin seeds are fragrant, add them to the wok and dry roast them. After turning the heat off, take the cumin out of the wok and place it aside.
  3. The wok should now be heated on the highest setting until it begins to smoke. Add the lamb to the wok after adding two teaspoons of oil to coat the surface. The meat should be seared until it turns brown and begins slightly crisp. The meat will be seared but also remain soft due to the intense heat.
  4. Add the cumin seeds cooked together with the chili, sugar, scallions, cilantro, red pepper flakes (or powder), and salt. Then, transfer the mixture to a serving plate after quickly tossing everything together until the cilantro and scallions are barely wilted. White rice is served in large quantities.
Your custom text © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.