How to Cook Stir-Fried Xinjiang-Style Cumin Lamb

I’m not going to claim this stir-fried Xinjiang Cumin Lamb dish is the real deal (hence why it’s titled Xinjiang-STYLE) since I’ve yet to even visit China, plus I’ve adapted it to accommodate what I had on hand ingredients-wise along with my own flavour preferences.

I discovered that half a leg of lamb (my recent purchase – see previous post) yields a lot of meat, so I had to figure out ways to use it up, and stumbled upon a recipe for stir-fried Xinjiang Cumin Lamb at

I’d always assumed that lamb required slow-cooking but this quick stir-fry dish (along with the cumin lamb skewers I wrote about a couple of weeks back) has put paid to that notion; it doesn’t even need the Chinese restaurant soda bicarbonate treatment you would expect for red meat.


Stir-fried Xinjiang-Style Cumin Lamb


400g lamb fillets, diced into 2cm cubes

Marinade –

1 TBSP Shaoxing rice wine (optional)

1 tsp soya sauce

2 tsps oyster sauce


3 TBSP tapioca starch (or cornstarch)

Seasoning –

1½ TBSP cumin powder

2 tsps chilli flakes

⅔ tsp sugar

1 tsp chicken powder (or ½ tsp salt)

¼ tsp pounded Szechuan peppercorns (optional)

Stir-fry –

⅓ cup oil

6 large dried chillies, halved

½ onion, sliced

1 TBSP ginger, minced

1 TBSP garlic, minced


½ TBSP toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Combine lamb with marinade ingredients, set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil, drench lamb with tapioca starch, then fry for about one minute, until lightly browned.
  3. Remove lamb.
  4. Reheat oil, add garlic, ginger and sliced onion, and fry until aromatic.
  5. Add dried chillies, lamb and seasoning ingredients.
  6. Toss well, cook until lamb is done (shouldn’t take more than a minute).
  7. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

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