Xinjiang Lamb Skewers

新疆烤串, chuar



Serves 6

  • Active Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Passive Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cooking Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 10 mins

Succulent grilled lamb skewers flavored with cumin and hot pepper.
Adapted from the Omnivore’s Cookbook and from observations of the Grand Street food cart.


Makes about 16 skewers


  1. Roast cumin seeds in a pan or wok over medium heat. Stir frequently so that they do not burn. Remove from heat once cumin seeds have browned and are are very aromatic. Set aside to cool and then grind in a spice grinder.
  2. Roast and grind dried hot red peppers. Ensure that kitchen is well ventilated and do not directly breathe in the pepper fumes.
  3. Make the marinade by combining oil, light soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, 2 tbsp ground cumin seeds and 1 tsp ground red pepper. Add more pepper if you want a spicier skewer.
  4. Butcher lamb meat into small oblong pieces, approximately 1 cm in width x 1.5 cm in length x 0.75 cm in height.
  5. Butcher lamb fat into small pieces, approximately half the size of the meat pieces.
  6. Coarsely chop onion.
  7. Add lamb meat and onion to the marinade and mix well.
  8. Thread lamb meat and lamb fat onto the tops of the skewers in an approximately 2:1 ratio. If the meat is very lean, increase the amount of fat interspersed. Leave enough room at the bottom of the skewer for it to be held like a lollypop. Trim the sharp end of the skewers with a pair of kitchen scissors.
  9. Put skewers into a ziplock bag and cover with the onions. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  10. Build a charcoal fire. If using a circular or square grill,  rake the coals into a line.
  11. Grill the skewers until they are nicely charred. As they are grilling, sprinkle on additional salt, ground cumin and ground red pepper to taste.
  12. Serve immediately. Eat like a lollipop.

Recipe Info

Categorized in:

Thank you for visiting.

Site in beta. More features to come.