Cumin Lamb Stir Fry

Authentic Chinese cumin lamb stir-fry with white onion, green onion, and fresh cilantro.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 1 pound boneless leg of lamb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or more
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil with a high smoking point such as avocado oil
  • 23 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 stems green onion, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro


  1. Rinse lamb and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into thin slices, 1/2-inch wide, 1-inch long and 1/3-inch thick. (You can double the size if desired. Make sure the slices are thin.) Add sea salt and cornstarch. Stir well and set aside.
  2. Combine cumin seeds, ground cumin, and chili powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat up a large sauté pan over high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add oil and swirl to glaze the pan.
  4. When the oil is heated up, add garlic and stir for a few seconds. Add marinated lamb. Use your spatula to quickly separate lamb slices. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the color of the lamb is changed.
  5. Add dark soy sauce and the combined cumin spices. Stir quickly until even.
  6. Add onion and sugar. Keeping sautéing for 30 seconds or until the sauce is thickened up. You want to finish this step within seconds not minutes to prevent the onion from making too much juice. Work fast.
  7. Turn off the heat. Quickly stir in green onion and cilantro. Again, do it quickly to keep the green onion and cilantro fresh and crunchy. Sprinkle with more chili powder if desired.
  8. Dish and enjoy with rice or quinoa.


Keywords: cumin lamb