Spicy Cumin Lamb

What a long week! I was over it by Tuesday. There seemed to be an abundance of teenage apathy, but hopefully the sunshine will start chasing the glum attitudes away.

Anyway, there have been a few successes in the mix, so I will focus on the happy moments and keep busy doing fun things like eating dessert and doing food photography.

This week I made a spicy cumin lamb dish. It’s a super fast and easy dish that you can sub out with any other meat or veggie you’d like. You can also tailor the spice level to your preference, from mild (omit all the spicy ingredients) to burn your eyebrows off (add all the spicy! 🌶🌶🌶).

Week 5

Spicy Cumin Lamb

By Patty Nguyen Zurilgen   ||   www.pattynguyen.com


  • 1 lb. ground lambWeek 5
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (substitute: cooking sherry)


  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 thai chili peppers (depending on your spice level)
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped


Mix the garlic, cumin, salt, sugar, cayenne, cornstarch, light soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the ground lamb in a medium sized bowl and drizzle with the marinade. Lightly break up the meat with a spoon and incorporate the marinade. You do not have to thoroughly mix the meat and marinade together. You’ll want chunks of lamb for this dish. Set aside and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds to the dry pan and toast until fragrant. Remove the seeds to a small bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat to the highest setting. Once the skillet or wok begins to smoke, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the lamb and sear the meat until it becomes golden brown and begins to crisp. Once seared on one side, use a wood spoon or spatula to break up the meat and continue cooking another 5 minutes, or until lamb is cooked through.

Once the lamb is done, remove the skillet/wok from the heat and add in the toasted cumin seeds, chili peppers, scallions, and cilantro. Toss everything together quickly until the greens are just slightly wilted. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with steamed rice.



  1. mmm, don’t you just love cumin?! i also love lamb but i’m scared of cooking it… but you make it seem easy and simple 🙂 this is another yummy-looking dish you’ve inspired me to try sometime!!

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