New ways with lamb.
I’m fairly new to cooking lamb Chinese style at home. Beef and chicken are my go-to meats of choice for stir fries, but lamb makes a tasty change, especially with white pepper and fresh coriander root.
It’s a bit of an unsung Chinese flavour combination and one that’s really stayed with me since first trying it in a restaurant in Leeds, and with good reason. Juicy rich lamb, fragrant white pepper and fresh and lively coriander root are flavours that are made for each other. Cooked with oyster sauce, ginger and garlic they make a delicious liquor thats great with crunchy broccoli and peas and fluffy white rice.
If you fancy adding some heat, an authentic way would be with a finishing drizzle of Chinese chilli oil, or you could try gently roasting some whole red chillies (pierced first to prevent them popping) in a bit of vegetable oil and adding one to each finished dish. They make a fiery and pretty accompaniment and if you make a batch of them they’ll keep in oil in the fridge for a good while.
- 180g lamb leg fillets, fat removed and cut in to thin strips
- 75ml oyster sauce
- 25ml soy sauce
- 50ml shaoxing rice wine
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- A handful fresh coriander – leaves and stalks, kept separate
- Roasted or fresh chopped red chillies
- 6 tenderstem broccoli stalks, the very ends trimmed
- A handful of sugar-snap peas
- Half a red onion, finely sliced
- A large thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut in to matchsticks
- 1 glove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- A handful of bamboo shoots
- Rice to serve
- Place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then drain and rinse under cold water until cool (blanching the broccoli like this prepares it for stir frying, so it’s cooked through but still has good bite).
- To a wok or large frying pan, add a 3/4 tablespoons of cooking oil and heat on a really high heat (get your extractor fan on or the kitchen door open!) you want the oil shimmering, then add the onion and ginger and cook stirring continuously for about a minute.
- Next add the lamb and stir continuously again for one minutes, so it’s coloured all over, then add the white pepper, broccoli, sugar snap peas, bamboo shoots and garlic (garlic is added later in the cooking so it doesn’t burn and turn bitter, as it’s prone to doing at high temperatures), stir for another couple of minutes cooking them through, then add the coriander stalks, oyster sauce, soy and shaoxing, cooking for another minute or two at most — so the sauce is bubbling and the whole pan is steaming. Remember, the thinner the lamb is cut the less time it will need, and lamb benefits from being eaten tender and as close to pink as you can get.
- Finish the pan with the coriander leaves and stir through, then serve on top of fluffy white rice and with the chilli of your choice.