Wham-Bam, Thank You Lamb!

In January, while shopping at a neighborhood Asian market, we purchased 1 1/2 pounds of sliced lamb and vacuum bagged it for the freezer with the intent to use in a future stir-fry.
About a month later, we were enticed by the Stir-Fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions recipe found in our cookbook Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young. Not only did it look delicious, it looked super easy to make—and it was. I swear, the dinner was almost stir-fried in the time it takes to press the EASY button!
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We cook a lot of Asian meals, so it’s not unusual to have most of the ingredients on hand, and such was the case for this meal—right down to the Shaoxing rice wine and ground Sichuan peppercorns. In fact, at the suggestion of chef-author Grace Young, we purchased the Negi Cutter and Kinpari Knife, inexpensive, yet impressive tools for shredding and making matchstick-sized vegetables.
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Using the Kinpari knife to make uniform-sized carrot matchsticks.
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The Negi cutter makes quick work of shredding scallions.
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What didn’t sit right with us was the lack of fresh vegetables so we added 3 shredded carrots worth—adding a necessary pop of color in my artistic opinion! The carrots were stir-fried for a few minutes, then removed from the wok, prior to cooking the lamb. And because our lamb was already presliced into about 1/8″ thick pieces, we didn’t even have to do that prep work. Making it even easier (is it possible?) we had some preground and toasted Sichuan peppercorns leftover from a previous stir-fry.
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Making sure all of the ingredients are ready.
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The sliced lamb marinates while you prep the other ingredients.
Before prepping the ingredients, we started to cook the jasmine rice which takes 20 minutes in total. There are quite a number of spices and liquids to chop or measure so make sure you do all of that before you begin cooking. The recipe only calls for 3/4 lbs. of lamb, and since we had twice that much, we doubled all of the other elements. Then, after only 3-4 minutes total stir-frying time, dinner was ready—and so were we!
INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 oz lean boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1/4-inch-thick, bite sized slices
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine, separated
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely shredded

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Carrots weren’t originally part of this recipe, but we added for health and color.

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The marinated lamb is spread in a single layer in the wok to sear for a minute.

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As a final step, the hoisin mixture is added and quickly stir-fried for a minute or less.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the lamb, garlic, 1 tbsp of Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy, ground Sichuan peppercorns, cornstarch, salt and sugar.  Stir to combine.  Stir in the sesame oil.
  2. In a small bowl combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and the remaining tbsp Shaoxing rice wine.
  3. Heat a 14-inch wok or 12-inch skillet over high head until a bead of water vaporizes within 1-2 seconds of contact.
  4. If adding carrots, stir-fry them first for a few minutes, then move to a bowl before following the next steps.
  5. Swirl in peanut oil, carefully add lamb, and spread evenly in one layer in the wok.  Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, letting the lamb begin to sear on one side.  Using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 minute, or until the lamb begins to brown on all sides, but is not cooked through.
  6. Add the scallions and stir-fry about 10 seconds or until just combined.  Swirl the hoisin sauce mixture into the wok and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the lamb is just cooked through.
  7. Serve with rice.
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