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Tasty Cumin Lamb to Warm up the New Year

Recipe for the Minor Cold and Major Cold solar terms (serves 4)

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In January, we experience the two coldest solar terms: Minor Cold (Jan. 5 – Jan. 20) and Major Cold (Jan. 20 – Feb. 3). The cold yin energy reaches its peak this time of year, so it’s important to invigorate the warm yang energy by eating hot, replenishing the body’s heat, and getting plenty of rest. Lamb is hot in nature and sweet in taste, making it a favourite for winter feasts. Start your year with this easy-to-cook recipe for stir-fried cumin lamb. The rich aroma and overflowing gravy in this dish is sure to warm your body and keep the cold outside.



400 g lamb shoulder
1 ½ cups cooking oil
10 g cumin grains
5 g white sesame seeds
3 g chili powder (optional)
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 g table salt
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
20 g peeled ginger
⅛ red pepper
½ purple onion
1 handful cilantro
1 scallion



1. Mince the onion, red pepper, and scallion.

2. Separate the cilantro leaves from the stems. Mince the stems and chop the coriander leaves into segments.

3. Cut the lamb into thin slices about 0.5 mm thick. Put it on a plate and set it aside.

4. Heat a pan on low heat, roast the cumin grains, the sesame seeds, and the chili powder in the pot until fragrant.

5. Blend the ginger with 3 tablespoons of water to make a purée. Filter out the pulp and pour the ginger juice over the lamb. Mix it with your hands. Continue to add salt, white pepper, one tablespoon of light soy sauce, and cornstarch. Mix well, ensuring that the cornstarch doesn’t clump, and finally add ⅙ cup cooking oil. Set aside to marinate.

6. Pour the rest of the oil into a heated pan until the temperature reaches approximately 360°F – 375°F. Add the lamb, keep the heat high, and flip it over after 30 seconds. Keep turning the meat from time to time and fry it until the surface is crisp and turns a caramel colour, which should take around 3 minutes. Take the lamb out and set it aside on a plate.

7. Pour out most of the oil from the pan, leaving only two tablespoons. Sauté the onions in the remaining oil with sugar, then add the lamb, cumin, sesame seeds, chili powder, and one tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to stir-fry for a minute, then finally add the cilantro stems, minced scallion, and minced red pepper.

8. Spread the cilantro leaves on a plate. Place the lamb on top of the leaves and serve.

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