A great introduction to an exciting chef, the winner of Australian Masterchef, Adam Liaw. He does some really exciting Asian food – well worth a trip to the Asia market! Lamb fried with cumin is a classic northern Chinese dish, Adam has given it a bit of twist and turned it into a warm salad with a peanut relish. You will need a thermometer for this, the sort that you use for jam, you can pick one up in a kitchen shop for under €10. We bought one to cook this dish and have already used it again for something else. If your peanuts have the skins on just blanch them for a minute in hot water and they will slip off easily.
Chilli cumin lamb with peanuts and herbs – to serve 2
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 300g lamb topside, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil, like groundnut
- 40g raw peanuts, peeled
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- ¼ tsp caster sugar, plus an extra pinch
- 5 dried chillies, stalks and seeds removed
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 large handfuls mint leaves
- 1 large handful coriander leaves
- lemon wedges and cooked rice, to serve
Half-fill a wok with vegetable oil and heat to 180ºC. Toss the lamb in the cornflour and deep-fry for 3-5 minutes or until well browned. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Drain the vegetable oil from the wok.
Heat half the neutral oil in the wok and stir-fry the peanuts until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and roughly chop. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened and starting to colour. Add the soy sauce and sugar and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return the peanuts to the wok with the chillies and toss for about 30 seconds. Remove the mixture from the wok and set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil in the wok and add the cumin and chilli powder. Stir-fry for 30 seconds (or until it starts to aggravate your nose). Add the lamb, the salt and a pinch of sugar. Toss for about 30 seconds and then add half the mint. Toss until the lamb is wilted, then remove the mixture from the wok.
Arrange a bed of coriander and mint leaves on a serving plate and top with the lamb mixture. Spoon the peanut and onion mixture on top of the lamb. Serve with wedges of lemon. Squeeze the lemon over just before eating and toss like a salad. Serve with rice.
Wine Suggestion: We have the old conundrum of chillies with wine – they don’t go. We’d probably go for a beer here (lager rather than ale) but if you want wine, a Pinot Gris with a little sweetness and not too aromatic might be good.
(Original recipe from Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens, Ebury Press, 2011.)