Cumin Lamb Skewers

I took some friends to Northern China Eatery in Doraville last week. We filled up on pork fennel dumplings, shumai, and these tender lamb skewers. Xinjiang Lamb Skewers are popular Chinese street food and are my second favorite way to eat lamb. This recipe makes super tender and flavorful meat. These skewers are cooked on small charcoal grills that cook at very high heat. It is difficult to replicate authentically because of our access to the cuts of lamb that work best for these skewers, lean but with a fat cap. The next best thing is the leg of lamb cut into small cubes and purchasing extra lamb fat from your butcher or from the frozen section at Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. 

For the marinade, you will need: 

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cumin, plus some for grilling
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, plus some for grilling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Combine all ingredients and let the meat marinate between 2 hours and overnight. Once you are ready to cook, layer a meat cube and a small piece of lamb fat onto the skewer until full. Grill on high turning frequently to help melt the fat. Some may take 5 minutes, others less. You want to serve them right off the grill. 

Lauren Townsend for The AHA Connection