Crispy Mongolian lamb

Crispy Mongolian lamb

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 3 hrs


Serves 2
Braise lamb breast with aromatics then grill until crisp and serve with noodles for a cheap but chic meal for two

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze cooked lamb only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal643
  • fat36g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre0g
  • protein54g
  • salt5.3g
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  • 1 breast of lamb, about 750g



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • thumb-size piece ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 150ml Shaohsing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

To serve

  • 1 round lettuce, leaves separated



    Lettuce are available in a vast number of varieties, and are either crisp or floppy, growing…

  • 3 spring onions, cut into finger-length pieces then shredded
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • ¼ cucumber, cut into matchsticks


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the lamb in a casserole dish with a lid. Add remaining ingredients plus enough water to just cover. Cook with the lid on for 3 hrs until the meat is tender and the bones pull out easily. Allow to cool still covered in the cooking liquid with the lid on. You can do this 1-2 days in advance and let the lamb cool completely in the fridge. This will make the next step easier.

  2. When cold, lift the lamb out of the liquid and transfer to a baking tray. Skim fat from the sauce. Reserve half the sauce for the noodles (in 'Try' section, below) and bubble the rest, still in the pan, until thick and syrupy. Pour into a small serving bowl. Heat grill to medium and grill lamb until crisp and hot through, but not too dark.

  3. Shred the lamb, discarding most of the fat and all the bones, but keep the nice, crisp skin. You can cut the skin off first and leave it in a hot oven while you shred the rest of the meat. To serve, take everything to the table and eat the lamb rolled up in the lettuce leaves with the cucumber, spring onions and sauce, plus the noodles on the side.

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Comments (19)

Jazman's picture

Delicious. Added chilli, szechuan peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon too and it was really good. Goes really well in steamed buns too.

d1zzyd1's picture

I'm just making this for a second time. It is absolutely delicious. Like a previous comment, I couldn't get breast so used shoulder. It's just as good. I added szechuan peppercorns in the mix. I did find the sauce a little salty in the wraps. A hoi sin or plum sauce is nicer, but that's just our taste.

scb60's picture

Followed this recipe - so quick at the last minute as all the work was done the day before and it was delicious - didn't last long.

Jodzgirl's picture

I think 6 tbsp. of soy sauce is too much personally and will account for the saltiness that others have mentioned. I reduced it to 3, and added in some apple juice for a bit of fruitiness to cut through the fat.

bunnytombs's picture

I followed the recipe exactly, leaving it to cool over night, which enabled me to remove the bones an most of the fat from the meat. This isn't a healthy dish, lamb rarely is, but it sure was delicious. We are a greedy couple but this did us dinner (just served with lettuce, cuc, spring onions and sauce) as well as a light lunch the next day. Wouldn't change a thing, so tasty and a cheaper option to duck!

bigedd2004's picture

I used a left over leg of lamb from Sundays joint. It was a big leg and there are only the two of us. It was cooked, but I boiled it for 2.5 hours in a saucepan with the lid on, the rest was as the recipe. The liquid did not cover but I turned the joint a couple of times. It was absolutely fabulous. The meat tendered up and fell off the bone. I did use half a can of lager for the stock. I used fresh egg noodles from tesco for a bed for the lamb, boiled the stock down to next to nothing and what a fantastic sauce. Used some rich Housin sauce from a bottle I had, poured over the onion and cucumber I would rate this as a 10 if possible.

loyalsmiler's picture

Most supermarkets now sell breast of lamb, I find it easier to open out the rolled breast of lamb then roast/BBQ it as this lets the fat drain away whilst cooking.

zhagan's picture

a new favourite in our house

errghhurrgh's picture

Where can I find Shaohsing rice wine? Is it rice wine vinegar or sake??

I tried this at a local restaurant and loved it so I hope this is one and the same recipe but want to get the right ingredients...

andris74's picture

You'll get it in a Asian grocery store or you can substitute with dry sherry. Must be drý.

thecurtainmaker's picture

Delicicous! You need to keep the lamb warm on a table heater (like those for chinese meals). Instead of lettuce, I served it with chinese pancakes - makes a very acceptable substitute for Peking Duck.

kjbutche's picture

Definitely one for the pressure cooker. I cooked the lamb in the liquid at high pressure for 35 minutes then let the pressure release naturally. I couldn't get rice wine so used dry sherry.

I agree with Heidi; lamb breast is very fatty and took me ages to strip the meat away from the bones and fat. And yes, the sauce needs some work - it is too salty if you simply boil it down until its syrupy.

I also seemed to manage to use every pan and utensil going whilst preparing this, not to mention the lamb grease which ended up coating everything. There was a lot of greasy washing-up. I wasn't convinced about wrapping the lamb in lettuce leaves so dug some tortilla wraps out of the cupboard. My husband loved it. It was nice and I'll make it again I imagine (with tweaks). Just not in a hurry.

ager4160's picture

Finished off on the BBQ and served with a salad. Absolutley delicious!!

heidigough's picture


I was so excited by the thought of this dish but I was so sadly disappointed. It came out crispy but there was just so much fat in the lamb it was really coating to the mouth and not in a nice way. The sauce was also far too salty. I couldn't reduce it until syrupy because the saltiness was ridiculous. I thickened it with cornflour but it still didn't help.

It needs something acidic to cut through the fat I think. Maybe there would be a dish there if you adjusted the flavours or swapped for pork belly or duck... Or maybe that would just be making a different dish altogether.

Nice idea but just didn't deliver.

heidigough's picture

I saw some rolled breast of lamb in Asda this week. It wasn't stuffed so I'm intending to buy some when I next go in. Wish I'd had this recipe a couple of years ago when I bought a half hogget, the breast was very disappointing in the recipe I used at the time.

I'll let you know the results...

kjbutche's picture

To Girl Flower - you could use pork belly if you can't get hold of lamb breast.

kjbutche's picture

I actually spotted breast of lamb in Morrisons supermarket last night. I bought some and have stuck it in the freezer until I get the rest of the ingredients to make this. Can't wait to try it!

lesleydee's picture

My butcher was very interested in what I intended to do with a breast of lamb as it was asked for so rarely - gave him such a rave review about it he is going to make it himself.

This is well worth a try, the lamb was so tender and the sauce so tasty. When the weather gets better I think this would be great finished off on the barbque instead of under the grill. Would also be good with chinese pancakes instead of the lettuce.

purpleflufff's picture

Does it have to be made using breast of lamb? I can't find this cut anywhere but would love to try this recipe. What could I use instead and would I have to change the cooking times? Any advice would be good! Thanks.

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