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Xinjiang Lamb Skewers

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Marinating 2 hrs+

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8 large skewers

If you're looking for something a little different this BBQ season these lamb skewers are ideal - spicy, tender, smokey and incredibly tasty. This recipe is based roughly on the lamb skewers you find through central Asia and Xinjiang (northwest China). The secret ingredient is the Sichuan pepper, and if you want your skewers to stand out, it is key that you use it. These skewers are great on their own, but they also go wonderfully with a bit of salad and tzatziki in a pita.

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  • 500g pack of lamb, separated into lean meat and fat
  • Garlic, 2 fat cloves or 4 smaller cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cumin, 1 tbspn
  • Ground coriander, 1 tbspn
  • Sichuan pepper powder, 2 tspn
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt, 1 tspn
  • Olive oil, 4 tbspn

(Optional) Spice sprinkle

  • Cumin, 1 tspn
  • Ground coriander, 1 tspn
  • Sichuan pepper, 1/2 tspn
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste


  1. Cut the lamb and the fat into roughly inch big cubes.

  2. Make the marinade by putting the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and spices into a bowl and mixing until even. Put the meat and fat in the marinade and mix until thoroughly coated, then cover, put the bowl in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours (or overnight if you think ahead).

  3. Skewer the meat, roughly 2 pieces of lean meat to one piece of fat (you don't have to eat the fat but do keep it on whilst cooking, as it helps keep the meat nice and tender). Pack it quite tightly so that the fat and meat are up against each other, as in the picture above.

  4. Cook on the BBQ until you feel it's ready to eat. I prefer it so the fat is nice and crispy, but just cook it to your own preference. If you made the spice sprinkle then add it occasionally on the top of the skewers as they cook.

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