Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers


  • 1 lb. lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 + ½ tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Add cubed lamb into a zip-loc bag, and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, cooking wine, soy sauce, minced garlic, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds (optional), and salt. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the marinade around the lamb to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight, to infuse all the seasoning and spices into the meat.
  2. Thread the lamb onto skewers. Depending on the size of your skewers, you should be able to thread 6 skewers with 6-7 pieces of lamb on each.
  3. Preheat grill (or grill pan) over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes and lightly brush the grill with remaining ½ tablespoon vegetable oil. You should notice the oil shimmer and sizzle when it’s hot and ready.
  4. Grill the lamb skewers for 10-15 minutes (rotating every few minutes, or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 155 F. For well done, cook for a few more minutes, until the internal temperature reaches above 160 F. Sprinkle some cumin seeds on top of the lamb near the end of grilling (adding the cumin seeds too early can cause them to get too burnt).
  5. Sprinkle more cayenne pepper if desired and serve hot.

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