Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles
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The now famous Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles is a certified classic dish. and one of the best ways to enjoy Lamb. This dish has become increasingly famous across the world over the past 10 years or so. It is one of the newer wave of modern Chinese cuisines that has swept across the USA, which has helped the western world start to realize the sheer depth and quality of Chinese cooking

There are many ingredients in this wonderful dish that, 10 years ago, perhaps even 5 years ago wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular as it is today. Lamb is having a huge resurgence in popularity (it’s about time too!), and the ever-quirky Szechuan Peppercorns are popping up more and more in restaurants as well as home cooking across the country

How to make Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles

This is a certified Epic Cook Up by our own standards. It’s a fantastic dish, but there are quite a few elements involved so we highly recommend you clear out the afternoon and spend some time really enjoying making this dish

There are three main components to the dish, each requiring their own love and care to perfect:

  1. Making perfect Hand-Pulled Noodles
  2. Preparing and seasoning the Lamb
  3. Creating the vibrant, powerful Spicy Sauce

Each component is easy enough to make, it just requires some dedication and time. So, we highly recommend not rushing each of the steps and enjoy making this wonderful Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles

Hand-Pulled Noodles for Lamb dish
These amazing homemade Hand-Pulled Noodles are what makes this recipe truly special

1. Making the perfect Homemade Hand-Pulled Noodles

Trust us, once you master making your own homemade hand-pulled noodles, you’re never buying them from the grocery store again. The flavor and texture that homemade hand-pulled noodles is second to none. The slight chewiness these noodles produce is a perfect pairing for the tender Lamb

We cut then Noodles thick so they can soak up as much of that wonderful spicy sauce with every bite. They are simply delicious, and so easy to make!

If you want to dive deep into the artform of Hand Pulled Noodles, we’ve created a dedicated recipe for it here. We also have the outline below in our recipe on how to make these wonderful noodles. It’s a very simple dough comprising of Flour, Water, and a little Salt

Knead it, rest it. Knead it again, rest it again and then it’ll be ready to be stretched! The artform of hand pulling Noodles is easy to master, once you’re shown how it’s done. We recommend checking out this video here by none other than the boss of Xi’an Famous Foods in NYC on the correct way to hand pull Noodles

Once you’ve mastered the technique they’re so easy to make. We recommend getting the whole family involved too for a fun way to spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking

2. Pairing Lamb with Cumin is a match made in heaven

Lamb is a wonderfully flavored cut of meat. Some may call it gamey (which we don’t necessarily agree with), others just call it tasty! It has a wonderful flavor which is amplified exceptionally well with the classic pairing of Cumin. It is a unique flavor that really brings to life the natural Lamb flavor, and this combination is perfect for

You don’t need to be too specific on the type of Lamb you use in this recipe. We would recommend Lamb Shoulder, as we find it has the most amount of flavor. It can be a little fatty however, so when trimming it be sure to discard as much of the fat as possible

Lamb Shoulder is typically used in slower roasted or braised dishes (such as our ridiculously tasty 10-hour Lamb Shoulder recipe). However, for the Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles recipe, the Lamb is cut quite thin, allow it to be cooked fast and on a high heat for a great result

Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles top down
The wonderful sauce is what gives the Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles so much flavor. It’s spicy!

3. What gives the Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles its powerful flavor is the Sauce

The sauce in this dish is truly remarkable. The amount of spice and flavor is overwhelming. On it’s own the flavor is intense, however when paired with those delicious Noodles, it will mellow out enough and make the flavors harmoniously sing in the bowl together

The prominent flavor in the Spicy Sauce is Chili Oil, and a chili mix of Szechuan Peppercorns and Cumin. The Szechuan Peppercorns and Chili Oil add heat and that wonderful, tangy texture that Szechuan Peppercorns are famous for. The flavor is balanced with the saltiness of Soy Sauce and Chinese Vinegar brings some acidity

Make no mistake about it however, this sauce is hot! It’s a spicy meal, which we’re totally here for! If you want to scale back the spice, you can reduce the quantities of Chili Oil and replace it with more Soy Sauce. You can also scale back the Szechuan Peppercorns and replace them with regular Pepper for a milder flavor

Add the Lamb into the pan first and don’t move it for 30 seconds to get it a lovely char and crisp

This is a nice little trick we’ve learnt along our travels. In fact, this technique is one that we borrowed from the Spanish folks with how their prepare their Crispy Rice. By leaving the ingredients in the pan, completely exposed to the heat without moving it will turn it beautiful and crispy

It works well for rice. It works even better for Lamb! As soon as you add the Lamb to the hot pan, ensure all of it (or as much as you can) is directly exposed to the pan. This aggressive exposure to the pan will immediately start to char the outsides of the Lamb. You don’t need to do it for too long, only 30 seconds to 1 minute maximum is required

The result is lovely, slightly crunchy, and beautifully charred lamb pieces. The slight crispiness this technique adds a lovely texture to the dish. The charred flavor is one that is universally loved. It’s a subtle additional flavor that’s added to the Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles, but one you will notice and enjoy

Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles chopsticks
The combination of flavors and textures in the Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles makes it such a wonderful dish to eat

Recipe Details


4 people

Prep time

2 hours

Cooking time

10 minutes

Total time

2 hours, 10 minutes

Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles Recipe


Lamb and marinade Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Lamb Shoulder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp. Corn Starch
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese Cooking Wine

Spice Mix Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Whole Coriander Seeds
  • 2 tsp. Szechuan Peppercorns

Spicy Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ Chili Oil with Chili Flakes
  • ¼ cup Chinese Wine / Sake, or Mirin
  • 3 tbsp. Chinese Black Vinegar
  • 4 tsp. Light Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp. Dark Soy Sauce

Stir Fry Ingredients

  • 8 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
  • 2-inch piece of Ginger, finely diced
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Hot Green Chili, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Hand-Pulled Noodles Ingredients

  • 400g All Purpose Flour
  • 220ml Water
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Equipment needed: Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle


  1. Add the Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, and Szechuan Peppercorns to a frying pan. Toast over a medium / high heat for 5 minutes until fragrant
  2. Remove the Spices from the heat and when cooled, place into your Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle. Grind until a fine powder is formed
  3. Cut the Lamb into bite sized chunks and try to trim as much fat from it as possible. Place in a large bowl and add the Corn Starch, Vegetable Oil, Chinese Cooking Wine, 2 tsp. of the Ground Spice Mix, and 1 tsp. of Salt. Mix well to coat the Lamb and marinade for at least 15 minutes
  4. Combine the Sauce ingredients into a small bowl or cup and set aside until we begin cooking

Preparing the Hand-Pulled Noodles

  1. Combine Water and Salt into a large bowl and mix together, then add the Flour – about ¼ at a time, mixing as you go
  2. Once all the Flour has been added, continue to mix and knead the dough in the bowl until it can easily be formed into a bowl and no mixture is sticking to the sides. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes to rest
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle, about 3 times width to length. Cut the dough into strips about ½ inch thick and place onto a large plate. Brush with Vegetable Oil, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to cooking
  4. To hand-pull the Noodles, place an individual piece of dough on a flat surface. Place an indentation down the middle of the dough with a Chopstick. Pick up the dough from each side (lengthways) and shake your wrists while slowly stretching the Noodles. Continue to do so until large enough to whack it on the table a few times. Stretch as far as you can then lay back on the surface
  5. Rip the noodles in two, using the indentation you made earlier as a guide. Immediately place the torn noodles into boiling water and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until it floats. Strain and place into bowls for serving

Here’s a great video on how to Hand-Pull Noodles

Cooking the Lamb

  1. Add 1 tbsp. of Vegetable Oil to a large skillet or Wok over high heat. Once hot, add the Lamb. Add the Ginger and Garlic on top. After about 30 seconds, stir the Lamb until browned and then add the Red Onions, Chili, and the remaining Spice mix
  2. Stir to coat all the ingredients and then add the Sauce mixture we prepared earlier. Cook for 2 minutes until the Lamb is cooked through. Turn off the heat then add Cilantro and serve in individual bowls on top of the Hand-Pulled Noodles

This must be one of the most flavorful and interesting dishes you can make at home yourself. Give this lovely Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles dish a try for yourself and let us know below how it went? For more wonderful Lamb recipes, check out our Lamb section here. Here’s a few of our favorites we’d recommend you try cooking at home yourself:

Happy Cooking!

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