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The Hirshon Xinjiang Cumin Lamb Ribs - 新疆孜然羊排 or شىنجاڭ قوزىسى

The Hirshon Xinjiang Cumin Lamb Ribs – 新疆孜然羊排 or شىنجاڭ قوزىسى

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 3 1/2 lbs. breast of lamb on the bone
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • ***
  • For the soaking liquid:
  • 1 1/2 liters boiled bottled water, still hot
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn (花椒)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2” crushed ginger (姜)
  • ***
  • 3 Tbsp. sunflower oil (葵花籽油) or rendered lamb fat
  • ***
  • Xinjiang Spice Mix:
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted chile flakes, made by dry-roasting dried chiles de arbol and coarsely grinding in a spice grinder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. dry-roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. dry-roasted black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. dry-roasted Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dry-roasted fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Icelandic smoked salt
  • 10 crystals Accent/MSG – this is a tiny pinch, use no more than this!
  • ***
  • For the master stock:
  • Microplaned peel from 1/2 orange, no white pith
  • 4 oz. Chinese yellow rock sugar
  • 2 1/2 liters water
  • 1 1/3 cups Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (TFD note – Uyghur natives would not use this, as they are Muslim and do not drink alcohol. Han Chinese would definitely use it – go with your preference as to maximum authenticity vs. added flavor)
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/4” piece ginger, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/2 quill Ceylon Cinnamon


  1. Make the Ginger-Sichuan Peppercorn water. Add hot, boiled water to the smashed ginger, smashed garlic and Sichuan peppercorns and let it steep for one hour until cooled to room temperature.
  2. Add the ribs to the water and let soak for one hour. After the hour mark, you’ll notice that it has really started to draw out the myoglobin from the meat – the lamb will look much paler in color. This soaking process helps remove the ‘shanwei’ or ‘lamby odor’ from the meat – this is a non-optional step to both Chinese epicures as well as TFD – don’t skip it.
  3. Remove the ribs from the ginger water – dry the ribs thoroughly and discard water and seasonings. Then, massage the ribs with the vinegar and put in the fridge for 2 hours.
  4. While the ribs are marinating, make the master stock. Using a paring knife, remove any white pith from the orange peel as this will impart a bitter flavor to the stock. Roughly crush the rock sugar in a mortar with a pestle. Put the peel, sugar and all the remaining ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes, then strain.
  5. Place the lamb into the strained stock and slowly simmer for around 1½ to 2 hours. When the lamb is tender, remove from the heat and allow to cool in stock, then cut into individual ribs. Place in the fridge until completely cold.
  6. Make the Xinjiang spice rub – be sure you are only very roughly crushing the seeds and spices, either using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Combine all ingredients and reserve.
  7. Massage the lamb ribs with the lamb fat or sunflower oil. Massage the oil into the totally-dry lamb ribs, followed by the seasoning. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight – preferably overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 220C / 425F. Roast the lamb for 15 minutes and turning them over halfway through. Serve with additional Xinjiang spice rub.
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