Recipe video above. At “posher” establishments, Mongolian Lamb arrives at the table on a hot iron plate, sizzling and spitting for theatric effect. Sizzle aside, this homemade version is a near perfect replica. Even the velveted texture of the lamb!The sauce is sweet and savoury, with Chinese Five Spice and Hoisin the dominant flavours. It's completely addictive!Also excellent made with beef - see Note 1.
Tenderise & marinating2hrs
Keyword: chinese stir fry, lamb recipe, Mongolian lamb
Servings: 4- 5
Lamb and marinade:
350g / 12 ozlamb meat (backstrap/fillet, mid loin chops, shoulder - or any cut in Note 1), thinly sliced 2 - 3 mm / 1/10" (boneless weight, fat trimmed)
Combine lamb and marinade ingredients, mix very well. Cover and refrigerate to marinate and tenderise the lamb.
Marinate 2 hours - Backstrap, Midloin chops and other listed Tender Cuts in Note 1.
Marinate 24 hours - lamb shoulder and other listed Economical Cuts in Note 1. (Bare minimum marinade times is 6 hrs).
Sauce: Mix cornflour with the soy sauces, then mix in the remaining sauce ingredients. (Note 7)
Cook onion: Heat oil over high heat in a wok or heavy based skillet. Add onions, and stir fry for 30 seconds until starting to colour. Add garlic and toss through quickly.
Cook Lamb: Add lamb and cook for 3 minutes until most of it changes from red to brown, and some pieces start getting nice golden brown surfaces.
Add Sauce: Add green onions, stir for 30 seconds (meat should all now be brown), then add Sauce. Stir and let simmer for 1 - 2 minutes until thickened.
Serve with rice!
1. Lamb - any cut you want, ensure you factor in bone and fat to be trimmed, you need 350g/12oz of meat. The more economical the cut, the longer we tenderise, then it's as tender as expensive cuts!Note that Mongolian Lamb is excellent made with any of these, it comes down to price, marinating time and convenience of cutting (tender cuts = easier to cut because there's no sinewy bits to avoid and less fat to cut around).Tender Cuts - 2 hour marinade:
backstrap / fillet / loin (different name for same cut) - best, most expensive (I use when on sale)
midloin chops - my most used, you need 700g/1.4lb (you lose alot in fat and bone
chump chop and lamb rump (roast or steak) - excellent lean options, cheaper than backstrap. Handy because you can buy small roasts that are around 350g.
cutlets - I never use, too expensive!
Economical Cuts - 24 hour marinade
lamb shoulder - excellent ribbons of fat but need to trim around sinewy bits
leg (steak or roast) - leaner alternative to shoulder
forequarter chops and neck - bit fatty but really great lamb flavour.
Note: Economical cuts can be cooked after as little as a 6 hr marinade, the meat will obviously not be as tender as a 24 hr marinade but it is perfectly within the acceptable bounds of tenderness for a stir fry.BEEF - excellent made with beef and many restaurants offer the beef version. Follow recipe (including tenderising) using beef cuts as follows:
24 hours - Chuck beef, gravy beef, oyster beef and other traditional stewing beef, blade, bolar blade. Only cut I do NOT recommend is brisket (doesn't seem to tenderise well)
2. Baking soda (aka bi carb) - one of the techniques used in Chinese cooking to tenderise meat, making it velvety and soft, and impossible to overcook. Also used for chicken, beef and pork.Note: astute readers have noted that the baking soda is rinsed off when used for chicken and beef whereas in this recipe it is not. That is because we use less in this recipe, we have other flavours in the marinade, and marinade for longer (chicken is 20 min), and also lamb is a tougher meat than chicken. With the quantity used and all the other flavour going on, you cannot taste the baking soda.3. Soy sauces - light soy and all purpose soy sauce adds salt and a bit of flavour but doesn't make sauces very brown. On the other hand, dark soy sauce has a much stronger soy flavour and adds a lot of colour into sauces. Hence why we use a combination of both. Do not use: sweet soy or kecap manis.4. Chinese Cooking Wine - essential ingredient for a true restaurant quality Mongolian Lamb sauce. Best substitutes (in order of preference: dry sherry, Mirin, Japanese cooking sake.For non alcoholic, switch half water in sauce for low sodium chicken stock/broth and leave out the Chinese cooking wine.5. Chinese Five Spice - a spice blend of five spices, very common nowadays, sold at grocery stores and no more expensive than other spices. Also used in Chinese Beef and Broccoli, Chicken and Broccoli, Sticky Chinese Wings, Crispy Chinese Pork Belly. Search “five spice powder” for more recipes (tip: click “Ingredients” to see all recipes that use it);6. Sesame oil - toasted sesame oil is brown and has more flavour than untoasted (which is yellow). Default sesame oil sold in Australia is toasted, untoasted is harder to find.7. Cornflour / cornstarch dissolves faster and lump free if you stir it in a little bit of liquid as opposed to lots. So dissolve in the soy sauce first, then mix in everything else. 8. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings. Mongolian Beef only.