Spicy Stir-Fried Cumin Beef (Wok Version)

4 Servings

1 hour 35 minutes active

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Once cooking begins, things move along quickly, so have all ingredients prepared and a serving platter nearby. Toasted cumin seeds added both earthy flavor and crunchy texture. Breaking some of the chilies in half released the seeds, giving the dish assertive spice; leave the chilies whole for a milder version. We also loved this dish made with 1½ pounds of lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed and thinly sliced (freeze the lamb for about 30 minutes before slicing). The chili pods are edible, but we ate around them. Serve with steamed white rice.




Don’t make this dish in a tight space. Toasting the chilies and searing the meat produced a fair amount of smoke and fumes. Turn your hood vent to high before beginning, or open a window or two.

1 hour

35 minutes active


  • 1

    pound sirloin tips, trimmed

  • tablespoons soy sauce, divided


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Michele R.

So good made with lamb shoulder! And lamb with chiles and cumin is how I've had this in Chinese restaurants serving more regional fare. If I was the Queen I would wave my scepter and bid Milk Street to publish more recipes with lamb as the main protein and showing beef or chicken thighs in the "you may also use" notes instead of the other way around as it seems to be now. As in this recipe. Or a recent on for josh rogan - typically made wiht lamb but published recipe here made with chicken thighs. I could go on...but that makes the point. Americans eat only 1# per person of lamb a year on average. As compared to roughly 97# of chicken. (Someone is eating 92 pounds of the latter for me.) I contend it is possible they don't eat it because their only exposure has been a poorly cooked leg of at some spring observance dinner or rack of lamb at a restaurant that didn't get it right. Stir fried lamb dishes are delicious and so are braises - including lamb meatballs. I suggest if cooking resources like Milk Street starting publishing lamb as primary protein (as could have been done here) and people try it, they will enjoy it. And another good thing about lamb as protein, it is not a part of the conglomerate slaugherhouse food chain as chicken and beef and pork but very often a more local food chain protein.