Mongolian Lamb

Mongolian Lamb (Photo by snapperworlf/flickr)

In order to reduce the strength of the lamb flavor, the meat is sliced thinly and soaked in cold water.

Serves 4.


500 g/1 lb lamb tenderloin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
5 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large onion cut into wedges lengthways
1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon hoi sin sauce
1 tablespoon ground bean sauce (mor sze jeung)
1 teaspoon chilli bean sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry


Freeze lamb just long enough to make it firm, then slice paper thin. Soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse under a cold tap until water runs clear, then drain well and squeeze out excess water.

Combine sugar, salt, soy sauce, egg, bicarbonate of soda and cornflour. Add the meat and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and mix again. Leave to marinate for 2 hours.

Heat a wok, add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and, on medium-high heat, stir-fry the onion wedges and spring onion for 1 minute. Remove from the wok. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of peanut oil to the wok, heat the oil and swirl to coat cooking surface. Fry garlic for 5 seconds. Then add the lamb and stir- fry on high heat, tossing the meat constantly until it is brown. Add sauce ingredients except the wine, and toss again. Return the onion and spring onion to the wok. Add the wine, pouring it around the side of the wok so it sizzles. Mix, and serve at once with rice.

Note: Mongolian lamb is usually cooked on a flat griddle but can be done in a wok.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)