Crying Tiger Lamb From 'Everyday Thai Cooking'

Crying Tiger Lamb
Photograph: Masano Kawana

Most of the dishes in Katie Chin's new cookbook, Everyday Thai Cooking, aren't terribly spicy. They have hints of heat running in the background, but most of them are geared towards the (relatively) puny American spice palate. Not so with her Crying Tiger Lamb, named for its ability to make even a tiger weep. This dish has no such restraint—it's not only fiery, but it's also got a strong hand with salty fish sauce, sour lime juice, and grassy cilantro. In other words: it's seriously awesome, and a true gift to lamb lovers.

Why I picked this recipe: It was hard to resist a dish with such an evocative name.

What worked: Everything here was spot on—the copious cilantro kept the richness of the lamb in check, and the super salty, spicy sauce perfectly complemented the gaminess of the meat. I could eat this every day.

What didn't: No problems at all.

Suggested tweaks: If you don't have a grill (or you've packed it away already), you can easily sear the lamb in a cast iron skillet on the stove. Just be sure to turn on your hood—the sugar in the marinade creates a lot of smoke! Traditionally, this dish is made with beef, so if you're not into lamb, you could make the same dish with ribeye or flank.

Reprinted with permission from Everyday Thai Cooking: Quick and Easy Family Style Recipes by Katie Chin. Copyright 2013. Published by Tuttle Publishing. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 4 lamb loin chops

  • 1/2 cup (14g) finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) leaves


  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 fresh hot red or green chiles, preferably Thai (deseeded if you prefer less heat), finely sliced

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots


  1. Make the marinade: Whisk together the oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, garlic, and pepper. Place the lamb loins in a large sealable plastic bag and pour marinade over lamb. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 8 hours).

  2. Make the sauce: Whisk the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chiles, and shallots in a small bowl until combined.

  3. Heat a grill to medium-high and brush with oil. Grill the lamb loins over medium high heat until desired doneness is reached, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle sauce on top and garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving. Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
330 Calories
22g Fat
9g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 330
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 1702mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 395mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)