Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers Recipe

Joshua Bousel

A marriage of Middle Eastern and Chinese influence, these earthy, spicy, and pungent lamb skewers deliver such a unique flavor that they seem persistently exciting.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 3 tablespoons cumin

  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry

  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, trimmed of excess fat and gristle


  1. Place cumin seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons of the toasted cumin seeds to a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.

  2. Transfer ground cumin to a small bowl and whisk in remaining cumin seeds, oil, soy sauce, sherry, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Place lamb in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade, seal, and toss to thoroughly coat lamb. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

  4. Thread lamb onto skewers.

  5. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill skewers until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Spice grinder, grill, wooden skewers (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use)

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
210 Calories
14g Fat
2g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 210
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 581mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 334mg 7%
*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.)