Spicy cumin lamb ribs

Spicy cumin lamb ribs

One Dish. Two Ways.
Mark Roper

I’m sure you’ve gathered by now I’m a massive chilli head. My kids, on the other hand, are not chilli heads. This dish is an attempt to recreate one of my favourite dishes at the insanely delicious Melbourne restaurant Dainty Sichuan. Clearly I cook this dish in two batches.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1kg lamb ribs
100ml light soy sauce
100ml kecap manis
800ml chicken stock
3 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon plain flour

Ingredients for adults

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
2 teaspoons garlic powder
pinch chilli flakes
1 small red chilli, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
small handful coriander leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and brown the lamb on both sides. Transfer to a roasting tin and add the soy sauce, kecap manis, stock, ginger and garlic. Coat the lamb in the marinade, cover the tin with foil and bake for 3½ hours.
  3. Remove the lamb from the tin and allow it to cool.
  4. When ready to finish and serve the dish, cut the lamb into individual ribs. Coat the lamb in the egg whites and divide between two bowls.

Dish one

  • Sprinkle the flour over one bowl of lamb and mix.

    Heat some oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium–high heat. Working in batches, fry the lamb for 2 minutes per batch and drain on paper towel.

    Serve the plain, crispy lamb ribs to the kids.

Dish two

  • Add the salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and garlic powder to the other bowl of lamb and combine.

    Again working in batches, cook the spicy lamb in the frying pan or wok for 2 minutes and drain on paper towel.

    Serve the spicy ribs topped with the chilli flakes, fresh chilli, spring onion, fresh coriander and peanuts.
One Dish Two Ways
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