Ingredients

300g lamb neck, very thinly sliced, plus 300g lamb mince, or 600g of either
1 portion fresh flat noodles,
rapeseed oil, for frying
1 medium red onion, sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced into matchsticks
large handful of coriander, leaves picked
small handful of mint, leaves picked
1 tablespoon toasted peanuts
Sichuan chilli oil
FOR THE MARINADE
2 teaspoons coarsely ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
FOR THE STIR-FRY PASTE
4 tablespoons vegetable, groundnut or rapeseed oil
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 large Asian red chilli (not spicy), diced
1½ tablespoons coarsely ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
good pinch of ground Sichuan peppercorns
FOR THE STIR-FRY SAUCE
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon white sugar
½ teaspoon MSG (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
There are quite a lot of ingredients, so I recommend being methodical and organising yourself from the outset. In separate bowls, mix together the ingredients for the marinade, the stir-fry paste and finally the stir-fry sauce so you have everything to hand when cooking. Although this recipe requires quite a lot of prep, as with most Chinese cuisine, the cooking barely takes any time at all.

Instructions

1.Cumin is one of the heroes of this dish, so begin by toasting the cumin seeds. Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds. Toast for a few minutes, keeping the seeds moving so as not to burn them. They will begin to release their aroma and darken slightly in colour, which is a sign they are ready.
2.Transfer to either a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. You use this in both the marinade and stir-fry paste.
3.Mix the lamb with the marinade ingredients, using your hands to massage the flavours into the meat.
4.Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
5.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil to cook the noodles.
6.Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add the noodles one by one. You’ll know they’re cooked when they float to the top, which should only take a couple of minutes.
7.Drain them and refresh them in a bowl of iced water.
8.Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat.
9.Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the marinated lamb to lubricate it, then put in the hot pan and spread out evenly.
10.Allow to caramelise for 30 seconds without moving, then fry for a couple of minutes until no longer pink.
11.Add the red onion and fry for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
12.Remove the lamb and the onion with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
13.Next heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in the same pan over a high heat and add the stir-fry paste.
14.Move it around the pan for a few minutes so it starts releasing fragrant aromas, but be careful not to let it burn.
15.Return the lamb and onion to the pan and move them around for a minute or two.
16.Now pour in the stir fry sauce and cook for 5 minutes until the meat is cooked through and tender.
17.Follow with the noodles and spring onions.
18.Keep stirring to make sure everything is well coated and combined.
19.Finally, mix through the herbs, peanuts and a teaspoon of the chilli oil.
20.Serve immediately.

© Slow: Food worth taking time over By Gizzi Erskine
Published by Harlequin, a division of HarperCollins

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