Spicy Orange Lamb


Although Chinese ordinarily do not like lamb, they have not tasted lamb in the West, where it is delicate and more subtle than the stronger-tasting one from China.

Here I have combined the lamb with orange for a lovely contrast to the rich meat. The tartness of the fresh orange peel works well to balance the robust taste of the lamb. It is an easy dish to make and the spicy flavours add to its appeal. Serve it with plain rice and vegetables for a wholesome meal.


  • 450 g (1 lb) lean boneless lamb chops
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • teaspoons finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon roasted Szechuan peppercorns, finely ground (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour


Cut the lamb into thin slices 5 cm (2 in) long, cutting against the grain. Put the lamb into a bowl together with the soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil and cornflour. Mix well and then let the mixture marinate for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is very hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, remove the lamb from the marinade with a slotted spoon. Add it to the pan and stir-fry it for 2 minutes until it browns. Remove it and leave to drain in a colander or sieve. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the oil.

Re-heat the wok or pan over a high heat and then add the ginger, garlic, orange zest and peppercorns. Stir-fry for 20 seconds. Then return the lamb to the pan, add the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry for 4 minutes, mixing well. Serve the dish at once.