In this article, I want to introduce a lamb cutlets recipe that is different from what you get in an average restaurant.
The lamb cutlets (Chinese style) are marinated with a set of seasonings comprises the unique ingredient called Maggi seasoning. Apart from this, it also has soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. You may think this must be an authentic Chinese recipe, but the little surprise is that Worcestershire sauce is on the list!
Head over to the kitchen if you want to cook up a different dish.
According to the Chinese tradition, foods are to be shared by everyone who eats at the same table. That is why you hardly have lamb chops on the menu. The lamb is cut into smaller cutlets and placed at the center of the table and served with steamed rice.
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How to prepare lamb cutlets (Chinese style) in 4 simple steps
Not all delicious Chinese food is stir-fried over high heat, or prepare with tedious steps. This lamb cutlets recipe is one of them. What you need is a wok, or a grill if you have. If not, you can substitute it with a large saucepan to pan-fried the lamb. The flavor of this lamb cutlets recipe derived mainly from the special combination of the seasoning ingredients, not so much rely on the techniques.
Step 1- Choose the right cut of lamb
There are three types of cuts suitable for lamb chops (and lamb cutlets)- the rib chop, loin chop, and shoulder chop.
Rib chop is the most expensive, with the rich flavor and tender bite. Loin chop is cheaper, has more meat but still full of flavor.
I use shoulder chop this recipe. It is the cheapest among all, less tender and flavorful. However, there is a good reason to use shoulder chop for this recipe:
- The marinade will tenderize the lamb shoulder chop, so I am not worried about the tenderness. Moreover, the recipe involves baking soda which acts as a tenderizer.
- The marinade and the sauce has a deep savory flavor which contributes to the major part of the flavor in addition to the lamb itself.
Here are the steps:
- Get the butcher to cut the lamb shoulder to thin slices, about 1 to 1.5cm.
- Trim off the excess fat of the lamb chop.
- Cut it into three to four portions. Use the cleaver to cut through the bone if necessary.
Watch the videoRead on: Watch the video recipe at the end of this post
Step 2- Marinade the lamb cutlets
Maggi seasoning and Worcestershire sauce
The star of the seasoning ingredients is Maggi Seasoning, the flagship sauce of the famous Maggi brand.
I do not mention specific brands most of the time, but Maggi Seasoning is one that worth to single out. Unlike generic seasoning like soy sauce, there is no similar sauce available that has its unique flavor.
Maggi seasoning is a dark color, savory sauce with high umami. Although it has a slightly different formula in various part of the world, you may just use what is available rather than using the one I am using. (I am using the Malaysian version which is made in China).
You may be surprised this Chinese style recipe has Worcestershire sauce in it. The Chinese chefs are integrating other ingredients into their cuisine nowadays. The culinary world is converging and ethnic food is fast absorbed into the mainstream cuisine. This happening is mainly due to the multicultural society in many parts of the world, and the ease of access to other cuisines through the internet.
This recipe is based on the famous lamb cutlet offer by one of the renowned Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. The master chef includes it in his cookbook which I am honored to modify it and serve in my restaurant.
Other seasoning ingredients
Two other standard Chinese ingredients, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce are part of the marinade. Oyster sauce is the second most common ingredient in Chinese cooking after soy sauce. Its flavor is compatible with almost any meat, seafood, and even vegetables.
The soy sauce in this recipe is light soy sauce. You may notice there is no salt in this recipe, as soy sauce, oyster sauce, Maggi seasoning and Worcestershire sauce contain salt.
By now you can start to imagine how this lamb cop tastes like!
Cornstarch binds all the seasonings to the lamb. It also acts as the thickening agent in the final step of coating the sauce over the cooked lamb.
The last item in the marinade is baking soda.
Certainly, we are cooking lamb, not baking cakes. But baking soda plays a different role in this recipe. It alkalizes the surface so the lamb, thereby makes the protein harder to bond together, and hence keeping the meat tender while cooking. It is extensively used as the tenderizer in Chinese cooking.
Here are the steps:
- Mix all the ingredients for marinating the lamb in a large bowl.
- Add the lamb cutlets and mix well.
- Marinate the lamb for at least one hour before cooking.
Step 3- Grill, stir-fry or pan-fry the lamb
You can either grill, pan-fried in a large saucepan or stir-fried the lamb cutlets in a wok. Once the cutlets turn golden brown on both sides, remove them and set aside.
Cook the lamb over medium heat, as high heat tends to toughen the lamb.
Whether you grill, pan-fried or stir frying it, transfer the lamb cutlets with the spatula and discard the remaining oil. Lamb is so fatty that I just want to keep the amount of oil to the minimum.
Step 4- Coat the lamb cutlets with the sauce
The final step is to return to lamb to the wok and coat it with the sauce.
This is the easiest step. All you need to do is to combine all the ingredients. The composition of the sauce is similar to the marinade, with the addition of sesame oil and light soy sauce.
You may want to make some adjustment for the amount and the thickness of the sauce. Here are my suggestions:
- The cutlets are meant to serve with plain steamed rice, and so it is towards to salty side of the spectrum. Cut the amount of the sauce by ten to fifteen percent if you prefer less salty or eat it without the rice.
- You can add three to four tablespoons of water if you prefer more sauce. The cornflour in the marinade will thicken the sauce so it will not be too watery.
Here are the steps:
- Clean the wok (or pan) thoroughly after cooking the lamb.
- Pour the sauce into the wok and bring it to boil.
- Add the lamb cutlets to the sauce. Mix well and cook them for half a minute. The lamb will absorb the sauce and the cornstarch in the marinade will thicken it.
- Once the sauce forms a glossy coating on the surface of the lamb cutlets, remove from heat. Dish out and serve.
Watch this video
A picture worth thousand words, a video worth thousand images.
This video will show you how to prepare Chinese Style Lamb Cutlets. (6.07 minutes)
(Note: If you encounter any audio / visual problem of viewing this video, you can view it from YouTube by clicking this link , which will open in a new tab)
The Lamb Cutlets (Chinese Style) Recipe
Lamb cutlets prepared with a set of Chinese flavor. Best to serve with rice.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
- Cut the lamb shoulder chop into small pieces. (One chop divides into three.)
- Trim off any excess fat if necessary.
- Mix ingredient A together and marinate for at least one hour.
- Heat up the vegetable oil. Pan-fried the lamb cutlets until both sides are golden brown. Set aside.
- Mix all the ingredients in B to become the sauce. Bring it to a boil.
- Place the lamb cutlets in the sauce. Cook slowly until the sauce is thickened. Serve.
You may also need the following items for this recipe:
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