Mongolian Lamb Stir-fry

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Tender lamb strips, shredded Welsh onion and fragrant aromatics get tossed in a tantalizing savory-sweet sauce in this quick & easy 30 minute Mongolian Lamb Stir-fry!



For the Lamb Marinade:

  • 400 grams / 14 ounces Lamb Tenderloins, boneless, skinless (or backstrap – note 1) – thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
  • ½ TSP Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
  • 1.5 TSP Potato Starch (or Corn Starch)
  • ½ TSP Sesame Oil

For the Sauce:

  • ½ TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
  • ½ TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
  • ½ TBLS Chinkiang Vinegar (Chinese black vinegar – note 2)
  • ½ TBLS Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 TSP Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 TSP Sesame Oil
  • 1 TSP Pure Chili Oil (optional – without flakes/seeds)
  • 1/2 TSP White Sugar
  • 1/8 TSP Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ TSP ground Cumin
  • ¼ TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 60ml / ¼ cup Water

For the Mongolian Lamb Stir-fry:

  • 1 medium Welsh Onion (or the white part of a leek – note 3) – finely sliced into 3.5-inch shreds
  • 5 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 TBLS minced Ginger
  • 28 fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any small hot red chilies), to taste – finely chopped
  • 210 Dried Red Chilies (note 4), to taste – stems removed, snipped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 TBLS Peanut Oil (or any neutral oil with a high smoke point)

To Serve/Garnish:

  • Toasted White Sesame Seeds
  • Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion – dark green parts only) – chopped
  • Warm Steamed Rice



  1. Marinate the lamb: Pat-dry the lamb tenderloin fillets. Trim off excess fat and remove any sinew. Thinly slice into strips and add to a medium bowl, followed by the low sodium light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, ground white pepper, potato starch and sesame oil. Mix well to combine and set aside for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Make the sauce: Whisk together the low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, pure chili oil (if using), white sugar, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and water in a small measuring cup (for easier pouring) or bowl.
  3. Prepare the fresh and dry ingredients: Chop/slice the Welsh onion, garlic, ginger, fresh red chilies, and dried red chilies as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section. (Pro-tip: Deseed the fresh red chilies and shake out and discard some or all of the seeds from the dried red chilies for a milder dish.)

For the Mongolian Lamb Stir-fry:

  1. Cook the lamb: Heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated lamb and immediately spread out the pieces in the wok. Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, then stir-fry for 1 minute or until golden brown and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a fine mesh strainer held above the wok, allowing the excess oil to drip back in. Then tip the lamb into to a clean bowl. Spoon out and discard any gluggy bits from the wok.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Heat the oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the fresh and dried red chilies and stir-fry for another 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add the shredded Welsh onion. Add the Welsh onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds to combine.
  4. Add the lamb and sauce. Add the lamb and all the juices in the bowl back into the wok and pour the sauce over everything. Stir-fry for 1 minute or so, until the sauce thickens and coats everything well. Switch off the heat.
  5. To Serve: Transfer to a serving plate/dish. Sprinkle with toasted white sesame seeds and chopped spring onion and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.



  1. Lamb cut and weight: I started with 416 grams /14.6 ounces lamb tenderloins (fillets) but after trimming the fat and slicing the meat, the final weight was 365 grams / 13 ounces. Although this is a leaner cut of lamb with less fat and sinew, the final weight will go down after trimming just like with other lamb cuts. It’s best to start with at least 400 grams / 14 ounces of lamb tenderloins for this recipe. Anywhere between 365-385 grams / 12.8-13 ounces for the final weight will work well. Lamb tenderloin or backstrap is best for this recipe as it leaner and tender, easier to clean and slice, and quicker to cook than other lamb cuts.
  2. Chinkiang vinegar and Asian sauces: Chinkiang vinegar is a Chinese black vinegar with a deep and savory tangy flavor and sweet undertones. Substitute with half distilled white vinegar and half balsamic vinegar to yield a similar flavor. Dark soy sauce is used for color mainly and can be substitute with more low sodium light soy sauce. Shao Xing rice wine is a Chinese cooking wine with a floral aroma. Substitute with dry sherry if unavailable. The sauces used in this recipe can be found in your local Asian supermarket. Shao Xing rice wine, dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce can also be found in supermarkets that are well-stocked with international ingredients.
  3. Welsh Onion: This is a type of large green onion that is similar in appearance to Western leeks. It’s also known as Tokyo or Japanese negi, bunching onion, green onion, and spring onion. Look for it an Asian supermarket. Substitute with the white part of a Western leek if you can’t find it.
  4. Dried Red Chilies: Use any type of medium to hot Chinese or Thai dried chilies. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference and the spice level of the dried chilies. Thai Jinda dried chilies, which is what I used here, are quite spicy. Since Thai dried chilies tend to be hotter than most Chinese dried chilies, you’ll likely need to use less. Omit completely for a milder dish.