As a precursor to things to come, Alex and I have to decided to start slowly ramping up for our week of Chinese New Year meals by cooking one to two Chinese meals per week. Last week Alex made Red-Braised Pork (Hong Shao Rou) and tonight we made this Stir-Fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions. This dish was one that I was considering for Chinese New Year, but it didn't quite make the cut. Rather than forgo making it entirely, I decided to go ahead and make it tonight.
And as much as I generally like the combination of lamb with scallions, this dish was just ok to me. I didn't think it was anything special. I really didn't get the flavor from the Sichuan peppercorns and when I did, I wasn't sure that it actually went with the hoisin mixture. Actually, I'm fairly certain that it didn't because the flavors didn't seem to meld together for me at all. The flavor of the lamb was fine - a little gamey, a little savory, a little sweet, but it just didn't do it for me. I guess if I had to give the dish a letter grade, it would be a solid B/B- (probably the B-, although I hate being that harsh). If I were to make the recipe again (which I probably won't but if I were), I would throw the scallions in after the hoisin mixture. I think stir-frying them for 30 seconds is more than enough to soften and mellow them, but leave a little crispness and texture. Cooking them for the amount of time specified in the recipe was overkill. Oh and we cut our lamb a little on the large size. If I were to make this dish again, I would definitely cut the lamb into smaller pieces. Oops.
Recipe after the jump!
Stir-Fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions
Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
By Grace Young
12 oz lean boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1/4-inch-thick, bite sized slices
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine, separated
1 tsp dark soy sauce
3/4 tsp roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, finely shredded
In a medium bowl combine the lamb, garlic, 1 tbsp of Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy, ground Sichuan peppercorns, cornstarch, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Stir in the sesame oil. In a small bowl combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and the remaining tbsp Shaoxing rice wine.
Heat a 14-inch wok or 12-inch skillet over high head until a bead of water vaporizes within 1-2 seconds of contact. Swirl in peanut oil, carefully add lamb, and spread evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, letting the lamb begin to sear on one side. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry 1 minute, or until the lamb begins to brown on all sides, but is not cooked through. Add the scallions and stir-fry about 10 seconds or until just combined. Swirl the hoisin sauce mixture into the wok and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the lamb is just cooked through.