ChineseGrilledMainsMeatQuick & Easy

Grilled Lamb Skewers – Yang Rou Chuan

23 mins Cook
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Lamb skewers

Savoury, spicy, and sweet, these Chinese Lamb Skewers are tender, juicy, and smooth to devour. only a handful of ingredients and half-hour are all you want!

Ramsha Baig

Yang Rou Chuan are highly spiced, Chinese lamb skewers. A street food that’s famous for both its flavor and convenience, they’ve emerge as a fast barbecue preferred of mine — and all of my pals and family as properly!

The flavors seem complex, however it’s virtually rather simple to put together. A 6-aspect dry rub and the proper cut of lamb is all you want. Even if you’re now not acquainted with cooking lamb, I’ve laid out step-by means of-step commands on a way to attain flawlessly charred, flavorful skewers. All of this in much less than 30 minutes!

I first had those in Beijing on foot round, jet-lagged and hungry after a long flight. They had been sincerely scrumptious and that i even saw some street providers dipping hot puppies on a stick inside the spice combo as properly, but opted for the real deal.

Whilst this dish is fun to consume on its very own, i really like to serve them alongside my earthy, healthful Bok Choy Stir Fry. however in case you need to shake matters up a chunk, you can deliver these skewers a few Middle Eastern or Mediterranean aptitude with home made Barbari bread, Hummus, and Shatta sauce.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Lamb – A popular Eastern meat for its strong, robust flavor and tender bite. It’s also one of the healthier proteins out there.
  • Cumin Seeds – This spice is very rich and warm, with notes of citrus and earthiness that are both sweet and bitter. Whole coriander, caraway seeds, or fennel seeds are three possible substitutes.
  • Black Peppercorns – A standard in dry rubs across the board, these add a bold, full-bodied crust to meat once grilled or pan-fried.  
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Spicy crushed red chili peppers for a nice hint of heat. Cayenne pepper or paprika would work as well, depending on the type and intensity of heat that you prefer.
  • Caraway Seeds – You’ll find this seasoning in sweet and savory meals alike. It has a taste that’s similar to anise. You can swap out caraway seeds with an equal amount of fennel, if preferred. 
  • Salt & Sugar – A bit of sweetness and saltiness to balance the earthy and pepper flavors provided by the other spices in the dry rub.

How to Make Lamb Skewers

  • Grind the Spices. Use a spice or espresso grinder to grind all the spices collectively. Don’t finely grind them — depart a few entire spices intact.
  • Preheat. heat your grill to 425°F. If the use of a charcoal grill, flow all the coals to one aspect. If the usage of a fuel grill, leave the burners off on one side.
  • Apply Dry Rub. transfer the meat into a massive bowl. Pour the spice rub into the bowl and rubdown into the beef, urgent into the floor.
  • Make Skewers. Slide the cubes onto the skewers, leaving gaps among the beef to make certain each piece cooks calmly and forms a crust. lightly drip olive oil over every skewer previous to grilling.
  • Grill. Grill each skewer over the direct heat. once the side being grilled browns and has clean char marks, turn onto the following facet. Repeat till each aspect charred — roughly 4 minutes. as soon as cooked, switch to the cool aspect of the grill and permit to prepare dinner within the oblique heat till the beef is as accomplished as you’d find it irresistible, approximately 4 mins until medium rare.
  • Relaxation and Serve. Serve after the beef rests off of the heat for as a minimum five mins.

How Do You Tell When Lamb is Done Cooking

The secure internal temperature of lamb is 170ºF. As long because it reaches that temperature, then it is able to be enjoyed rare or medium-uncommon.

If you want your meat cooked definitely via, then wait till it reaches a grey-brown shade at some stage in.

What Cut of Lamb is Used for Skewers?

I recommend using a boneless lamb shoulder. This cut is easiest to cube and will have a good amount of fat. 1 ½ lbs of meat will yield around 8-12 skewers when cubed and grilled.

If you can’t find a shoulder cut, then sirloin is your next best choice. 

How Long Are Lamb Skewers Good in the Refrigerator

Like most cooked meats, you don’t want to wait longer than 3 days to eat these Chinese lamb skewers. 

If you want to prepare the meat cubes in bulk, you can always freeze them and then thaw once you’re ready to grill. Frozen, raw cuts will keep for up to 9 months. If you cube beforehand, then don’t freeze for longer than 6 months or so. 

When ready to cook, allow frozen meat to thaw in the fridge and then come to room temperature before grilling.

Grilled Lamb Skewers - Yang Rou Chuan

Grilled Lamb Skewers - Yang Rou Chuan

Yang Rou Chuan are highly spiced, Chinese lamb skewers. A street food that’s famous for both its flavor and convenience, they’ve emerge as a fast barbecue preferred of mine — and all of my pals and family as properly
prep time
8 mins
cooking time
23 mins
total time
31 mins



  • 1 ½ lbs boneless lamb shoulder cubed

  • olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 2 teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


In a spice or coffee grinder coarsely grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, caraway seeds, purple pepper flakes, sugar and salt until just a few whole spices continue to be. this may be a rough spice rub.
smooth and heat grill to 425°F, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, financial institution coals on one facet of grill; for a gas grill, go away one or burners off on one side).
In a bowl or plastic bag add cubed lamb and spice rub. massage lamb, urgent spice blend onto the beef together with your arms to coat.
Thread lamb cubes onto 8-12 skewers, leaving a small hole between each piece of meat. Drizzle with olive oil.
Grill lamb over direct heat, turning each minute or so, till browned and also you see visible char marks, approximately four mins. pass to cooler side of grill and preserve to grill until lamb is cooked to desired doneness, approximately 4 mins longer for medium-uncommon.
Allow to rest for 5 mins on platter before serving.


I serve these with steamed rice and Bok Choy Stir Fry or as pictured, heat Pita, Hummus and Tahini Yogurt Sauce for a center jap twist.
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