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On the Silk Road path, the Uyghur cuisine in north western China uses a lot of spices and features goat and lamb dominantly. It's not what one would typically think of as Chinese foods. The Uyghurs also serve most of their dishes with a chewy flatbread that reminds me of bagel just holeless.

This Xinjiang Lamb Mini Pita Pockets dish takes its inspiration from the flatbread and the grilled leg of lamb that you find in many Xinjiang restaurants.

I think Marco Polo would approve.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $0.17 view details
  • ½ lb of lamb loin (or pre-sliced shabu-shabu lamb)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1½ teaspoons ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne/chile powder, less depending on preference
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup watercress, daikon sprouts or any peppery micro greens
  • 4 mini pitas


  1. Freeze the lamb for about 20 minutes so that you can slice the lamb as thin as possible (alternatively buy the pre-sliced shabu-shabu lamb meat).
  2. Mix all the dried spices, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. Marinate lamb with the garlic and spices, for at least 20 minutes, preferably overnight.
  4. Cooking the lamb: Add ½ tablespoon of oil in wok or a cast iron pan over high heat till very hot, almost smoking. Sear the marinated meat in 2 batches, about 3 minutes or until meat is nicely brown and caramelized. Repeat with more oil for remaining meat.
  5. Assembling the pockets: Cut pitas into 2. Stuff pita with 2 tablespoons of spiced lamb and some micro greens.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 19g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 81  
Calories from Fat 66 81%
Total Fat 7.52g 9%
Saturated Fat 0.58g 2%
Trans Fat 0.03g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 308mg 13%
Potassium 83mg 2%
Total Carbs 3.48g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
Sugars 0.17g 0%
Protein 0.91g 1%



  • Mihir Shah
    June 23, 2008
    Didn't have any mint, so I substituted with Thyme. Fantastic dish; the spice rub caramelizes the outside really nicely. And the lamb goes great with the watercress. Highly recommend.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    This is a variation


    • John Spottiswood
      June 16, 2008
      This looks really good, Linda. We'll definitely try this in the next week or so!

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