Quick stir-fried Mongolian lamb curry

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Karen Burns-Booth's quick lamb curry recipe is perfect for when you literally can't wait for a takeaway to arrive, as the thinly sliced lamb neck is cooked in minutes in a hot wok. Marinating the lamb for 30 minutes first is essential, but an easy step in this delicious recipe, a staple of Chinese-American restaurants.

First published in 2016

I love a good curry, and lamb is always a favourite when I make a big batch, however, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with recipes sometimes, so recently I decided to try a different style of curry recipe with some beautiful British lamb neck that I had.

I’ve always loved the takeaway dish called Mongolian beef, it’s a classic dish in Chinese-American restaurants, and I used to love it when I lived in the States. The main ingredients are beef, of course, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chillies and spring onions, and it’s served in a thick sauce with rice or noodles.

My recipe for a quick stir-fried Mongolian lamb curry is an adaptation of the classic style – cooked in a wok which makes the lamb meltingly soft, especially when sliced very thinly and stir-fried over a high heat. Marinating the lamb for 30 minutes also helps to infuse the flavours and tenderise the meat.

Serve this tasty, sticky, tender lamb curry with steamed basmati rice or noodles for a wonderful family meal at any time of the week, although it would also make a great alternative to an actual Friday night takeaway.





  • 650g of lamb neck, sliced very thinly
  • 2 tbsp of cornflour, for dusting
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil, for frying
  • 6 tbsp of water

Mongolian curry paste

  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp of hoisin sauce
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 2.5cm, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of Demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil

To serve


Mix together all of the ingredients for the Mongolian curry paste. Place in a shallow dish and add the lamb pieces, turning over to coat fully in the paste. Cover and allow to marinate for 30 minutes
After this time, remove the lamb from the marinade, reserving this for later. Coat with the cornflour, either by tossing together in a bowl or by placing in a sealable bag and shaking to coat
Add the sesame oil to a wok and place over a high heat. When hot, add the dusted lamb pieces and fry for 2–3 minutes, moving about the pan the whole time. Scrape in the reserved paste from the marinade along with the water
Continue to stir-fry for another 4–5 minutes, keeping the lamb moving. Just before serving, scatter over the sliced chilli and spring onion and fry for a minute or so more to soften
Serve the curry immediately with steamed rice, noodles or bread
First published in 2016

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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