This grilled spiced kabob is inspired by the popular street vendors of Western China. Traditionally made with lamb, this recipe also works with beef or chicken. Canola oil helps prevent the meat from sticking to the grill.

  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried red pepper flakes
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely minced ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground Szechwan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb (750 g) lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil
  • Bamboo skewers soaked in water overnight
  • Canola oil, for brushing


  • In small, dry frying pan, heat cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant or until they start to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Remove to cool then place into electric grinder, or mortar and pestle, and grind until fine. Place into mixing bowl and mix together well with rest of spices, garlic, and pepper.
  • In another mixing bowl, mix lamb and canola oil until well coated. Add spice mixture and mix well to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to overnight. Alternatively, marinate in large, heavy, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate.
  • Skewer four to five pieces of lamb on each skewer. Heat prepared grill or barbecue until medium high to high heat.
  • Brush small amount of canola oil over each skewer and grill, turning frequently, about 6 to 8 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 8 min.
Servings: 2
Source: (recipe developed by