Uighur Lamb Kebabs

Ingredients (9)

  • 1 pound boneless lamb leg or shoulder


  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, or substitute 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories364
  • Fat23.47g
  • Saturated fat7.53g
  • Trans fat0.05g
  • Carbs16.34g
  • Fiber0.75g
  • Sugar13.7g
  • Protein21.48g
  • Cholesterol77.11mg
  • Sodium380.14mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (4 servings) Powered by

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Uighur Lamb Kebabs

The Uighur people of Xinjiang speak a Turkic language, and the connection with other Turkic peoples comes through clearly with the food as well. Because of the pomegranate juice, these marinated lamb kebabs have a tart-edged garlicky taste that could almost have come straight from Istanbul. The meat is very succulent, and the grilling straightforward. If you have any left over, it is as tasty as can be the second day.

Serve with flatbreads or rice or noodles, accompanied by a salsa and one or more salads.

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Tips for Lamb


  1. 1Cut the lamb into small pieces, approximately 1 inch square, leaving on a little fat. Set aside.
  2. 2Process the onion to a paste in a food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining marinade ingredients. Add the lamb pieces and stir so they are all coated with marinade. Cover and let sit for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. 3Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. If using bamboo skewers, soak 8 skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  4. 4Thread the pieces of meat onto 8 bamboo or metal skewers (the latter are used in the photograph). Don’t crowd them; the pieces of meat should barely touch one another.
  5. 5Place the skewers on the hot grill, about 4 to 5 inches from the coals. Grill for 2 minutes on the first side, then turn. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes more, turning periodically to ensure good color and even cooking. Cooking times will vary somewhat depending on whether you use bamboo or metal skewers and on the heat of your grill, and whether you wish to leave the lamb pink in the middle or to cook it right through. Serve on the skewers, on a platter.
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