Xinjiang Cumin Lamb Seitan | 孜然素羊肉

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

I know this auntie from the Hui tribe and Xinjiang cumin lamb is her signature dish. She always cooks this when entertaining friends and—as it’s never vegan—I can sadly only smell and salivate. After being provoked by a whole bunch of social media posts, I finally decided to make a seitan version.

The seitan-making technique for this dish is almost exactly the same as on this Vegan Cola Chicken WTF Seitan | 可乐素鸡 post. So, please hop over there to read up on the instructions. The only difference is that I added brown food colouring in the making of the initial seitan dough ball. This gives the seitan a realistic colour when cooked.

The flavours in this vegan Xinjiang cumin lamb made with seitan are sooooo good. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it tastes so extremely authentic and lamb-y. This dish is a prime example of how the majority of what we believe is the flavour of meat is really the flavour of the complimenting herbs and spices.


  • If you can’t be bothered with making seitan, you can totally use tofu.
  • Cumin seeds are better than cumin powder so use those if possible.
  • If you like it sweeter, use yellow onion instead of spring onions. Or use both!
  • If you are adverse to bigger pieces of ginger, you can grate the ginger instead.
  • Adjust the chilli flakes to your spice level, but make sure the spiciness does not overpower the cumin flavour.
  • To replace Chinese white wine (白酒), you can use sake or soju. Or simply replace it with vegetable stock.
  • In this dish, the garlic is meant to be slightly raw. If you don’t like that, you can add it in with the ginger and spring onion.

This recipe time is only for cooking this dish and does not include the time spent used making seitan.

Share / Save:


0/17 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Marinade
  • For Sautee


0/11 Instructions
  • Make your seitan! 1. Remember to add brown food colouring into the initial dough to get a realistic colour. 2. For the simmer liquid, I used a heavily-salted vegan beef broth with a lot of onion and garlic powder.
  • Shred your seitan and marinade it for about an hour.
  • In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat and fry the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise until slightly browned and fragrant. Carefully remove them from the oil.
  • Add the ginger and spring onion whites. Fry until fragrant.
  • Add the seitan and stir fry until the seitan becomes slightly darker.
  • Add the sugar, soy sauce, bai jiu (Chinese white wine), and water. Mix well and cover with a lid to cook the flavour into the seitan for about 5 minutes. Then uncover and reduce.
  • When the stock has reduced by half, add the cumin, sesame seeds, and chilli flakes. Mix and continue to cook.
  • Then the stock has mostly dried up, add garlic slivers. Mix and add salt to taste.
  • Turn off the flame. And add the coriander, folding in well until it wilts.
  • Serve hot with rice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *