Air Fryer Spicy Cumin Lamb Recipe: Bold, Juicy, And Spicy 

 Last Update April 25, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

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Air fryer cumin lamb is an aromatic and tantalizing dish that promises to delight your taste buds! Forget about the hassle of traditional cooking methods; the air fryer offers a quick, healthy, and utterly delicious way to prepare this exotic delicacy. Infused with the earthy warmth of cumin and the succulent tenderness of lamb, this recipe is a must have.

In this post, I am going to share with you how to make my favorite quick and effortless recipe for air fryer lamb that is covered in cumin and other spices.

Air Fryer Spicy Lamb Recipe

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
10 minutes

Rest Time
30 minutes

Total Time
50 minutes

  • Cooking Method: Air-Frying
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 253
  • Courses: Side Dish
  • Best Season: Any


  • 1 pound lamb shoulder or leg, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chilies, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


1. Take a few moments to preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) before proceeding.

2. In a bowl, combine the ground cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, crushed red chilies, ground ginger, ground garlic, ground spice mixture, salt, Shaoxing wine, and white sesame seeds. Mix well to create a marinade.

3. Add the thinly sliced lamb to the marinade and toss to coat the meat evenly. Let the lamb marinate for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, enabling the flavors to meld and infuse.

4. arrange the slices in a single layer within the air fryer basket after marinating the lamb. If your air fryer has limited capacity, you may need to cook the lamb in batches.

5. Set the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook the lamb for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway. This method guarantees uniform cooking and achieves a delightful, crispy exterior.

6. Carefully remove it from the air fryer Once the lamb reaches your desired level of doneness and develops a pleasingly browned exterior.

7. Garnish the cumin lamb with freshly chopped cilantro.

Be sure to clean your air fryer soon after as there will be splatters and dripped oil. 

Tips & Notes

Choose the right cut of lamb: For this recipe, it's best to use lamb shoulder or lamb leg as they have enough fat content to keep the meat tender and flavorful. Thinly slice the lamb against the grain for a more tender texture.

Marinate for optimal flavor: Allow the lamb to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes or longer if possible. This process enables the flavors to deeply permeate the meat, elevating its taste to another level.

Adjust the spice level: The recipe includes crushed red chilies and Sichuan peppercorns, which can add heat and spice to the dish. Customize the level of spiciness by adjusting the quantity of red chilies to your liking. Consider removing the seeds from the dried red chilies for a milder flavor.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 4



% Daily Value*

Total Fat 10.5g


Saturated Fat 3g


Cholesterol 102mg


Sodium 755mg


Total Carbohydrate 9.8g


Dietary Fiber 1.2g


Total Sugars 1.4g

Protein 33g

Vitamin D 0mcg


Calcium 86mg


Iron 4mg


Potassium 454mg


*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Toast and grind spices: Toasting the whole spices (Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds) enhances their aroma and flavor before grinding them. Be sure to cool them slightly before grinding to avoid any burns.

Preheat the air fryer: Preheating the air fryer allows it to reach the desired cooking temperature before you add the lamb, ensuring even and efficient cooking.

Flip the lamb slices: To ensure an even browning and crispy texture, flip the lamb slices halfway through the cooking time. This promotes even cooking on both sides.

Check for doneness: The cooking duration may differ depending on the thickness of the lamb slices and the specific model of your air fryer. Monitor the lamb closely during cooking and adjust the cooking time as needed. For optimal results, it is recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure the lamb reaches your desired level of doneness.

Rest the lamb: After air frying, let the lamb rest for a few minutes before serving. This essential step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it remains moist and succulent.

What Ingredients You Will Need To Make This Air Fryer Cumin Lamb Recipe

Lamb Shoulder Or Leg

Lamb is a succulent and tender meat that serves as the star protein in this dish, contributing to its rich and robust flavors. When preparing this recipe, you can choose any cut of lamb that suits your preference. While lamb shoulder and legs are commonly used, lamb chops are equally suitable.

Air-fried lamb chops can also be a delicious cut. If you opt for air-fried lamb chops, keep in mind that you'll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are perfectly cooked to your liking. Air-fry lamb chops for a minimum of 12 to 15 minutes, adjusting the duration based on your preferred level of doneness.

Ground Cumin

Cumin, a versatile spice, imparts a delightful combination of warmth, earthiness, and a subtle nutty essence to the dish. It plays a vital role in this recipe, delivering the unmistakable cumin flavor that harmonizes beautifully with lamb. If you lack ground cumin, simply grind whole cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder before incorporating them into the recipe. If cumin is not available, there are cumin substitutes you can use.

Sichuan Peppercorns

Renowned for their distinct numbing and citrusy taste, Sichuan peppercorns offer a truly unique flavor experience. They add a distinctive Sichuan flair to the dish's mild heat and aromatic element. If you don't have Sichuan peppercorns, you can omit them or substitute them with black peppercorns for some heat, although it won't replicate the exact flavor profile.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds provide a subtle licorice-like flavor to the dish, adding a touch of sweetness and freshness. These peppercorns effortlessly complement the other spices, amplifying the overall flavor profile to perfection. If you don't have fennel seeds, you can use anise seeds as a substitute, as they have a similar flavor profile.

Cumin Seeds

Whole cumin seeds offer a stronger and more pronounced flavor than ground cumin. They add a slightly nutty and warm taste to the dish. If you don't have cumin seeds, you can increase the amount of ground cumin in the recipe or use ground coriander as a substitute, as it has a milder flavor that complements the other spices.

Dried Red Chilies

Dried red chilies provide heat and spiciness to the dish. The crushed red chilies infuse a fiery kick, imparting their vibrant presence to the overall flavor composition. If you don't have dried red chilies, you can use red chili flakes or powder as a substitute, adjusting the amount based on your desired level of heat.

Ground Ginger

Ginger adds a fresh and zesty flavor to the dish, with a subtle heat and aromatic essence. This ingredient elevates the overall flavor and harmonizes with the other spices. If ground ginger is unavailable, you can easily replace it with freshly grated ginger for a comparable substitute.

Ground Garlic Powder

Ground garlic powder imparts a pungent and savory essence, enriching the dish's overall flavor profile. It introduces depth and richness to the marinade, enhancing its deliciousness. If ground garlic is not available, you can use fresh minced garlic as a substitute, using about three times the amount specified in the recipe.

Shaoxing Wine (Chinese Rice Wine)

Shaoxing wine adds a rich depth of flavor to the marinade. It imparts a slightly sweet and aromatic taste to the lamb. If Shaoxing wine is not accessible, you can use dry sherry as a Shaoxing wine substitute, as it provides a similar flavor profile.

White Sesame Seeds

White sesame seeds are used to garnish the dish and contribute a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. They also add texture and visual appeal. If white sesame seeds are not available, you can use black sesame seeds or omit them altogether. However, the flavor profile may differ slightly.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh cilantro adds a fresh and herbaceous element to the dish. It enhances the overall taste and appearance, adding brightness and a touch of citrus. If cilantro is not to your liking, you can opt for fresh parsley or green onions as a substitute, imparting a comparable level of freshness to the dish.

How To Eliminate Gamey Flavor From The Lamb

Use cooking wine: The acidity of cooking wine can help eliminate the gamey taste. Use cooking wine such as Shaoxing wine or red wine. Use cooking wine. The presence of cooking wine's acidity can effectively diminish the gamey taste. Use cooking wine such as Shaoxing wine, rice wine, or red wine.

Choosing Leaner Cuts: Different cuts of lamb have varying levels of gaminess. If you're particularly sensitive to the gamey flavor, opt for milder cuts, such as loin or leg, which are less intense than shoulder or shank cuts.

Trim Excess Fat: Lamb fat can contribute to the gamey taste, so trimming off excess fat can help reduce it. However, remember that fat also adds juiciness and flavor to the meat, so finding the right balance is essential.

Marinate: To eliminate the gamey taste, marinate it well before cooking. The longer you marinate the meat, the greater the infusion of flavors into the meat. For the best result, marinate overnight.

Cooking method: The way you cook lamb will affect the taste. For example, cumin lamb stir fry will be gamier than other cooking methods like grilling because the fat will remain in your cooking pan rather than dripping away.

Use spices: In Chinese cooking, ginger is a popular spice that reduces meaty and fishy taste and smell. Other bold spices like cumin seeds, cumin powder, Sichuan pepper, and chili flakes will help reduce the gamey taste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I Marinate The Lamb Overnight?

Yes, marinating the lamb overnight can intensify the flavors and make the meat more tender. However, marinating for a shorter time may be sufficient if you're using a more delicate cut like lamb chops.

How To Make Air Fryer Cumin Lamb Extra Crispy

To make air fryer cumin lamb extra crispy, coat the lamb cubes with olive oil or oil of your choice. Arrange the seasoned lamb pieces in a single layer within the air fryer basket, ensuring ample space between them. This arrangement facilitates hot air circulation, ensuring even cooking and achieving a delectably crispy texture.

air fryer cumin lamb

Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.