Archive for » December 1st, 2007«

Five Spice Lamb Shanks with Tamarind and Ginger

This is a very healthy, yet delicious recipe, it is an alternative way to do lamb shanks other than in red wine and beef stock with herbs and vegetables. It is also low in fat and carbohydrates. You can up the carbs by serving this with steamed basmati rice if desired, I just served it with bok choy and gai larn (also known as Chinese broccoli.)

Description Gai Larn

Chinese Broccoli has smooth round stems sprouting large green leaves.It is a variety of broccoli that is similar to regular broccoli, but milder in taste and grown on a longer stalk. The stalks and leaves are often cooked separately, cooking the stalks first, until tender and the leaves until wilted. It is good in salads, steam cooked as a side dish, as an ingredient in a vegetable stir-fry, or added to other cooked dishes.


4 Lamb Shanks or 8 French trimmed lamb shanks (these are smaller in size therefore you will need 2 per person.)
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Teaspoon dried chilli flakes
11/2 Teaspoons five spice powder
2 Star anise
1/2 Cup Chinese rice wine
50ml Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons tamarind concentrated paste (I use TRS brand.)
21/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
3 Cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 Cup water
600g Bok choy, ends chopped off
350g Gai larn, trimmed
11/2-2 Teaspoons cornflour
1 Tablespoon brown sugar extra


1. In a small heated fry pan, dry-fry chilli, cinnamon, five spice and star anise, stirring, until fragrant.

2. Combine spices with rice wine, sauce, tamarind, sugar, ginger, garlic and water in a medium jug.

3. Place lamb in a baking dish and pour spice mixture over, cover dish with foil. You will bake lamb the entire time covered, just opening to turn lamb occasionally.

4. Bake in oven 11/4-11/2 hours at 100c, then turn up oven to 150c and bake for a further 1-1/4hour, finally turn oven up to 180c and bake for 30 Min’s to 1 hour until lamb is falling off the bone.

5. Boil or steam bok choy and gai larn separately until tender and drain.

6. When lamb is done remove and wrap in foil to keep warm. Strain liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil over a medium heat. Add a little water to cornflour and add to sauce, stir until mixture thickens.

7. I stated in ingredients 1 tablespoon, extra, of brown sugar, I have made this several times and sometimes I find it is fine as is and other times I find I need to add the extra sugar, so just taste test to see if you need this.

This is a great recipe because once you have made the spice mixture to pour over lamb, that is just about it, you can just leave it to cook, with the only thing to remember, to turn the oven up at required times. The lamb comes out perfect every time so juicy and tender.

To serve: Place a mound of steamed vegetables on plate, place lamb shank on top and drizzle sauce over.

As I stated earlier to up carbs just serve with some steamed basmati rice.

All photo’s taken by me unless otherwise stated.