Oven baked Xi’an-inspired cumin lamb meatballs, paired with Chinese sesame sauce. This rich and delicious meatball dish is quick to make and gorgeous looking. Perfect for your holiday table and everyday meal !
Mixed green or your choice with dressingolive oil, rice vinegar, little salt
Red pepper flakesoptional decoration
Meatballs: Mixed ground lamb with all ingredients under lamb meatballs. Taste test by pan-frying a small bite of seasoned ground lamb. Adjust seasonings to your liking if need be. Slightly grease your hands with olive oil and form approximately 24 meatballs (little less than 2-inch diameter). Try not to pack the meatballs too tight/dense.*
Bake: For a little less than 2-inch diameter meatball, bake at 400F. First side 8 minutes and flip side 4 minutes. The center of the meatballs should be juicy, just cooked but not dry.
Sauce: In the meantime combine sauce in a separate bowl. Mix well until creamy smooth. The consistency should be light and smooth not dense. You can also slightly heat up the sauce over stop top if preferred.
Serve: swirl the sauce over a large serving bowl. Place meatballs on top. Decorate with chopped scallions, mixed leafy greens, and sprinkle with red chili pepper flakes. Serve hot and immediately.
How to keep meatballs juicy:
Fat content: use a combination of ground meat - for example pork with lamb - for flavor complexity and extra fat. In the recipe below I used ground lamb only (70% lean; 30% fat). A slightly higher fat ratio will help keep the meatballs moist.
Don’t pack too tight: When forming the meatballs, try not to pack them too tight. Grease your palms with a little olive oil. This will help keep the meat from sticking to your hands.
Baking time: baking time depends on the size of the meatballs. For ground lamb meatballs, it’s best not to overcook them. Please adjust baking time for larger or smaller sized meatballs. You want the center of the meatballs just cooked (juicy but not dry).
The Chinese-inspired peanut flavor dipping sauce: The consistency should be light and creamy smooth not thick/dense. This will help moist the meatballs in the mouthfeel during serving.For an alternative all-in-one spice blend that will go well with any lamb dishes (including this one) and lamb chops, try teeny tiny spice company’s Xinjiang Flavor Dry Spice Jar.