Xian Lamb Kebab authentic Chinese kebab recipe

Four years ago I travelled to Xian, China with my husband. One of favourite places was Xi’an. Not only was the weather more manageable in July than the other parts of China we went to (think 40C+ dry heat instead of 40+C humid heat) but it also had some really great surprises. We will always remember the first time we went to muslim street in Xian city centre and there were so many kebab restaurants. Throughout the whole of muslim street all we could smell was the spiced beef and lamb. Vegetarian street this was not but if you like meet this could be considered heaven.

It was a great experience to drink ice cold beers and eating many kebabs at the same time. I love to have good food in my holiday. Food doesn’t necessarily have to be Michelin star or five-star dining. Many holes-the-wall or walk-in restaurants like these sell the best food.

Also, to give you an idea of what we paid. Between Chris and I we had maybe 35-40 skewers of lamb meat and lamb kidney. We also had a big soup, naan bread type thing and 6 or 7 beers. Total cost was about £8. How awesome is that?!

After four years, I still can’t forget the taste of this Xian lamb kebab. We also saw the terracotta army, which was incredible, but the food will always be as memorable to us at the army. Xian has stunning food, nice people and the architecture (it has the oldest mosque in China) is quite stunning. If you ever go to China, make sure you go to Xi’an, you won’t regret it.

The lamb recipy below is essentially the same lamb kebab that we ate in China. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.



400g lamb leg, cut into 2cm sized dices
1/2 onion
2 thin slices ginger, chopped finely



1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil



  1. Marinade lamb with all seasonings for at least 1 hour.
  2. Skewer the lamb and preheat oven to 200C
  3. Roast the lamb for 5 minutes then turn the oven to grill and grill the lamb kebab for another 5 minutes. It’s then ready to serve.


  1. lamb cooked right is a wonderful thing!!! I love the pictures, especially the two of you with the terracotta army!

    • Hi Dennis, lamb is easily one of the tastiest meats around. Whenever anyone looks at that photo people always ask why Chris is dressed up like a giant bunny lol

  2. I would have loved to see the terracotta army–neat picture of both of you. :-) Your lamb kabobs look great!

    • Hi Jean, thanks for your kind comment about the kebab :) It was great fun taking that kind of photo

  3. The kabab looks amazing! seemed you two had a really great time. Love the last photo. You two are funnily cute!

    • Hi Tanantha, thanks for your compliments. We really loved travelling around China but Xi’an was one of the most fun places. We took that photo a few years ago but still laugh when we see it.

  4. Liv-chan, Congrats on the Top 9, AGAIN! So well deserved! Although I no longer eat lamb, the kabobs look wonderful! Thanks for sharing memories of your trip. You make a beautiful terracotta warrior and your husband, a tall one! :) Have a great week!

    • Hello Judy-chan,
      Thank you very much for your kind comment. I’m really appreciate it.

  5. The kebabs looks and sounds delicious. Lovely pictures, especially the one with yu and your husband.

    • Many thanks for your kind comment. :)

  6. Lovely Lamb Kebab recipe! My cousin just came back from China and she loved the Xian province and its food! Cheers! :)

    • Hi Sara,
      Many thanks for your comment. I’m really appreciate it. I had great time when I travelled to Xian and I hope your cousin had good time as well. :)

  7. I love kebabs, and even more than that I love inexpensive ones! The photo of you and Chris is neat. Looks like quite a battle!

    • Hi Jessica, kebabs are just awesome and as you said if they’re cheap they’re even better. That battle is nothing compared to what we have nowadays lol 😉

  8. I want to go back to China! This and the rojamole burger (no doubt I spelt that wrong) were two of the most gorgeous things we’ve ever eaten.

  9. HI, in this recipe, when using ‘black powder’ do you mean to use black pepper powder? Thanks

    • Hi Phil,
      Sorry about the mistake of my recipe. Black powder is mean black pepper powder. Sorry about that.

  10. Hi Liv,
    Do you know about any other variations on this recipe? I remember the version I enjoyed in Beijing had some sort of seeds in the seasoning.

  11. The foods look wonderful and I’m going to try and make it. Do you know any other Xi’an recipes?

    • Hi Beth,

      Thank you for your comment. I do know couple more Xian recipes. I will find some time to cook them and upload on my blog. 😉

  12. I always made these with ground beef. They are really good served with small whole tomatoes that have been washed and placed on the grill, cooked just until the skins turn soft or even black in spots and warm all through. The sumak really makes this dish. Was a very common, easy meal my kids grew up with.

    • Hi Rafal,

      I will try this dish with ground beef soon. Thanks for sharing. 😉


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