This slow cooker lamb with sesame scallion ginger sauce mimics Hainanese chicken and its iconic dipping sauce. Simple to cook but pretty enough for any special occasion. You know… like Christmas.
We got lucky enough to find lamb that came rolled and tied and ready for cooking. Speedy bought it several weeks back and it had been sitting in the freezer as we went on a spree cooking Japanese dishes after a vacation in Kyoto and Osaka.
We’re taking a break from cooking Japanese to give way to the holidays. With the parties scheduled for the coming weeks — some we’re hosting while others are potluck affairs — we’re experimenting with dishes that are easy to prepare and pretty enough after plating. And delicious, most especially.
The lamb used in this recipe is meant for roasting. That’s why it came rolled and tied. You know, just rub with seasonings, stick in the oven, slice and serve with gravy and vegetables. That’s how westerners would do it.
But this is Asia. Been traveling around Asia and my love for Asian food has deepened so much. So, no roast and no gravy. Instead, the lamb was poached in the slow cooker — yep, pretty much how Hainanese chicken is cooked.
While the lamb was cooling (for easier slicing), we made the sauce. But unlike the traditional ginger scallion sauce that goes with Hainanese chicken, I decided to add two extra ingredients. First, toasted sesame seeds that were ground while warm. Second, sesame seed oil. Oh, my goodness, the result is… I really hope you try it.
Slow Cooker Lamb with Sesame Scallion Ginger Sauce
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 slab lamb shoulder about 600 grams, rolled and tied
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 half-inch knob ginger
For the sesame scallion ginger sauce
- 1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger with the juice
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped scallions
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds ground after toasting
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon salt or use more to suit your taste
Poach the lamb
- Spread the onion slices to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Lay the lamb on top of the onions.
- Pour in enough water to cover three-quarters of the lamb.
- Add the salt, peppercorns and ginger.
- Set the slow cooker to LOW and cook the lamb for five hours.
- Leave the lamb to cool slowly in the cooking liquid for about two hours.
Make the sesame scallion ginger sauce
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and leave to infuse.
Assemble the dish
- Cut off the twine with which the lamb is tied and discard.
- Slice the lamb thinly. A quarter inch is a good size.
- Arrange the lamb slices in a shallow bowl and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the cooking broth to keep the meat moist.
- Spread some of the sesame scallion ginger sauce on top and serve the rest of the sauce on the side.
- Serve your slow cooker lamb with sesame scallion ginger sauce immediately.