To share or not to share? That was my dilemma. Should I reveal a family favorite recipe or should I keep it a family secret? Recognizing that life is infinitely better when shared and acknowledging that my mother-in-law graciously gave this recipe to me, I gladly present this tried-and-true Javanese Marinade for Lamb Shish Kebabs for you to enjoy. The remarkable flavor combination and the ease of preparation make it a winning entrée. It’s so good, you, too, may find yourself questioning whether or not to share the recipe!
Javanese Marinade for Lamb Shish Kebabs
From the recipe collection of Mrs. Y. Chang
1 cup oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
Curry powder, to taste
Chili powder, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Leg of lamb, cut into chunks
1. If using bamboo skewers, immerse them completely in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan filled with water for about 30 minutes.
2. Debone the leg of lamb or purchase a boneless leg roast, trim fat, and, cut meat into 1-inch chunks.
3. In a large bowl combine oil, soy sauce, chopped onions, ground ginger, coriander seeds, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to mix ingredients.
4. Add lamb chunks to the bowl of marinade; stir to coat all pieces of meat. Cover bowl and let marinade overnight in the refrigerator (or a minimum of 4 to 6 hours), stirring periodically.
5. Before grilling, let meat come to room temperature. Thread chunks of meat onto skewers.
6. Grill the kebabs.
1. I use canola oil and light soy sauce in the marinade.
2. My husband, who usually makes this recipe for family events, told me that he always adds way more spice and brown sugar than the recipe calls for. Since the last three spices are added to taste, here are the amounts that I generally use with good results: about 3 teaspoons of curry, 1½ teaspoons of chili powder and around 3/4 of a teaspoon of cumin. Start with those quantities and then add more seasonings and brown sugar as you see fit.
3. I also add a couple of twists of my black pepper mill to the marinade.
4. There is no added salt, because of the amount of sodium in the soy sauce.
5. If my husband and I make lamb shish kebabs for a crowd, we divide the meat into large zip-type plastic bags and pour some of the marinade into each bag. While marinating, we periodically flip the bags over and massage the bags to distribute the marinade.
6. I like to intersperse fresh mushrooms, chunks of onion, and green peppers in between the pieces of meat to add color and interest.
7. Don’t overcook the lamb; in my family, medium-rare is preferred.