Part II: The Meat

Juicy, tender lamb with the flavor of Madras curry.

Did you know that most Americans eat little to no lamb? Indeed, only 0.7 pounds of lamb are consumed per capita here each year, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

More’s the pity, since lamb is one of the most succulent and flavorful meats around.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it in this dish of “Lamb Shoulder Steak with Japanese Curry Oil.” The recipe is from “The Japanese Grill” (Ten Speed Press) by Tadashi Ono, executive chef of Matsuri in New York, and food writer Harris Salat. It’s also a perfect accompaniment to the duo’s “Romaine Hearts with Miso-Mustard Dressing,” which I spotlighted the other day.

Lamb shoulder gets an easy, flavorful marinade of garlic, olive oil, soy sauce and Madras curry powder. Then, it’s grilled and garnished with mitsuba leaves. If you can’t find those, no worries. Just use parsley or cilantro instead. If grilling over charcoal, just take care, as the oil from the marinade may cause flare-ups.

The result is a juicy hunk of meat that’s tender, smoky and has a beguiling, mild, sweet-earthy flavor from the curry.

It’s sure to leave you a lamb lover.

For more lamb lusciousness, check out the American Lamb Jam Tour in San Francisco, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 17 at the Golden Gate Club.

Local chefs will be preparing gourmet noshes of lamb, Paso Robles vintners will be pouring wines, and butchers will be conducting hands-on demos. Among the participating chefs will be Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco and Ola Fendert of Oola Restaurant in San Francisco.

Through May, take advantage of a deal to get three tickets for the price of two at $50 each. To purchase tickets, call (866) 327-5262.

Lamb Shoulder Steak with Japanese Curry Oil

(Serves 4)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons grated garlic

3 tablespoons Madras curry powder

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 lamb shoulder steaks (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons chopped mitsuba leaves (or parsley or cilantro), for garnish

To make the marinade, whisk together olive oil, garlic, curry powder, and soy sauce in a bowl. Pour three-fourths of the marinade into a baking dish or sheet pan and reserve the rest. Lay the lamb steaks in the marinade and flip them 4 times to generously coat all over. Marinate the lamb steaks for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat a grill to a two-zone fire (medium and hot). Grill lamb steaks for about 7 minutes this way: Start on hot heat for about 1 minute, then shift the pork to medium heat. After about 2 minutes, flip the steaks and repeat the two-zone grilling on the other side. Once you turn the lamb, brush with reserved marinade. Grill for 1 more minute on hot heat to caramelize the marinade, flipping the lamb 2 times and brushing with marinade after each turn. When lamb is ready, it’ll be browned and glossy. Let the lamb rest for about 2 minutes. Garnish with mitsuba leaves and serve.

From “The Japanese Table” by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

More Tadashi Ono Recipes: Romaine Hearts with Miso-Mustard Dressing

More Lamb Dishes: Moroccan Lamb & Artichoke Tagine

And: Sara Moulton’s Speedy Moussaka

And: Organic Idaho Lamb with Black Olives

And: Mourad Lahlou’s Lamb Tanjia

And: Joey Altman’s Caribbean Grilled Lamb Skewers with Long Beans

Print This Post


  • Lamb is fantastic! The flavor of that meat is just out of this world.

    Your recipe is wonderful. That Japanese curry oil sounds tasty!



  • I saw that stat awhile ago and it surprised me because I adore lamb, but I don’t often see friends and family eating it, so I guess I shouldn’t be TOO surprised.

  • I personally prefer the taste of lamb than beef. I grew up with eating goat too.

  • Looks great! We have the curry powder; all we need is the lamb… 🙂

  • Carolyn, your photography seems to bring out the best in the dish. I wonder why it’s called Japanese curry oil since the ingredients aren’t Japanese at all unless it’s the chef’s influence. Interesting with the coriander garnish.

    We eat huge amounts of lamb in Oz here. Roasting a lamb rack or leg of lamb in winter is really a great joy and privilege. In summer we throw lamb cutlets and lamb sausages onto the barbie 🙂

  • Oh isn’t that interesting! I think Australians do eat a lot of lamb and perhaps Americans eat more beef? But I’m just guessing! BTW that lamb looks so succulent!

  • Love lamb! Lamb burgers and meat loaf and chops…oh my!

  • Oh, what did you do to me? Now I will be daydreaming about a steak all day! They look amazing 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *