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Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps

An eye-catching Asian Shredded Lamb appetizer with a fried wonton crisp and homemade red pickled onions and microgreens! A perfect make-ahead dish for your next gathering! Even my “non-lamb” lovers gave Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps a thumbs up!


A platter of 3 wonton crispp appetizers that have Asian Shredded Lamb, microgreens and pickled onion
Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps

Thank you Primo Ceramic Grills for sponsoring this post. As always, my #MadeInnAmerica Primo XL 400 slow smoked the lamb shoulders to an easy to shred texture.

2 lseasoned lamb shoulders are on a Primo Grill ready to smoke.
Lamb Shoulders are the best cut of lamb for shredding.

THE INSPIRATION

I love cooking for fundraisers. There's something about creating a delicious meal that can bring people together and raise money for a good cause that I find incredibly rewarding.


Earlier this year, I was asked to cook at a fundraiser in Florida. The event was being held at the gorgeous outdoor restaurant, Asado Life. The waterfront patio offers panoramic views of the San Sebastian River. I was part of an all-girl team that was asked to cook over live fire a whole hog and lamb.


I was in charge of creating 300 tantalizing appetizers out of the Lamb Al Asador. I knew that a delicious appetizer that was creative, unique, delicious and visually appealing would wow the guests.


I create an Asian-inspired shredded lamb small bite!In my normal, make sure I have enough way I suggested smoking lamb shoulders along with the whole lamb. Now that was a culinary moment of genius. LoL Always have a back-up!


Oh my gosh, the shredded lamb shoulder was delicious; ya gotta try it! The dish was a hit with the guests, so I knew I had to recreated the recipe at home so you could make it too.


A seasoned lamb shoulder is on the grill smoking.
Seasoned Lamb Shoulder will take just under 6 hours to smoke!

WHAT LAMB CUT IS BEST FOR SHREDDING

The inspiration for Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps came from slow roasting whole lamb over an open fire but I didn’t think you would really want to make a pit in your backyard! So the idea of shredding lamb shoulder came to mind. After a lot of research I discovered that lamb shoulder really is the best cut more so than leg of lamb for shredding. Ask your butcher to reserve one for you. My international market carries lamb shoulder on a regular basis. I wait for it goes to go on sale for $4.99.

A bowl of Asian rub for lamb shoulders.
An BBQ Rub that has coriander, mustard, and ginger to amp up the Asian flavor.

HOW TO MAKE A BALANCED RUB FOR SHREDDED LAMB

I love Asian cuisine! I knew an Asian-inspired dry rub would give the lamb a unique flavor that would work well with the Asian Hoisin Ginger Sauce I had in mind.

As you have heard there are four families of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. In 1908, a Japanese scientist made the popular concept that the fifth taste was umami which means it tastes delicious. So when I develop a rub I go for balancing these 5 taste elements. As I once heard, a good rub is a symphony of spices, without one ingredient dominating.


Sweet flavor: BBQ Rubs many times include any form of sugar but sugar can burn so don’t take it to high heat. In my Asian Rub I omit any form of sugar and substitute with sweet cinnamon and coriander. A good substitute for cinnamon is nutmeg or cardamom. I use 2 tbsp of coriander as the base spice in my Asian rub. The mild flavor of coriander blends well with a lot of the stronger scented spices to bring balance. The ground seeds, from the cilantro plant, are used in Mexican and Asian cooking.


Salty flavor: I use sea salt but kosher salt, Hawaiian salt, Himalayan salt, are great substitutes. Avoid table sal


Sour flavor: Acidity brings brightness and cuts through a muddled mix. I use fresh lemon juice at the end of each cook. For a dry rub I love citric acid (buy some) and sumac.


Bitter flavor: Bitterness brings balance to sweet. The ground Ancho powder brings depth of flavor. It comes from dried poblano and is slightly spicier and sweeter than regular chili powder. A substitute for Ancho powder is any chili powder blend. I also use 1/2 tbsp chipotle chili powder to bring depth. If you don’t have it then use any other chili powder blend.


Ground ginger (1 tbsp) is another spice that is essential in Asian rubs! Ginger brings a sweet peppery flavor to the rub. 


Lastly, I include smoked paprika. I love the color and flavor smoked paprika brings to grilled food. Use Sweet or Hot Paprika if you don’t smoke.


Umami flavor: I use 2 tablespoons of granulated garlic into the rub for umami! If you don’t have granulated garlic go out and buy some! Or if you have a jar of freeze dried garlic, grind it. Note: granulated garlic is less concentrated than finely ground garlic powder. If your jar says “garlic powder” use only 1 tbsp onion powder (1 tbsp): Onion powder is powerful make sure not to double. 


Five-spice powder is a popular Chinese spice blend with five distinct flavors, including sweet, salty, umami, sour, and bitter, and gives umami to my Asian BBQ Sauce and Rub. The 5-spices are fennel, star anise, Chinese cinnamon, clove and Sichuan peppercorns.


Hot flavor: Spices that bring heat to my rub are dried mustard (1 tbsp): If necessary you can omit dried mustard but it is worth buying because it is incorporated into many grill recipes. That being said, if you don’t have dried mustard for the rub blend you can omit it. Mustard is known for tenderizing meat especially when it is in paste form. Ground mustard has a sharp, tangy, earthy, and spicy flavor.


Smoked paprika brings a little heat as well. I feel it adds umami too with the smoky flavor. If you don’t have smoked paprika use sweet or hot paprika. Of course, all of the bitter ground chili powders bring heat as well.

A crosshatch lamb shoulder and a seasoned one are in a foil pan on a grill.
Crosshatch the Lamb Shoulder so the seasoning and smoke seep in.

HOW TO SMOKE AND SHRED LAMB SHOULDER


Step 1: The night before the cook. As long as you are lighting up the fire, cook two lamb shoulders. The shredded meat freezes well. Rub the lamb shoulders with your favorite cooking oil such as avocado or canola oil.


Step 2: Combine the Asian rub ingredients, and generously sprinkle on the lamb shoulder. Wrap the seasoned meat and refrigerate.


Step 3: Set your Primo Ceramic Grill for indirect 250°F using the Primo deflector racks and plates. Place foil over the deflector plates to catch the drippings. Note: My lamb had little fat so not much dripped at that low of heat.


Step 4: Smoke directly on the grill grates for 5 hours. Rotate the lamb every hour and spray with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half apple juice. I smoked the lamb shoulders for 5.5 hours before the internal temperature reached 175°F to 185°F.


Step 5: Wrap the lamb in butcher paper and place back on the grill until the lamb reaches 200 to 205°F. Rest the meat for 30 minutes before shredding.


HOW TO MAKE ASIAN BBQ SAUCE

Mix rice vinegar, Hoisin sauce, agave syrup, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, sesame seed oil, and sriracha in a skillet, and bring until just beginning to bubble. Turn heat down, and stir in lime juice until thickened. Set aside until the shredded lamb is ready. Note: If you have lemongrass, grate a tablespoon and add it to the sauce for a boosted yum factor.

Asian Shredded Lamb on a wonton crisp with pickleed onions and mustard microgreens.
The pickled onions and mustard microgreens add freshness.

HOW TO MAKE QUICK PICKLED RED ONIONS

Step 1: Mix water, vinegar, sugar, star anise, salt, and orange zest in a saucepan. 


Step 2: Using a mandolin or knife, thinly slice 2 cups of red onions. Yes, you can use a white onion if needed. Red is prettier!


Step 3: Pour hot pickling liquid over onions and place in the refrigerator to cool. Note: pickled onions can be made the day before. 


Rick dark Asian Shredded Lamb on a wonton crisp with pickled onions and microgreens for an accent flavor and color.
Pickled onions are such a quick and easy topping.

HOW TO FRY THE WONTON WRAPPERS 

Step 1: The next step is to fry the wonton wrappers. Heat your favorite frying oil in a large pan over medium heat. Step


Step 2: Place the wonton wrappers in the hot oil, in batches, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain wonton wrappers on paper towels.  


HOW TO SERVE ASIAN BBQ SHREDDED LAMB WONTON CRISPS 

Place wonton crisps on a serving plate, and top it with shredded lamb, pickled red onions, and mustard microgreens. Optional: chopped cucumbers.


CONCLUSION

The Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps were a hit with the guests at the fundraiser. The dish was visually appealing and the flavors were well-balanced. The lamb was tender and flavorful, and the pickled red onions and mustard microgreens added a nice touch of acidity and freshness.


I am so happy with how this dish turned out, and I'm glad I can bring it to my Primo Grill family. If you're looking for a delicious and creative appetizer for your next gathering, I highly recommend giving Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps a try.


I LOVE MY PRIMO CERAMIC GRILL

Smoking lamb shoulders in my Primo is so easy because of the design of the ceramic grill. The grill retains heat so well and that means my lamb shoulders stay super moist. I find it easy to control the temperature because of the bottom and top draft vents. For more of my Primo Grill recipes click this link YUM!


For one more Asian inspired recipe smoked on the Primo Grill try my Primo Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin!



RECIPE Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps
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Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps

Description: Smoked Lamb Shoulders are shredded to make Asian Shredded Lamb Wonton Crisps that are delicious and eye catching. This appetizer is guaranteed to impress your guests even if they are not lamb lovers!


Ingredients

For Lamb and Crisps

2 (4 pound) lamb shoulders

2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 package wonton wrappers

Cooking oil, for frying

Microgreens or chopped cucumber


For Asian Rub:

2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon ground ancho chili

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Chinese 5-spice

1 tablespoon citric acid

1/2 tablespoon ground chipotle chili


For Asian BBQ Sauce:

3/4 cup Hoisin sauce

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons grated ginger

1 tablespoon grated garlic

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1 tablespoon sriracha style hot sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Zest from 1 lime

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 cup chicken broth, if needed to moisten


For Asian Pickled Red Onions:

1 cup water

1 cup red vinegar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon grated ginger

4 star anise

1/2 teaspoon salt


PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare the Lamb Shoulders: The night before the cook, trim any excess fat from the lamb shoulders. Rub the lamb shoulder with cooking oil.


2. Score the Lamb: Use a sharp knife to score the lamb on the fat side in a crosshatch pattern.


3. Prepare the Rub: Combine all rub ingredients, and rub all all sides of the lamb shoulders. Wrap the lamb tightly in the butcher paper or plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for up to overnight. If there are 2-3 tablespoons left, store it for the smoking day.


4. Grilling Day: Fill the fire box with Primo Lump Charcoal. Wedge 1 or 2 Primo Quick Light starter cubes in the charcoal, and light. Wait 5-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers. Close the dome, and fully open the draft door on the bottom. Adjust the top vent as the thermometer begins to reach 250°F. Add 1-2 cherry smoking chunks, if using. 


5. Ready to Smoke: Place the heat deflector rack and plate. Place a sheet of foil on top of the plates. Once the temperature has reached 260°F, close the top and bottom vent to 1/4-inch open. Wait 2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize. Increase or decrease the airflow on the top and bottom vent as needed to retain 250°F or as high as 275°F.

 

COOKING INSTRUCTION

1. Remove lamb shoulders from the refrigerator 60 minutes before cooking. 


2. Arrange the Primo Grill rotisserie frame onto the Primo ceramic grill. Attach the motor onto the frame.


3. Place the Primo diffuser racks and plates into the grill. Cover the plates with a sheet of foil. 


4. Smoke lamb the lamb directly on the grill grates for 5 - 6 hours, rotating the lamb every hour. Spray with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half apple juice after the first 2 hours then every hour.


5. When the lamb reaches an internal temperature of about 185°F. Remove it from grill and wrap it in butcher paper. Place wrapped lamb back on the grill until the lamb reaches 195°F to 204°F. Rest the meat for 30 minutes before shredding.


6. Make the Asian Pickled Red Onions in a small saucepan by whisking water, vinegar, sugar, ginger, star anise, orange peel and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over thinly sliced red onions. Refrigerate the pickled red onions in the refrigerator until ready to use.


7. Make the Wonton Crisps by heating the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat to 360°F. In batches, Fry the wonton wrappers in batches, in the hot oil, for 30 seconds per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Drain the wonton wrappers on paper towels.


8.Make the Asian BBQ Sauce by whisking all ingredients as listed. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of chicken broth to thin it out.


9. Toss the shredded lamb in Asian BBQ Sauce. If needed, add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, when reheating the Asian BBQ Shredded Lamb. Add lime juice if the flavor needs to brighten! Keep warm until serving.


10. Assemble the appetizer. Place a wonton crisp on a serving plate and top with Asian BBQ Shredded Lamb, pickled red onions, and microgreens or chopped cucumber. Serve immediately.


Chef’s Notes:

Make it smoky. I suggest 2 cherry wood chunks or a cup of cherry smoking chips if you decide to use scented wood.


Boost the Asia flavor by adding grated lemongrass! Take up the heat level up a notch by adding 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or grated Serrano pepper.


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