04/14/17 1:00pm

Our Favorite Lamb Dishes in Queens

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Why not have a large-format Dongbei lamb feast for Easter?

The New York Times recently had an article about lamb overtaking ham on the Easter table. Here in Queens I don’t wait until that springtime holiday to eat lamb.  Just in case you don’t yet have Easter plans, please enjoy this selection of Chinese, Indian, and Uzbek lamb delicacies. If I left your favorite out please let me know in the comments.   

1. Roast Lamb Leg, Desired Taste International
There are many, many places in downtown Flushing’s Chinatown to get juicy lamb skewers seasoned with cumin and red pepper, but there’s none quite like Desired Taste International. That’s because it’s star skewer—kao yang tui—is an entire leg of lamb. Salt, cumin, and sesame form a delicious crunchy crust that encases succulent purplish-red flesh. Ask for some cumin and ground red pepper to use as a dip for an extra burst of flavor. Desired Taste International, 35-20 Farrington St., Flushing, 718-888-9622

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2. Lamb Chops, Kurry Qulture
“My lamb chops are getting very famous,” says Kurry Qulture’s Sonny Solomon. “A Greek guy came in and ordered 50 for Easter, he loved it so much.” Marinated in yogurt, black pepper, garam masala, coriander, and cumin the Astoria restaurant’s chops are indeed delicious. Tandoor-cooked, they’re the tenderest, most flavorful Indian lamb in Astoria—and all of Queens. (Photo: @restaurantfairyKurry Qulture, 36-05 30th Avenue, Astoria, 718-674-1212

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3. Yang Rou Xiao Long Bao, Dumpling Galaxy
For a long time the lamb and green squash dumplings created by Helen You and served at Golden Mall’s Tianjin Dumpling House were my favorite lamb dumplings around. They’ve been ousted by yet another You creation, lamb soup dumplings, or yang rou xiao long bao. The off-menu special at Dumpling Galaxy is spectacular. Each of the six tiny packages, is filled with heady lamb broth and meat, a boon for xiao long bao fans and lamb lovers alike. Dumpling Galaxy, 42-35 Main St., Flushing, 718-461-0808

Several types of noodles bob in the milky broth.

4. Lamb Noodle Soup, Su Xiang Yuan
Springy hand-pulled wheat noodles,  slippery glass noodles, and strands of tofu skin make this Henanese specialty ($4/$5) fun slurping. The shop’s English name is Nutritious Lamb Noodle soup. The milky lamb bone broth bobbing with bits of meat, goji berries, and wood ear mushrooms will leave you feeling well nourished. Doctor it up with a splash of vinegar and a dollop of chili paste for a regional Chinese take on that old-school American-Chinese classic, hot and sour soup. Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup (aka Su Xiang Yuan), Golden Shopping Mall, 41-28 Main Street, Flushing; Nutritious Lamb Noodle Soup, No .28, New World Mall Food Court, Flushing

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5. Lamb Hot Pot, Beijing First Lamb Shabu
Upon entering Flushing’s Beijing First Lamb Shabu, (Lao Cheng Yi Guo in Chinese) the intoxicating aroma of lamb and five spice hits you in the face like a gentle slap. As you might guess from the name, this restaurant is a hotpot specialist. The specialty of the house isn’t traditional hotpot, but rather a rich lamb soup. All of the soup bases feature a combination of mutton ribs and spine in a rich heady broth. Lao Cheng Yi Guo thoughtfully provides gloves so you can pick up the vertebrae and get at the ridiculously tender bits of meat that cling to the lamb spine.  Lao Cheng Yi Guo, 136-55 37th Ave., Flushing

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6. Muslim Lamb Chop, Peng Shun Spicy Pot
Peng Shun Spicy Pot may have raised the price to $26, but the Muslim lamb chop—an entire rack that’s been braised, deep fried, and rolled in cumin, red pepper, and other spices—is still the best to found in Flushing’s Chinatown. The meat is juicy and tender with just enough gamey funk to get your attention and shot through with glorious white lamb fat. It is the spiciest, crispiest, most finger licking version I’ve ever had. The golden brown crumbs of batter and cumin are great for eating with rice and the small grove of cilantro does a good job of cutting through the fat. (Photo: Michael Yu)  Peng Shun Spicy Pot, No. 13, New York Food Court, 133-35 Roosevelt Ave., 646-250-1118

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7. Uzbek Lamb Wellington, Cheburechnaya
OK fine, I made the name up, but Cheburechnaya’s “samcy with ribs”—a lamb meat pie with a convenient rib bone handle—deserves the name. The golden brown samcy comes to the table piping hot, so best to bite a hole in the side and bask in the vapors of lamb fat and spices. Then pour in a bit of the piquant tomato sauce and indulge in the best Uzbek lamb Wellington around. The lamb rib kebabs are also excellent here. Cheburechnaya, 92-09 63rd Dr., Rego Park, 718-897-9080

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