This cheat's laghman recipe is adapted from Red Sands by Caroline Eden (£26, Quadrille). Try it then check out out more of our easy noodle recipes such as chicken chow mein, Shanghai noodles and kimchi noodles.

Uyghur cooks rightly demand that the noodles should be hand-pulled, but they are pros at the delicate and tricky art of pulling and flinging noodles, and if you’re not, well, it is challenging to put it mildly. This version (reluctantly) cheats on the noodles but brings you the warming flavours of laghman, a dish served throughout Central Asia, popular with everyone, from yesterday’s commissars to today’s chess players.


  • 275g thick egg noodles
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 500g lamb leg steak, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 150g Chinese cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 1 green pepper, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 350ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, to garnish
  • to garnish (optional) chives


  • STEP 1

    Have all your ingredients ready to go before you start, then cook the noodles following pack instructions. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a wok or large frying pan and put over a medium heat. Season the lamb well before frying it for 5 minutes – keep it moving in the pan, or else it’ll stick. When almost cooked through, remove and cover with foil to keep it juicy.

  • STEP 2

    Add another tbsp of oil and keep the wok or pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion with the garlic and cumin seeds for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Add all the other vegetables, along with the tomato purée, and fry over a medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock and bring to a boil, letting it bubble for another 10 minutes so that it begins to thicken. Add the lamb back to the pan along with its juices to warm through, check the seasoning and remove from the heat.

  • STEP 3

    Serve the noodles in large bowls, with the stew on top, sprinkling over some sesame seeds and chives, if you like.

Recipes adapted from Red Sands by Caroline Eden (£26, Quadrille). Photographs: © Ola O Smit and Theodore Kaye.

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