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September 14, 2023

Wood-Grilled Lamb Tsukune, Moorish Spices, Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki, Coriander


Recipe Provided By
Chef Josh Elliott


Wood-Grilled Lamb Tsukune, Moorish Spices, Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki, Coriander


Moorish Spice Rub (makes 1 quart):

  • 1 cup toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground chipotle
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pimenton
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 

Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki (makes 1 quart):

  • 2 cups dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup date syrup
  • 3 tablespoons banyuls vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Kosher salt 

Lamb Tsukune (makes 40 to 45 meatballs):

  • 4 pounds ground American Lamb 

To Assemble and Serve:

  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves


For the Moorish Spice Rub:  In a blender, pulse coriander seeds, fennel seeds, garlic, onion powder, salt, cumin seeds, chipotle, ginger, pimenton and cinnamon until a coarse powder is achieved.  Transfer to an airtight container; store in a cool dry place. 

For the Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki:  In a mixing bowl, combine dates, date syrup, banyuls vinegar, red wine vinegar, fish sauce and salt.  Adjust seasoning with salt as needed.  Transfer to an airtight container; reserve. 

For the Lamb Tsukune:  In a shallow baking dish, liberally season lamb with 1 cup Moorish Spice Rub.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.  The next day, using a 1-1/2-ounch scoop, spoon ground lamb mixture onto a parchment-lined sheet tray.  Refrigerate. 

To Assemble and Serve:  Soak bamboo sticks in water; set aside.  Prepare and heat a grill.  Set one side of the grill to 500°F and the other to 350°F.  Skewer two Lamb Tsukune onto each bamboo stick.  Lightly season skewers with salt on all sides.  Grill skewers over the 500°F side of the grill 3 minutes while basting with Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki.  Move skewers to the lower heat section; grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.  Transfer skewers to a serving platter.  Drizzle with additional Date-Fish Sauce Teriyaki.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil and fleur de sel.  Garnish with herbs.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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