Green Peppercorn Spring Lamb with Asparagus and Rotini

Ming Tsai

Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA

Keep the dirty dishes to a minimum with this fresh and bright recipe, which only requires a wok.


  • 1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound rotini pasta
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb tenderloin, sliced on the bias, 1/4-inch thick
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons crushed green peppercorns
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Wanjashan soy sauce


Fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes. In a large wok, bring about 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook the asparagus until tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to the ice water to cool. Cut into 2-inch lengths and set aside.

Add more ice cubes to the bowl, if necessary. Bring the water in the wok to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.

Empty the wok and wipe it dry. Place over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add half of the lamb and stir-fry until rare, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil and swirl. Stir-fry the remaining lamb until rare and transfer to the plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, peppercorns, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until soft, about 2 minutes. Return the lamb to the wok, then add the asparagus, rotini, and stock. Stir-fry until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir to blend. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. To serve, divide among 4 individual pasta dishes.


4 servings