Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

Vietnamese recipe for 4 people, takes only 20 mins; recipe has groundnut oil, lamb shank, onion, root ginger, garlic clove, red chilli, brown sugar, star anise, lemongrass, lamb stock, tomato puree, sweet potato, fish sauce, lime, mint and basil leaf.

Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes

Recipe by Chef Soomro Course: Vietnamese


Prep time

20 mins


  • Garlic Clove: 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • Red Chilli: 2 red chillies, both deseeded, one chopped and one thinly sliced
  • Basil Leaf: handful basil leaves
  • Onion: 2 onions, halved and cut into half moons
  • Mint: big handful mint leaves, torn
  • Lime: juice 2 limes
  • Brown Sugar: 1 tbsp soft brown sugar, plus 1 tsp
  • Tomato Puree: 1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Sweet Potato: 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • Root Ginger: 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • Fish Sauce: 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Lemongrass: 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, then bruised
  • Groundnut Oil: 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • Star Anise: 3 star anise
  • Lamb Shank: 4 lamb shanks, about 350g each
  • Lamb Stock: 1.2l lamb stock


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole, season the shanks, then brown them 2 at a time on all sides, adding the remaining oil for the second batch. Remove the lamb and add the onions. Fry them quite briskly, about 30 secs, add the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli, then turn the heat down and cook for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp sugar, stir, then add the star anise, lemongrass, stock, puree and seasoning. Bring to the boil.
  2. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hrs, then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 1 hr more. The lamb should be completely tender and almost falling off the bones. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and 1 tsp sugar to just lift the flavour, then scatter with the mint, basil and the sliced chilli to serve.