Lao-style lamb shank and sticky rice soup

  • Serves 4
  • Prep Time 10 mins
  • Cooking Time 105mins
Lao-style lamb shank and sticky rice soup


  • Serves 4
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  1. Preheat a large cast iron casserole or wide saucepan over high heat. Place shanks on a plate, drizzle with oil and season generously with black pepper. Brown lamb shanks on all sides.
  2. Add 1.5 litres water, bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 1 hour 15 minutes or until almost tender. Add rice and cook for another 15 minutes until lamb is tender. Remove lamb shanks to a large bowl to cool slighty.
  3. Add pumpkin and cook for another 10 minutes until pumpkin is just tender. Add zucchini for the final few minutes of cooking. Season soup with fish sauce. Add extra black pepper if desired. Add a little extra water if soup is too thick.
  4. Shred lamb and return to soup. Stir through silverbeet. Ladle soup into bowls and top with chilli and plenty of Thai basil. Serve with lime wedges.


  1. Shred lamb while still warm with two forks.
  2. Cook lamb shanks the day before, then finish the soup the next day. The flavour of the soup will only improve overnight.
  3. Swap glutinous rice for brown rice, freekeh or pearl barley. Add in for the final 40 minutes of the lamb cooking time.

Switch to make:  Scotch Broth

Cook lamb shanks with 1 diced carrot, onion and either parsnip or swede as per step 1, until lamb is tender. Shred lamb, return to soup and add ½ chopped savoy cabbage. Cook for another 5-10 minutes and season with a squeeze of lemon and fresh chopped parsley.