Authentic Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks

When it comes to cooking lamb, there are endless possibilities. However, for those who crave a savory, tangy, and smoky flavor, there’s nothing that compares to the Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks Recipe. This dish is not for the faint of heart, but rather for those who are willing to indulge in a bold and unforgettable culinary experience.

I’ve been honing my recipe for years with a blend of spices influenced by the flavors of China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. The result is a masterpiece that will invigorate your senses with every bite. This Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks Recipe is something that your family and guests will undoubtedly remember long after the last bite is taken.

Smoking meats is an art form that requires patience and skill; however, it pays off with the rich, complex flavors produced in the process. The smell of smoked meat hovering over your backyard grill or smoker will have everyone’s mouths watering before they even see the shanks!

So let me walk you through how to create this magnificent dish that has been featured on several food blogs and won praises at every BBQ party I’ve attended. Get ready for an epic meal that will leave everyone satisfied!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks
Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks

Welcome to the Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe, a dish that will undoubtedly take your taste buds on a journey like never before. Imagine the tender fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks bathed in a savory blend of sriracha sauce, wine, and hoisin sauce, all topped off with our signature tomato base barbecue sauce.

What sets our recipe apart from others is the perfect balance of flavors achieved by combining Chinese five spice powder, sugar, fresh ground black pepper, and coarse salt. These ingredients work together to create a harmonious palate experience that has made it one of our most requested dishes.

Our Pacific Rim smoked lamb shanks recipe is the perfect combination of smoky and sweet. The slow cooking method ensures that the lamb shanks are infused with an ideal amount of smoke flavor. The smoky essence works well with the sweet notes from braised lamb shanks to create a mesmerizing flavor that leaves you wanting more.

Additionally, this dish can be prepared using several methods – slow cooker, grilled, or roasted – allowing for a level of versatility that is unmatched. Whether you prefer smoked lamb shanks or pulled lamb, our recipe caters to it all.

Not only is this dish adored by barbecue enthusiasts around the world, but it is also beloved by some of the top chefs in the industry, including Steven Raichlen from “BBQ USA” and “Le Bec Fin” famous chef Georges Perrier.

In conclusion, once you try this Pacific Rim smoked lamb shank recipe crafted with precision using ingredients favored in Pacific Rim countries such as China and Japan – you’ll find yourself coming back for more every time.

Ingredient List

 Smoked lamb shanks with a Pacific twist!
Smoked lamb shanks with a Pacific twist!

Here’s a list of the ingredients you will need for the Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe:

  • 4 lamb shanks, about 1 1/2 pounds each
  • 1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine
  • 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup of tomato base barbecue sauce

All ingredients are widely available at your nearest supermarket, though it’s best to choose high-quality meat and sauces. I recommend using lamb shanks from a local butcher or specialty meat market. The combination of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors in this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect balance of smoky and sweet.
The perfect balance of smoky and sweet.

Now that we have gone through the reason why you should try making the Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe, it’s time to dive into the “how-to” part of this dish. To start off, gather all ingredients listed above and let’s get started with the recipe!

Preparing the Lamb Shank

Firstly, make sure that you preheat your smoker to 275°F. For this recipe, you are going to need 4 lamb shanks (approx. 1.5 pounds each). To prepare them for smoking, generously sprinkle each lamb shank with fresh ground black pepper and Chinese five spice powder on all sides. You can also season them with some coarse salt and sugar. Once you’ve seasoned the lamb shanks appropriately, cover them up and put them in your refrigerator while your smoker gets hot.

Smoking the Lamb Shank

When your smoker is heated to perfection, you are now ready to put your lamb shanks in! Place the lamb shanks on a well-oiled rack inside a foil-covered pan. The pan will be catching any drippings from the meat which can later be added to a sauce if you wish for more flavours.

Next up, pour ½ cup of rice wine into the foil-covered pan, surrounding the meat. This will help in keeping moisture which is important because of slow cooking involved in this recipe.

Then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil so that steam doesn’t escape and smoke for several hours. You could either use a smoker or slow cooker for this part so depending on what you have at home just make sure that lamb shanks covered in liquid but not drowning in it.

After smoking for about 3-4 hours, remove the lamb shanks from the smoker/slow cooker and place them in a clean foil-lined pan that’s covered with bbq sauce made using tomato base barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, and sriracha sauce.

Finishing off the Lamb Shank

Place this pan back on your smoker/grill at around 300-325°F until the glazed exterior has set properly on all four sides of each lamb shank approximately for 35-45 minutes.

Once done, remove from grill/smoker and let it stand for five minutes before serving. If needed you could shred the smoked lamb into pulled lamb form if desired.

That’s it; now you have some smoky, juicy, tender pacific rim smoked lamb shanks that would accentuate any meal!

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite and you'll be transported to an island paradise.
One bite and you’ll be transported to an island paradise.

As with any recipe, ingredients can sometimes be hard to come by or may not suit your taste. Fortunately, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try to make this Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe your own.

Firstly, if you can’t find hoisin sauce, you can use oyster sauce as a substitute. This will give the dish a similar sweet and slightly salty flavor. You could also use teriyaki sauce for a less intense flavor profile.

If you prefer a spicier dish, try adding some additional sriracha sauce or using a hotter BBQ sauce instead of the tomato base BBQ sauce.

For those who don’t eat lamb or simply don’t like it, this recipe would also work well with beef shanks instead. You could also try other cuts of lamb, such as lamb shoulder or leg.

Vegetarians or vegans could try substituting the meat with roasted eggplant slices or portobello mushrooms for a smoky flavor. You could also try using jackfruit as a meat substitute for pulled lamb.

Lastly, if you’re looking to switch things up, you could try serving the smoked lamb shanks over mashed sweet potatoes instead of rice. This would add some sweetness to balance out the savory flavors of the dish.

By experimenting with different ingredients and variations, you can make this Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe your own and create a dish that suits your taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 Smoked to perfection and infused with island flavors.
Smoked to perfection and infused with island flavors.

Nothing complements smoked lamb shanks like a refreshing side dish. I recommend pairing this dish with some roasted sweet potatoes glazed in honey and butter or a salad of mixed greens with a citrus dressing. The sweet potatoes add just enough sweetness to complement the savory and smoky flavor of the lamb. The salad provides a perfect palate cleanser, as the brightness of the citrus cutting through the rich meatiness of the lamb.

If you prefer something more substantial, you can serve the smoked lamb shanks with rice, mashed potatoes, or any grain of your choice. Allow your creativity to run wild and do not hesitate to mix and match different flavors that you enjoy.

When it comes to drinks, I find that nothing goes better with slow-cooked meat than a full-bodied red wine. Malbec or Syrah are excellent options to consider. Alternatively, you can opt for some craft beer with hop undertones.

This Pacific Rim smoked lamb shank recipe is truly versatile and pairs well with various side dishes and drinks, so have fun experimenting until you find your ideal combination!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A dish that will make your taste buds say
A dish that will make your taste buds say “Aloha!”

If you’ve already managed to smoke your lamb shanks in advance, reheating them before serving on game day is a breeze. Simply wrap the smoked shanks up tightly in foil and store in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. When it’s time to serve, preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the shanks for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

But what if you haven’t had the chance to smoke your lamb shanks ahead of time? Fear not! One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be made in a slow cooker, which means you can prepare everything ahead of time and let it cook away while you go about your day. Just follow the recipe how-to section and let your slow cooker do all the work for several hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

If you’re planning on storing any leftover smoked or braised lamb, be sure to let it cool completely before wrapping it up tightly in foil or storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored properly, your leftover smoked or braised lamb should last for up to three days in the fridge.

When reheating leftover lamb, you want to make sure that it doesn’t dry out or lose its flavor. A popular method for reheating pulled lamb is to place it in a double boiler with some BBQ sauce and slowly heat it over low heat until hot and saucy. This method will not only reheat your lamb but also keep it moist and flavorful.

Pro tip: If you happen to have any leftover smoked or braised lamb, try turning it into a delicious sandwich filling by piling it high on a bun with some BBQ sauce and slaw. You could even chop up any leftover lamb shank meat and use it as a topping for pizza or tacos. The possibilities are endless!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Bring a taste of the Pacific Rim to your BBQ.
Bring a taste of the Pacific Rim to your BBQ.

One of the keys to mastering any recipe is having the right tips and tricks up your sleeve. In the case of Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you achieve perfectly tender and flavorful shanks every time. Allow me to share some of my best tips for making this recipe a success.

1. Don’t skimp on the cooking time.

Lamb shanks require several hours of slow cooking to become tender enough to fall off the bone. It can be tempting to try and rush the process, but don’t give into that impulse. Be patient and let the shanks cook low and slow until they’re beautifully tender.

2. Use fresh ingredients.

I can’t emphasize this enough – fresh ingredients make all the difference in a recipe. Make sure your spices are new, your herbs are fragrant, and your meat is high-quality.

3. Keep an eye on the liquid level.

Whether you’re smoking or braising your lamb shanks, they need to be covered in liquid throughout the cooking process. Make sure to periodically check on them and add more liquid if needed.

4. Experiment with different sauces.

While I love using a tomato-based barbecue sauce as described in this recipe, there are plenty of other sauces that would work well with smoked or braised lamb shanks. Try using hoisin sauce or sriracha for an Asian-inspired twist, or try something completely different like a wine-braised sauce.

5. Use Steven Raichlen’s “Smoke Braised Lamb Shanks” technique

Steven Raichlen is a master of all things BBQ, and his “Smoke Braised Lamb Shanks” technique is absolutely worth trying out if you’re a fan of this dish. Essentially, it involves smoking your lamb shanks before braising them in liquid – resulting in an incredibly flavorful final product.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create delicious and tender Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks every time. So go ahead and experiment with different techniques and flavors until you find your perfect recipe!


Now that we have covered the ingredients, recipe instructions, and serving suggestions, let’s move on to the frequently asked questions about the Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks Recipe. You might have some additional queries or concerns that were not addressed in previous sections. Don’t worry; I have got you covered. Here are some common questions that I frequently receive from both cooking enthusiasts and beginners. So let’s dive right in!

How to cook Aldi lamb shanks?

Let’s get started by prepping the shanks. First things first, we need to take off all the packaging before proceeding. Once that’s done, get an ovenproof dish and empty the contents of the pouch into it. Then, cover the dish with foil and place it on the middle rack of your oven. Cooking time will vary based on the number of shanks, so if only cooking one shank, it will take around 5 minutes, while two will take around 65 minutes. When that time is up, remove the foil and turn the shanks over before putting it back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Should lamb shanks be covered in liquid?

When slow cooking lamb shanks, it is not necessary to fully submerge them in liquid, but leaving them completely dry is also not recommended. The steam produced by the liquid added to the slow cooker will be sufficient to cook the shanks to perfection.

Do I need to remove Silverskin from lamb shanks?

When getting lamb shanks ready, it is best to take off the silverskin– the pale, thin covering on the meat– and any significant fat. This helps to eliminate any excessive gaminess from the meat as it cooks. Utilize a sharp knife to gently detach the silverskin, making it less challenging to gradually take it off.

Why do lamb shanks take so long to cook?

To create tender and flavorful lamb shanks, it’s essential to cook them in a moist environment for an extended period. These shanks have connective tissues that need to break down through slow cooking. As a result, braising, baking and using a slow cooker are the popular methods for cooking lamb shanks. Once done, the shanks can be served alongside some roasted vegetables and the buttery juices.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe is a must-try for all BBQ enthusiasts. With the perfect blend of flavors, succulent meat, and an easy-to-follow recipe, this dish is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

Whether you’re a fan of braised lamb or smoked lamb shanks, this recipe has got you covered. And with versatile serving and pairing options, you can impress your friends and family with different variations of this dish.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try! Just follow the simple steps mentioned above, and let the magic happen. Your taste buds (and your guests) will thank you for it.

As Steven Raichlen writes in his book “BBQ USA 425 Fiery Recipes” – “Lamb is one of my favorite meats to grill. It’s versatile, juicy, flavorful – what more could you ask for?” With this Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks recipe, you’ll agree wholeheartedly.

So fire up that BBQ and get cooking!

Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks

Pacific Rim Smoked Lamb Shanks Recipe

Steven Raichlen
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pacific Rim
Calories 1059 kcal


Lamb and Rub

  • 4 tablespoons asian dark sesame oil
  • 4 (12 -14 ounce) lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups tomato base barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Other Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained (oak is preferred)


  • Drizzle oil over the lamb shanks; rubbing it into the meat with your fingertips.
  • Add salt, sugar, five-spice powder, and pepper to a small bowl; stir to mix or use your fingers to mix.
  • Sprinkle the rub all over the lamb, patting it onto the meat with your fingers.
  • To make the barbecue sauce: add bbq sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine, and sriracha in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer; let simmer 10-15 minutes, until thick and richly flavored; set aside.
  • Set up grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low; **for gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then decrease heat to medium-low.
  • When ready to cook, place the lamb shanks, on their side, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat; cover the grill.
  • Smoke roast the lamb shanks for 1 hour.
  • Wrap each shank in foil and continue cooking until very tender, 45 minutes to 1 ¼ hours more.
  • When the shanks are fully cooked, the meat will have pulled back from the shank bone and will be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers; internal temperature should be about 180°.
  • During the last 15 minutes or so, unwrap the shanks and brush them with some of the sauce.
  • Transfer the grilled lamb shanks to a platter and serve with the remaining barbecue sauce.



Serving: 502gCalories: 1059kcalCarbohydrates: 30.3gProtein: 92.7gFat: 58.7gSaturated Fat: 19.7gCholesterol: 307mgSodium: 3246.5mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 15.6g
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.