Recipe: Roast Lamb Shoulder Percik

Recipe: Roast Lamb Shoulder Percik

1h prep | 3h cook

Last updated

This slow roasted lamb shoulder is a mouth-watering adaptation of the Malaysian dish Ayam Percik - "ayam" translating to chicken and "percik" to splash, referring to the basting technique that involves 'splashing' the meat with a rich sauce.

Inspired by this recipe from Adam Liaw (who uses a WHOLE lamb!) this succulent roast swaps the usual Ayam (chicken) for a tender, slow-cooked lamb shoulder, infusing it with deeply aromatic spices readily found in Malay dishes. The secret lies in the rempah, a luscious basting sauce that permeates the meat with its blend of spices, coconut milk, and aromatics, making every bite deliciously complex.

This Roast Lamb Shoulder Percik is the perfect centre-piece for a celebratory gathering or a dinner party with friends. The exotic and full-bodied flavours will impress discerning foodies, but are still mellow enough, with a mild heat, that fussy guests won't be scared off.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 lamb shoulder, bone in (2-2.5kg)
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil


  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 tsp belacan (dried shrimp paste), roasted*
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • ½  tsp rice flour
  • 300ml coconut cream (more may be needed)
  • Pinch salt
  • 10g sugar


  • Cos or romaine lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Steamed white rice

In a blender, process the marinade ingredients into a paste. Pour the paste over the lamb, rubbing over the entire surface. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight (covered in the fridge).

*Roast the belacan to properly release its flavour. Place belacan on a piece of foil and pop into a 190C oven for 4-7 minutes or until the edges are browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make the rempah, process lemongrass, onions, dried chillies and roasted belacan in a blender until smooth. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat with 2 tbsp of peanut oil and pour in the rempah. Fry for about 5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

Add the rice flour, coconut cream and tamarind water, stir to combine. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and allow to gently cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until thick. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Cover and set aside for basting.

Preheat oven 240C. Place the lamb in a roasting pan, add one cup of water to the bottom of the pan, and cover with a lid or foil. Place in the oven, turn down the heat to 180C and roast 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the rempah. Make sure that there is liquid at the bottom of the pan each time you baste, add small amounts of water if needed. After 3 hours remove cover, baste once more, and ensure once again that there is liquid in the base of the pan. Turn oven up to 220C and roast for an additional 20 minutes.

The meat should be very tender at this point. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and allow rest to rest for 10 minutes. Combine any remaining rempah with the basting liquid and drippings from the pan (add more coconut cream if very thick), spreading about half of this percik sauce onto a serving dish and pouring the rest into a small bowl. Carve the lamb, arrange on top of the sauce, and serve with steamed rice, crisp lettuce, sliced cucumber and onions, fresh lime and the remaining percik sauce.

Related Recipes

Latest Articles & Recipes