Lamb Fries

From time to time, we like to take advantage of a deal that the good folks at Argenta Market run over at Half-off Arkansas offering $50.00 worth of groceries for only $25.00.  This is a real steal, because as much as we’d love to be able to shop their great selection of local meats and produce all the time, we’re working class folks and it’s hard to stretch our grocery dollars far enough to do so.  We’ve always found the quality of goods there to be excellent, though, and a trip to Argenta Market is always a fun time.  On a recent trip, I had filled my basket with all sorts of wonderful food – bacon from Arkansas’ own Old Soul Organics, some Creekstone Farms beef, and a selection of locally grown onions and peppers; but I found myself a few dollars short of my coupon total.  Heading back to the meat case, I came across a small package of what looked like a couple of rather large eggs for just a few dollars labeled “lamb fries,” and being the adventurous cook and eater that I am, I had to buy them.  This is a rather traditional way to prepare them, but simple is usually best when working with new ingredients.

Lamb Fries (Sheep Testicles)

  • 2-6 lamb fries, depending on how many people you can find actually brave enough to try them.
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

The first step in preparing your lamb fries is to peel them.  Using a very sharp paring knife, work the outer membrane off of the softer interior, taking care not to damage the meat.  The lamb fries will have a rather gelatinous texture, but don’t let that daunt you!  Once you’ve removed the outer membrane, soak the fries in cold water for a couple of hours, changing the water after an hour.  This will help firm them up and helps mellow the flavor.  Remove the lamb fries and pat dry, then slice into 1/3 inch pieces with a sharp knife.  Mix the slices with the mustard and let them marinate for 15-30 minutes.  Beat the eggs, then dip the fries into the egg, coat with the panko, and fry until golden brown.  Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, or aioli.  This was my first time cooking and eating this dish, and I found the taste to be mild and flavorful, reminiscent of a slightly gamey (in a good way) oyster.  The texture firms up considerably during the frying process, and the panko adds a nice, crunchy contrast to the soft meat.  I’d definitely eat these again.  Enjoy!

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14 thoughts on “Lamb Fries

  1. Well. Interesting. I’m so impressed that you actually tried them and they must be frugal. However, I’m not sure my quest for frugality is quite so extreme as to pop lovely little sheep testicle into my mouth… Even if they tasted wonderful, and I’m sure they do, I think they’d make me a little sqeamish! They do LOOK lovely though!

    • At $3.50 and certified organic, I’d say they’re frugal. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a tad squeamish preparing and eating them myself! But it paid off, I was really surprised and pleased at the taste – I want to try them on the grill next.

    • I think Argenta Market is one of Central Arkansas’ great treasures. They nearly always provide information about where the food comes from, too, so you get a bit of a learning experience along with the tasty food. Let me know what you get when you go!

  2. Good for you! There’s nothing I’ve encountered yet in the world that isn’t edible if breaded and fried. I had fried lambs brains in France and they were great and I think I had lamb fries there, too, but the translation was uncertain…

    • I sort of felt I was taking the easy way out by breading and frying them. Then again, I suppose they’re called “lamb fries” for a reason! Judging by how the texture became after cooking, I’d really like to try them grilled and perhaps chopped up with some onions and peppers. I was afraid the flavor would be very lamb-y, but they were quite mild. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Hey Michael,
    Many years ago I was staying on a farm helping with the farm work. It was a pretty traditional setting, ie guys in the field, the woman of the house doing the cooking. Sitting down to dinner one night, I asked my host(ess) what the meat was as I was serving myself from the platter. She just calmly stated “lamb fries”. I finished them off and was helping myself to some more while complimenting her on the taste. I inquired again what they were? This time she replied again with “lamb fries” but was giggling at the same time. I asked what was so funny then she told me what they really were. I had a moment of squeamishness and then shrugged my shoulders and proceeded to finish my second helping as they really did taste nice.
    Thanks for the recipe and I am going to try them out again. My sister is about to have some lambs slaughtered so should be able to get some testicles from her pasture raised sheep. At a time when many people are getting back to the tradition of using all parts of the animals possible that we raise and slaughter instead of being as wasteful as we generally have become, I appreciate your willingness to try these and to share your experience.

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