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Cuisines in Urumqi

Urumqi's culinary culture is rich and unique, a nice break from your typical Chinese fare. Of course, you can still find lots of typical Chinese food including Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, but the local ethnic food and snacks are very tasty and very hot! Uigur, Mongolian, and Hui minority cuisine will all make your mouth water! 

As both the Uigur and Hui minorities are Muslim, pork is rare in Xinjiang. Only Han Chinese eat pork here. It is therefore, important to remember to respect this tradition and remember that most meat served to you will either be mutton, beef, chicken or possibly duck. Xinjiang cuisine really excels at the preparation of mutton and Mutton Kebabs are popular throughout China. Other typical Xinjiang dishes include Lamian noodles, Nan bread, and Uigur rice. 

Baked Mutton Kebabs

Baked Mutton Kebabs -- Cuisines in UrumqiBaked Mutton Kebabs (Kaoyangrouchuan) can be found anywhere on the streets of any city or small market town throughout Xinjiang. 

Migrants from Xinjiang have made these kebabs famous throughout the rest of China's major cities but naturally, the best, most authentic kebabs are only available in Xinjiang!

Anyone who has traveled throughout China has seen the kebab vendors with their long metal stands filled with hot embers and a pile of uncooked meat on sticks. The meat is cooked over the heat with the vendor fanning the embers to quicken cooking. 

The kebabs are then seasoned with spice powder (either spicy or not spicy) and served. One kebab is not more than a mouthful. Prices can range from between RMB1 to RMB2 per kebab.

Lamian Noodles -- Cuisines in UrumqiLamian Noodles

Lamian noodles, known in Chinese as Lamian or Lamiantiao are popular with many ethnic groups both in Xinjiang and the rest of China. The name 'Lamian' means 'pulled noodles'. 

The noodle dough is pulled in a special way to create thinner and thinner strings of dough, and finally, noodles! Then the noodles are boiled quickly and various ingredients are added, including oil, mutton pieces, cooked tomato and chili peppers. 

Sometimes the noodles are stir-fried along with these ingredients, which can only be described as a totally different, yet equally delicious taste.

Nan Flat Bread -- Cuisines in UrumqiNan Flat Bread

Nan or Nang in Chinese is the staple bread of Xinjiang cuisine. It is a crucial part of the Uigur diet. The word 'Nan' originates from the Persian language, and this type of bread is popular throughout the Arabic and Middle Eastern World. 

While there are different varieties of Nan in Xinjiang, this bread is basically made by sticking dough to the inside wall of an extremely hot oven and then after a few minutes, removing the cooked bread. The shape of the bread is typically round, flat and golden brown. 

Other varieties include Oil Nan (Younang), Sesame Nan (Zhimanang), and Mutton Nan (Rounang), etc

Uigur Rice -- Cuisines in UrumqiUigur Rice

We call this dish 'Uigur Rice', but it's name in Chinese is Zhuafan. In English, this actually means 'grabbed rice' for the fact that you can eat it with your hands. 

The main ingredients are rice cooked in mutton broth with spring onion, carrot, and a piece of mutton (or beef, chicken, duck meat instead) placed on top of the rice. Sometimes, raisins or almonds are also added for a little extra flavor. 

This dish is actually quite rich, but it's richness gives it an undeniably delicious flavor. This rice will not only fill you up, it'll give you lots of energy and leave a delicious aftertaste in your mouth.


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