Uyghur Cuisine

The Uyghur cuisine is the food of the Uyghurs (Uyghur Yemekliri), known for cooking fiery lamb kebabs and homemade noodles. As Uyghurs are Sunni Muslim Turks, the food is predominantly halal.

Uyghur food is characterized by mutton, beef, camel, chicken, goose, carrots, tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, celery, various dairy foods, and fruits.

The primary dishes include Laghman, boiled handmade noodles with beef, lamb, or vegetables; soups made of lamb or chicken; shish kebabs of lamb or beef; and Polos (rice platters also known as pilaf or plov, with lamb or chicken).

Beverages include Chinese black tea, Kawas, a honeyed nonalcoholic drink, and other drinks available in other areas of China (bottled).

Spices include cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, sultanas, and the fat of the meat is used for flavoring.

Bread is the Central Asian-style baked flatbread known as Nan, using sesame seeds, butter, milk, vegetable oil, salt, and sugar.

Kebabs, seasoned with chili powder, salt, black pepper, and Ziran (cumin), are eaten with the skewer parallel to the mouth, gripping the kebab closest to the end with one’s teeth and sliding it off the pointed edge into one’s mouth.

Laghman is a special type of handmade noodle, made from flour, water and salt. The dough is divided into small balls and then stretched by hand. The noodles are boiled until very soft and then served topped with stir-fried meat, vegetables (bell peppers, hot peppers, cabbage, onion, tomatoes), in meat stock.

Another popular East Turkestan dish is Tohu Qurdiki, which is literally translated as ‘Big Plate Chicken’.

Uyghur-style breakfast is tea with home-baked bread, hardened yogurt, olives, honey, raisins, and almonds. Uyghurs like to treat guests with tea, Nan and fruit before the main dishes are ready.

Sangza are crispy and tasty fried wheat flour dough twists, a holiday specialty. Samsa are lamb pies baked using a special brick oven. Yutaza is steamed multilayer bread. Göshnan are pan-grilled lamb pies. Pamirdin are baked pies with lamb, carrots, and onion inside. Shorpa is lamb soup. Other dishes include Tohax, a different type of baked bread, and Tunurkawab.a