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uygur traditional food

delicious Kabab

Roast Lamb
In Xinjiang's bustling city streets or in the secluded alleys of sleepy towns one sees kebab braziers set up everywhere by the side of the road. Roasting over the glowing coals are pieces of mutton impaled on long skewers laid out in a tightly packed row. The aroma of the sizzling, spitting meat assails the passersby, and as a treat, adults and children crowd ont o the long bench in front of the brazier to admire the dexterity of the kebab seller while savoring the tender barbecued meat. Long-term residents of Xinjiang invariably heap praise on these kebabs, and newly-arrived visitors have only to follow their noses to find a kebab brazier and sit down to try for themselves this unique lamb dish from beyond the Great Wall. In addition, Xinjiang offers whole roasted lamb and minced lamb kebabs.

Whole Roast Lamb
For this dish it is best to use a one or two-year-old freshly prepared lamb. The whole lamb is first rubbed with salt inside and out, and then coated with a sa uce made from egg , flour , pepper and ziran mixed together, to which a little hot chili pepper can be added to taste. Next , a clean piece of wooden dowelling is passed through the length of the lamb from head to tail. The legs may be trussed, then the whole lamb is placed in a hot nang oven , preferably with a charcoal fire. All vents should be tightly sealed and a close watch kept on the oven temperature. The lamb should be done after an hour and half to two hours, and have turned a golden brown. This method of roasting seals in the flavor of the roast meat and gives it a delicious taste. Uygurs serve this top-class speciality of the region

to honored guests, or it may be the basis for a charming picnic. At holidays, friends and relatives go on outings to the fields, mountains and forests of the countryside, often carrying with them a whole lamb. Out in the open they build an earth oven to roast the lamb, and then get together to sing and dance until the lamb is cooked, when everyone gathers round to feast.

Lamb Kebabs
This is Xinjiang's most well-known lamb speciality, and kebab braziers can be found everywhere in the towns and cities. For a kebab, small cubes of meat are threaded onto a metal skewer and sprinkled with salt and ziran then barbecued over a charcoal brazier. Hot chili pepper may be added afterwards if a hot taste is preferred. The succulent golden skewered meat, speckled with red chili and green ziran entices the eye while the hot, spicy flavor lingers on the tongue.

Minced Lamb Kebabs (Koftah)
This dish is suitable for the elderly or infants who find chewing difficult. It is made by mixing minced lamb with salt, pepper, ziran and chili, and then adding a little cornflour. The mixture is then molded into a long sausage shape, skewered on a metal skewer and barbecued. Lamb offal may also be cooked in this way.
Archaeological finds of recipes and pictures have shown that roast and barbecued meat was commonly eaten in Central China during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), but with the develop-ment of the economy and the rise in importance of agriculture, animal husbandry declined, people gradually ate less and less roast meat, and so its recipes and cooking utensils were lost. In northw-estern China, however, and especially in Xinjiang, the economy is still largely based on animal husbandry so the tradition of roasting meat has continued and developed to become a widely acclaimed speciality of the border regions today.