Characteristic Xinjiang Cuisine

A man cannot live without eating. It is natural that a person would concern himself with food whenever arriving at a strange place. A satisfactory meal can brighten anyone’s day.

This is particularly true when you go to Xinjiang. There have been rumors that Xinjiang produces millions of tons of beef and mutton but no vegetables at all. It makes Xinjiang people sound like they are still primitives.

Actually the rumors used to be partly true, because the nomads had to eat as their staple food, due to their special way of living, and vegetables were rare in these oases, due to the long winters.

However these winters remain in the past.

Today, Xinjiang cuisine has become a major flavor in China. On the menu are meat and vegetables, cold dishes and hot dishes, noodles, tea and alcohol, and of course the barbecue. 


The “nang” is part of Xinjiang people’s ever meal. It looks like an average baked pancake, but is actually made with special procedures, and tastes different. A good nang is made with water, egg and milk. The nang is shaped like a plate, but is thicker on the rim and thinner in the center, with a beautiful texture on the surface. The thick part tastes tender and the thin part is crispy. The mixed taste of tenderness and crispiness is the charm of a nang. As a symbol of Xinjiang cuisine, nangs are various-the nang stuffed with meat in Hotan; the thin nang in Keping; the crispy and soft “oil nang”; as well as the fresh-smelling nang made of corn flour.


Another popular Xinjiang snack is “liangpizi”. It is different from the “liangfen” and “mianpizi” from central China. “liangpizi” is made out of steamed flour water. It is chewier than “liangfen” and looks more transparent than “mianpizi”. It’s served with a kind of special sauce and tastes simply unforgettable.


The Xinjiang barbecue is characteristic. When a distinguished guest comes visiting, the locals will roast a lamb as a greeting. Kebabs are also other items excellent choice of food for a friends’ reunion. There are also other items excellent for charcoal grilling-such as beef, sheep’s kindly, sheep’s liver, fish, sausage and stuffed buns.


If you are still not full after a barbecue banquet, try some “pilau”, in which there are not only mutton and rice, but also carrot, onion, raisin and try apricots. It’s not compulsory to eat “pilau” with your hands. Eaten with a wooden scoop, this dish still tastes yummy.


As long as you’re not a peculiar eater, Xinjiang should be a gastronomic paradise for you. Here, also hope you have a happy weekend.