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Mogao Caves

8-day Urumqi-Taer Lamasery
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Cuisine in local

It is not an exaggeration to say that Urumqi is an expo center of Middle Asian delicacies. Some people think dining in a grand restaurant is a better way to enjoy the local delicacies. However, the fact is not like that. Sometimes, a small nameless snack bar can provide more splendid food. Of course, this situation demands your more patient exploration. Take Er Dao Qiao for an example. There are many snack bars in this place. Please don't despise them for the sake of their tempting snacks.


The Featured Food of Urumqi:


Xinjiang Kebabs are chunks of mutton thread on skewers and roasted over charcoal. The kebabs are turned continually and basted frequently, and when they are almost done, salt, pepper paprika and cumin are sprinkled on them. Kebabs are crispy outside and tender inside, slightly salty and hot. They are not greasy and have no unpleasant smell. They are sold in the streets and bazaars throughout Xinjiang. The Yang Fan Kebabs at May the First night market is one of the most popular kebabs restaurants in Urumqi.


Nang is Uygurs' food. Uygurs cannot miss eating a Nang any day. Nang comes in more than 10 varieties. Nang is roasted in a special oven which is made of mud and earth otherwise the process is similar to cooking pancakes. The ingredients include wheat flour, corn flour or sorghum flour, with such seasoning as sesame seeds, onions, eggs, vegetable oil, butter, milk, salt and sugar. Nang in gold yellow is crispy and tasty. It is easily portable and it keeps well.


Roasted Stuffed Buns is another Uygurs' food very popular at festivals or wedding. The stuffing of the buns is a combination of chopped mutton, beef and sheep's-tail fat. Then add chopped onions, salt and cumin. Seal the stuffing in dough square, and put in an oven to roast for 10 - 20 minutes. The buns are thin-skinned, with tender meat stuffing and very delicious.


Xinjiang Noodles (Lamian) are hand-pulled noodles which are soft and even. They are dressed with fried mutton piece, onions, cooked tomatoes and chili peppers. Locals and visitors consume noodles with gusto.


Zhua Fan (Rice Eaten with Hands) is cooked with ingredients from fresh mutton, carrot, vegetable oil and rice. This food is soft, delicious and nutritious. It is consumed at the festivals, funerals and weddings of Uygurs and Uzbeks. People habitually pick the food from the tray by hand hence the name 'Rice Eaten with Hands'. Nowadays, people use chopsticks and spoons instead of fingers. We recommend the No.17 restaurant in May the First night market and Wuyuehua Restaurant opposite No. 17 in Hetian Jie for your Zhua Fan experience.


Other specialties worth mentioning are Milk Tea, Yoghourt Made of Mare's Milk, Rice-Filled Sausages, and Stewed Mutton Eaten by Hands, etc.