If you ask any Chinese diner to name the most famous food in Xinjiang, mutton kebabs will be the likely answer from most of them. 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 a typical Uygurs' food. It 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
Roasted Stuffed Buns is another Uygurs' food popular in 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.
Xijiang Noodles (Lamian)
Xijiang 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)
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.
When you want a cold dessert in the hot desert, yogurt sellers are ubiquitous. Usually you'll find them selling out of big ice-filled basins. Although it tastes good, the ice used to keep the yogurt cold is not reliably sanitary and is often blamed for travelers’ diarrhea. Don't overindulge if you plan to take any long bus trips.