Most of the food in Yinchuan is strongly Islamic influenced, since almost 30% of the population here is the Muslim Hui Minority. Muslim restaurants and food stalls are found on almost every street. The most common of these dishes are of the lamb and beef variety, accompanied by dumplings and noodles, varieties of naan style bread, flagelliform nostoc and blended teas.
Steamed lamb, one of characteristics of the region, is very tender and flavorful. Steamed with ginger, shallots, garlic and chili for 30 minutes, is served with vinegar, garlic sauce and salt. Mutton in Ningxia has no strong smell because of local water and soil. The mutton of a 2-3 months lamb is the best, fresh, tender and not greasy. Cut the mutton into cubes, then roasting, steaming or braising them are all OK. It tastes even better when eaten with special wine made by fruit of Chinese wolfberry.
The traditional Gaiwancha is a kind of tea beverage, which is originated from Hui during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is also of Hui origin. This tea comes in a variety of flavors due to the different ingredients added such as brown sugar, white sugar, crystal sugar, five-savory including tea leaf, crystal sugar, longan, raisin, and dried apricot.
Sweet and Sour Yellow River carp
In order to prepare this dish well, the chef has to be very adept with the knife. If the carp is not sliced in just the right way, it will not fry properly after seasoning. If it is done right, this dish has a fantastic texture, both crunchy and soft, and a great contrasting set of flavors.
Braising Sheep Backbone
Boil sheep backbone in a pot and then take it out. After leaving it for a while, gently tear the scarfskin with a knife and then cut into pieces in the length of 3cm. After placing a wok on a roaring fire, put the sheep backbone soup into the wok. After the soup is boiling, you put backbones, agarics, refined salt, pepper, ginger juice, shallot slices, and gourmet powder into it. The dish is brought to finish by being removed floating foams, added some mixture of starch and water, and sprinkled eaten oil and caraway.