Posts Tagged ‘Xinjiang’

* Uyghur Bread

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Bread, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Entree, Xinjiang.

Uyghur bread - IMG_4011



I have not been to Xinjiang myself and it’s on my bucket list of the places to visit.  I have been to many Uyghur villages in the big cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.  When I lived in Guangzhou, we would seek out these breads because they are the closest thing to bagels (this was in the early 90s before China opened up), in fact, this actually resembled bread as we know it, not some strange fluffy sponge that were available as bread then.

To make the bread stamp (durtlik/chekich), go to your hardware store and buy a woode.  T piece of knob or coat peg.  Then find somebody with good woodwork skill (Marco in my case), to knock in some nails so it looks like a nail brush.  Have fun.

3 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet yeast
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 1/4 cups cold water

5-6 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, grated
2 Tablespoons nigella seeds
2 Tablespoons sesame seed
Cornmeal or semolina

Heat oven to 550F preferably with a pizza stone. If no stone is available, place baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Proofing the yeast: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add cold water to make a warm solution (105 – 115°F). Take half of this lukewarm water and dissolve in the yeast. Stir lightly, and let stand in a warm place until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 7 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Making the sponge. Add remaining water and half the flour. Whisk for about 8-10 minutes until big bubbles form. Let rest 30 minutes. Then all but 1 cup of flour, salt and oil and stir to combine.

Place remaining flour on a clean work surface. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

In the meantime, squeeze the grated onion slightly to extract juice.

Once dough has doubled in volume, remove dough from the bowl and cut in quarters with out working it. Generously dust dough with flour and begin to roll out. Do this until dough is rolled to form a 8-inch circle that is 1/4-inch thick. Pick up the disc and then form a 1 inch band around the edge. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a towel. Transfer it to a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal (Alternatively use a parchment paper) then using a bread stamp (durtlik/chekich) or a fork. Prick the center of the bread to create holes so bread will remain flat. Brush dough with onion juice then smear in a quarter of the onion pulp on the dough. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and sesame seeds. Then slide dough onto heated stone and bake until golden and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and serve immediately. Repeat.

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* Cumin Scented Lamb

Posted on November 14th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Chinese, Cooking Method, Entree, Lamb, Sear, Sichuan Peppercorn, Xinjiang.

Cumin Scented Lamb Rib Chops

So very good and so very easy to pull together.  This is one of those high ROI dishes.  You will get loads of compliments without breaking a sweat.  If you ever had Xinjiang Kao Yang Rou, this will be very familiar.

Chef’s tip: Serve with some seared shishito or padron peppers (EVOO + salt+ high heat).

8 rack of ribs (1 rack = 8 ribs), cut into riblets
4 Tablespoons cumin, ground
4 Tablespoons dried mint
2 Tablespoons coriander, ground
2 Tablespoons Sichuan peppercorn, ground
2 Tablespoons fennel, ground
1½ Tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne less depending on preference
12 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1½ Tablespoon ground black pepper
½ cup EVOO

Some rice bran oil

Preparing the lamb:
1.    Toast and grind spices.  Mix all the dried spices, garlic, salt, pepper and EVOO together in a small bowl.
2.    Marinate lamb using an instant marinator, or preferably overnight.

Cooking the lamb:
3.    Add ½ tablespoon of oil in cast iron pan over or grill pan on high heat till very hot, almost smoking. Sear the lamb rib chops in small batches, about 3 minutes or until meat is nicely brown and caramelized. Repeat with more oil for remaining meat.  Edge the exposed rib bone towards the edge of the pan to cook the bone.
4.    Assemble lamb on plate and sprinkle over daikon sprouts.

Serves: 15


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* Xinjiang Lamb Mini Pita Pockets

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Cayenne, Chinese, Cinnamon, Coriander, Course, Dim Sum, Fennel, Lamb, Xinjiang.

On the Silk Road path, the Uyghur cuisine in north western China uses a lot of spices and features goat and lamb dominantly. It’s not what one would typically think of as Chinese foods. The Uyghurs also serve most of their dishes with a chewy flatbread that reminds me of bagel just holeless.

This Xinjiang Lamb Mini Pita Pockets dish takes its inspiration from the flatbread and the grilled leg of lamb that you find in many Xinjiang restaurants.

I think Marco Polo would approve.

Chef’s tip: If you are buying whole lamb loins, freeze it for 20 minutes before cutting. It will help you make really thin slices.


½ lb of lamb loin (or pre-sliced shabu-shabu lamb)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried mint
1½ teaspoons ground fennel
1 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne/chile powder, less depending on preference, optional
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup watercress, daikon sprouts or any peppery micro greens
4 mini pitas

Preparing the lamb:
1. Slice the lamb as thin as possible (alternatively buy the pre-sliced shabu-shabu lamb meat).
2. Mix all the dried spices, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
3. Marinate lamb with the garlic and spices, for at least 20 minutes, preferably overnight.
4. Cooking the lamb: Add ½ tablespoon of oil in wok or a cast iron pan over high heat till very hot, almost smoking. Sear the marinated meat in 2 batches, about 3 minutes or until meat is nicely brown and caramelized. Repeat with more oil for remaining meat.
Assembling the pockets:
5.  Cut pitas into 2. Stuff pita with 2 tablespoons of spiced lamb and some micro greens.

Serves: 4

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