Cuisine is an important "name card" for a city. As the westernmost city in China, Kashgar is famous for its wonderful, diversified and delicious local cuisine.
Kashgar is known as a hub of communication and exchange for different cultures and civilizations, while the city's cuisine reflects the cooking styles of different ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Different ethnic groups in Xinjiang have different cooking and eating methods. As the largest population in Kashgar (more than 90 percent), Uygur food dominates the city. The food is characterized by mutton, beef, chicken, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onions and other dairy foods. Many Uygur dishes are influenced by other ethnic groups in both China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Central Asia, and popular local dishes are welcomed by both local residents and travelers.
Kavap in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/CGTN]
The most famous and popular local Uygur food is "kebab," or "kavap" in Uygur. Kebab can be found in streets, bazaars and restaurants in Kashgar, and is favored by both Uygur and Han residents. They are small pieces of meat roasted on skewers over charcoal, and usually made from lamb and spiced accordingly.
Kavap is roasted on skewers over charcoal. [Photo/CGTN]
Kavap is served with naan (baked flatbread), samsa (fried or baked dumpling) or polu (grabbed food). Naan is a staple food that can be found in both China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Central Asia. Naan resembles pita bread, and is made up of sesame seeds, butter, milk, vegetable oil, salt and sugar. The food is cooked in a tandoor and can be eaten directly or served with meat or other vegetables. Naan shops are seen on every street and are a daily food for locals.
Polu in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/CGTN]
Samsa is fried or baked dumplings, filled with potatoes, onions, mutton or beef. They are usually considered appetizers or snacks for locals and can provide an energy boost after hours of wandering the streets or shopping in bazaars.
Polu is usually an entrée that can fill your stomach. It is made with mutton, lamb, beef or chicken and oil. It is very popular in Kashgar, and one bite is enough to remember its taste for a long time.
There are many other popular snacks and food in Kasghar, such as poxkal (sliced seedcake), Sangza (crispy fried wheat flour dough twists) and Yutaza (steamed multi-layer bread). The local Han residents also created the Dapanji (Plate Chicken), a food filled with spicy chicken, potatoes and peppers served on a big plate, and flat hand-pulled noodles will be added after the chicken is eaten. Kashgar is a city filled with delicious foods and tasty snacks.