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Taste of Chinese New Year in Xinjiang

By Li Hongrui (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-02-14 16:53 Comments

Taste of Chinese New Year in Xinjiang

Stewed mutton and cake. [Photo by Li Hongrui/chinadaily.com.cn]

Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a place where 47 ethnic groups live, has its own special cuisine after a long-time integration of Han and different ethnic groups. During the integration, food and receipts are exchanged. Mutton, lamb, beef, horse meat and dairy products form the basis of Xinjiang cuisine. Eating features of Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui, and other ethnics can all find their way in Xinjiang cuisine. On festivals, people stick to the tradition of sending home-made food as gifts. A Kazak or Uygur would kill a sheep that is brought up by him and send it as a present. Likewise, Han people often send specially made pancakes to their ethnic friends.

Let's look at what is served on the table of Xinjiang people during Chinese New Year.

Stewed mutton and cake

In the past, boiling was the most common way to cook mutton for ethnic groups. Han people invented another method to increase the flavor of the meat. Stir the mutton with ginger, spring onion and dried red pepper. Then add water and boil the meat for about 2 hours. Put 8 to 9 very thin cakes on the mutton. Each cake is brushed with oil. After steaming the cake and mutton for another 30 minutes, the dish is finished.

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