Friday, July 8, 2011

Uyghur lamb-and-rice

Coming from the Northwestern part of China where there are many different indigenous populations and minorities, my family's cooking is highly influenced by the culture of that region. The Uyghurs, the largest minority in the Xinjiang province, have many unique styles of cooking that most Han Chinese families (like mine) have adapted to. Lamb and rice is a classic Uyghur dish and a family favorite that I grew up eating.
I managed to wrest the recipe from my mother yesterday, and it turned out great. As is extremely common in Asian cooking, however, the recipe isn't very exact. I tried my best to write out the measurements, but f you find it too salty or not to your taste, adjust it to your own preferences. The secret to this recipe is when you stir fry in the rice, cooking it and letting it sit in the juices of the lamb- that's what makes it so good.

Remember this pic? It was on my first post ever! My mom had made this dish that day and I just had to take a picture as well as a bite, it was so good.

*2 cups jasmin rice (you can use other kinds of rice too, but this kind works best. Buy your rice from an Asian Food store to garauntee authenticity, and don't use brown rice)
*4-5 carrots
*1 1/2 lbs lamb (goat works fine too. Chop into seperate ribs or pieces if desired)
*Varying amount of salt
*1 large white onion
*1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1.) Soak the rice until completely submerged for about an hour
2.) Set stove to simmer and boil lamb for about 1 hour with about 1 teaspoon salt (adjust as needed) and save the juices (the water you boiled the meat in) 
3.)Grate carrots, preferably using a cucumber peeler to make strip rather than shavings

4.) Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt in the grated carrots and mix
5.) Chop onion into small, thin pieces, but make sure the pieces aren't smaller than the first knuckle of your thumb. You might want to wait until the meat and the rice are almost ready to prepare the onion, because you'll be cooking the carots and rice in with the onions later
6.) Stir fry onions until soft with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add grated carrots
7.) Cook until carrots are soft
8.) Pour in the rice, and stir evenly
9.) Pour in the water you simmered lamb in, so the juice get cooked in. Pour enough lamb broth to cover the bottom of the pan and until it reaches the level of the rice, but don't let it rise above the rice
10.) Put the lid on (KEEPING the lid on; no peeking!) and let it simmer for about 5 minutes or until all the broth is gone, then stir evenly
11.) Stir the lamb meat into the rice
12.) Set stove on medium and put lid back on, letting it simmer with the meat well stirred in for around half and hour
Serve and enjoy!


  1. How do y'all like the new template? I'm personally loving it! Tell me what you think!

  2. Wow this is amazing! Definitely the right recipe for a carnivore like me :D
    But maybe a pinch more salt?


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