Shashlik is really just the Central Asian name for a kebab, something on a skewer. In Kashgar—the westernmost city in China—at least on the street, this was almost always lamb coated in a cumin based spice blend. At that time—35 years ago—the lamb is cut into small (3/8 inch) cubes and skewered with bits of lamb fat. The stick is dipped into a tray of the spice blend and then grilled over hot coals. Wife Jan is on the Noom program, and while she wanted shashlik, she did not want it made with lamb—a “red food.” She asked me if I could make with chicken instead—a “yellow food.”
Tag Archives: Uyghar
Wife Jan loves carrot salad and it is her birthday dinner. This is my third attempt at making a carrot salad for a Uyghur meal—big plate chicken this time. Today, I am trying for a black vinegar vinaigrette.
We were looking through some old photos, one of which was baby Eilene holding half a naan that was bigger than her head. Eilene asked, why I have not made them in years. She then asked for shashlik and naan for Sunday’s dinner. Five years ago, I posted a recipe for Uyghar naan. Since that time, I have learned some new techniques in bread making and I decided to use them in making this Central Asian bread.
For my birthday, I am making a variation of Uyghur Shashlik and Naan for dinner. Meat and bread call for salads and a traditional Xinjiang dish would be a carrot salad. The last time I made this I used large Asian carrots. Today, I decided to use the colorful heirloom carrots that have become common in California.
This recipe comes from a memory of a taste and of a Mongolian? Chef (from the banner behind him I think it is Inner Mongolia).
Yesterday I made Uzbek samsa, a baked dough filled with spinach, and it reminded Jan of the Uyghur lamb samsa we had in Kashgar in 1988. I know the name Uyghur looks frightening to American sensibilities, but it is pronounced “Way-ger.” We were taking our vacation, from teaching English to the Chinese, to the far west of China. There were almost no foreigners in China during those months so, except for a few stray Canadians and Australians, we had Xinjiang pretty much to ourselves (not counting several million locals). The locals assumed that we were Canadians, except for the one who thought I was a Russian and the woman who came up to Jan and started chatting her up in Uyghur. She could have easily passed in the Mexican embroidered dress and the Russian babushka she was wearing.