A guide to the must-try dishes of Uyghur cuisine

A guide to the must-try dishes of Uyghur cuisine

If you’re looking to experience new and exciting culinary adventures, Uyghur cuisine should be on your list. With influences from China, Central Asia, and the Middle East, this cuisine is a unique reflection of the diverse melting pot of Xinjiang Province. From bold spices to hearty noodles and succulent meats, Uyghur food is a feast for the senses.

With the Welcome Merchant Celebrate Uyghur Culture event on this month, there’s never been a better time to try some of the most iconic and delicious dishes of Uyghur cuisine. Let’s take a look at the must-try dishes of this tasty cuisine.


Laghman is a popular noodle dish that consists of thick, chewy noodles in a savoury meat and vegetable stew, flavoured with cumin and chili. These hand-pulled noodles have a unique texture and are worth the extra time and skill required to make them. Laghman is the perfect dish for a chilly day or when you crave something warm and comforting.

Laghman, hand pulled noodle dish with lamb meat and vegetables


Polo is a versatile rice dish that features lamb, carrots, onions, and rice flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Slow-cooked to perfection, this dish can be served as a side or main course, depending on how it’s prepared.

Polo, Uyghur rice dish


Samsa is a popular pastry filled with savoury ingredients such as lamb, onions, and spices. The pastry is flaky and buttery, while the filling is fragrant and full of flavour. Samsa is a great option for a quick snack or light meal, and it’s perfect for those who love handheld foods.

Samsa, Uyghur pastry


Dapanji is a hearty chicken dish made with bone-in chicken, potatoes, capsicum, onions, and a variety of spices including chili, cumin, and garlic. This one-pan meal is slow-cooked until the chicken is tender and the vegetables are softened. It’s often served in large portions, making it perfect for sharing with family and friends during celebrations and holidays.

Uyghur chicken dish, Dapanji

Lamb Kebabs

Lamb kebabs, or yangrou chuan as they are known in Uyghur, are a beloved street food. Made with marinated lamb skewered and grilled over an open flame, this dish is seasoned with a variety of spices that give the meat a smoky and aromatic flavour. Uyghur lamb kebabs are cooked on a vertical spit, allowing the meat to cook evenly and retain its moisture. Served with naan bread, sliced onions, and dipping sauces like yoghurt or spicy chili sauce, lamb kebabs are a must-try dish in Uyghur cuisine.

Uyghur cuisine is a diverse and unique culinary experience that should be on every foodie’s bucket list. With influences from Central Asia, China and the Middle East, the dishes reflect the cultural melting pot that is East Turkestan.

Uyguhr lamb skewers

If you’d like to learn more about Uyghur culture, why not check out our partners for the Celebrate Uyghur Culture event at Phive in Parramatta.

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