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UIGHUR DELIGHT. Lamb is a popular dish in the western China region of Xinjiang, which is predominantly Muslim. Spices like cumin, not common in other areas of China, are featured in these kebabs. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)
From The Asian Reporter, V18, #28 (July 15, 2008), page 13.
Lamb Kebabs from Xinjiang region
By The Associated Press
Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region of western China, is home to an ethnic group called the Uighurs that has more in common culturally with Central Asia than with most of China. Lamb is an exceedingly popular dish, and food often is seasoned with cumin and other spices rarely used in the cooking of China’s more central and eastern regions.
Lamb Kebabs From Xinjiang Region
Start to finish: 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
In a food processor, chop the onion until it forms a paste. Transfer to a medium bowl, then stir in the vegetable oil, pomegranate juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne.
Add the lamb pieces and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, if using bamboo skewers, soak eight of them in water for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare a charcoal grill to medium- high or heat a gas grill.
Thread the meat onto skewers, taking care not to crowd the meat. The pieces should barely touch.
Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 7 to 8 minutes more, turning periodically to ensure good color and even cooking.
Recipe from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China, Artisan, 2008.