A visitor will find the food in Xinjiang quite different from that in the rest of China. What is Xinjiang food? Simply put, Xinjiang food is the combination of Uygur, Hui, Kazakh and Russian food, as well as Han food. Most Xinjiang dishes taste tangy and spicy, and are made of beef and mutton cuts that are stir fried, roasted, steamed or made by other cooking methods.
Cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper are most frequently used in preparing Xinjiang cuisine. The inland climate, with little rainwater and vast deserts, rule seafood out in Xinjiang, but the region has abundant resources of cattle and sheep.
The cooking styles of Xinjiang cuisine are representative of many of the ethnic groups living in the region, in particular that of the Uygurs, China’s second-largest Muslim population.