Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hong Kong Part 2: Uyghur Food

Now that I'm no longer a jet-lagged zombie, I can finally properly answer the question everyone has been asking me about my trip to Hong Kong...

Did you eat amazing food?

Yes. I did. In fact, I ate my way through China. We wore spandex 7 out of 12 days, people. And that is not because we did so much hiking. Unless by hiking, you mean eating. We planned each day's activities around our meals. Miriam, Julie, and I know what life is really about. We're big girls. And we live to eat, not the other way around.

My favorite dining experience in Hong Kong was most certainly our Uyghur Food meal (pronounced kind of like "way-grr"). I had never heard of Uyghur prior to Hong Kong. I quickly learned that Uyghur refers to an ethnic minority living in Central and Eastern Asia; most are Sunni Muslim. The Uyghur language is considered Turkik, which is fairly similar to Turkish.

Onto the food. Oh! The food. A group of us enjoyed this meal, served family style, with hot lavender tea. I can still taste all the flavors of each unique dish. Spices reigned, especially cumin, salt, pepper, and endless numbing peppers!

Cold cucumber salad with garlic, fresh tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers

Fresh tofu with preserved/Century egg. Isn't this dish just picturesque? A Century egg is an egg preserved for months, usually, in a mixture of clay, among other things. In the photo above, the whites have turned to those jelly-looking blocks, while the yolk turned to a dark green color. This is due to the alkaline in the clay. Nowadays, you can also brine the egg for days at a time to try to emulate the Century egg produced through the preservation method mentioned above.

Warm potato slivers, garnished with cucumbers and red bell peppers; this dish was a lovely palate cleanser in between the intense flavors of the other dishes. It was perfectly salted and I almost didn't recognize that I was eating potatoes; the thin strands were so smooth!

 Sauteed zucchini in light garlic sauce

Deep fried lamb leg. To. Die. For. Encrusted with a cumin-salt rub. Each piece was boneless and the meat was so tender. I have never, ever, tasted anything like this...and I've never loved cumin more; look at all that cumin! My favorite dish of the entire trip, perhaps. 

 Camel sauteed with vegetables. Yes, camel. I was immediately intrigued. No, this wasn't the hump meat. Hump meat is light. Yes, I just typed that. Promptly after dinner, I read up on camel. Apparently, it's been compared in taste to beef and has a reputation be dry. However, this camel meat was very dark and tender; it reminded me of very thick slices of non-spicy pastrami. It was mild in flavor, and not gamy at all.

 Fried beef topped with cumin and ginger, onions, bell peppers. I loved how the beef was fried yet didn't taste greasy at all. 

Numbing pepper! These little guys showed up in many dishes. At first, they are deceiving, as they aren't spicy, but after a while, your mouth literally begins to feel numb and starts to water. Sneaky little guys.

 Fresh yogurt with strawberries on the bottom, topped with blackened sesame seeds. These were not too sweet, but had an almost tart taste to them.

 Happy bellies.

Now seriously. Can someone please take me to Uyghur food in San Francisco? If you know of a place to get Uyghur food, I will buy you dinner there. I'm going through cumin-lamb withdrawals.

Help a girl out. 


  1. I want that lamb - seriously. What did you think of the century egg? I'm curious as to how it tasted... Rotten at all? The trip - and the food! - looks amazing!

    1. It didn't taste too strong. Not as pungent as I thought. Not rotten! I am still dreaming about the lamb :)

    2. I don't think I would have dared to eat that egg! Everything else looks delicious though. I've tried camel before, but it was barbequed so it was quite dry, I'd be tempted to try it again in this dish though!

    3. I would LOVE to try bbq' bbq, anything!

  2. Just today SF Gate had a chinese restaurants feature. This one sounded like maybe it will have what you're looking for:

    1. Yep, that sounds like Uyghur food! Laura, I'll go with you too!

  3. Where can I find Uyghur restaurant in Hong Kong? Thanks