When it is the first time for you to visit Hotan located in northwest China’s Xinjiang, what food you will choose for your first meal? Absolutely, it is samsa!
The Kashgar-Hotan train. (Photo by Zhang Yuyang/xinhuanet)
Samsa is a kind of baked meat pie, which is a very popular food in north west China’s Xinjiang. And for foodies, Hotan is where they can taste the most authentic samsa.
Going through Hotan City and cross the Yulong Kashgar River Bridge, there is Yulong Kashgar samsa restaurant, either local people or tourists like to go there for samsa.
“Samsa is coming!” a waiter held a basket of samsa walking towards customers. When he poured them into the food counter, the long line waited for the food began to move quickly around the counter.
Only in 30 seconds! Sold out!
Golden crispy crust, juicy tender mutton mince, every bite tastes fantastic. In Xinjiang, people believe that good and fresh ingredients decides the taste of the dishes. For samsa, they are fresh mutton and wheat flour, plus a pinch of salt.
Freshly baked samsa. (Xinhuanet, Li Mengting)
Another popular food in Xinjiang is roast mutton. You can eat roast mutton in everywhere of Xinjiang. Every cook has his own secret recipe to roast. But it is very lucky if you have chance to taste a kind of very simple cooked but unbelievable tasty roast mutton.
The internet famous food-Hotan roast eggs. (Xinhuanet, Li Mengting)
In the wild field, build a bonfire until it has almost burned itself out. Flatten the fire and put sliced mutton on the fire. Be quick to flip sides every tens of seconds. when the roast mutton pieces turn into golden color, shake off the carbon dust, and brush salt water on. The clod salt water would cool and season the mutton in a very short time. Then roast mutton is done.
Roast mutton. (Xinhuanet, Zhou Qian)
But when you praise how good the chef mastered his skills in roasting, he might give the credit to the mutton. Thanks to the weather, water, grass, the unpolluted environment raises the sheep and provides us such good quality mutton, which makes roast so good even in such simple cook way.
All in all, compared with many kinds of traditional exquisite Chinese cuisines in Beijing, Tianjin，Shanghai，Chongqing, Guangdong, it also would be a great choice for you to come to Xinjiang experiencing the very simple but unforgettable dishes, just roasted or baked on fire.