Get to know Uyghur Cuisine

Kusan Uyghur
May 25, 2022

Food is an experience that is shared throughout the world. Everyone has a favorite dish that brings back fond memories or reminders of home. Food is not just something to provide sustenance; it is a story to tell. At Kusan, we strive to preserve and share the authentic flavors and traditions of Uyghur and Central Asian cuisine. We love food as much as you do, and in this article, we will help you learn a little more about Uyghur culture and cuisine.

Big plate chicken is a traditional Uyghur dish. Rich chicken stew is prepared with bone-in chicken, potato, green pepper, garlic, red pepper, and house spices.

Who are the Uyghur people?

The Uyghur people are a Turkish ethnic group originating from the Xinjiang region in Central Asia. The Uyghurs have traditionally inhabited areas across the Taklamakan Desert within the Tarim Basin with snow-capped mountains, winding rivers, and blue-green lakes.

Kusan Uyghur Cuisine is named after the Kusan Empire, an ancient kingdom that once resided along the Silk Road from the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert to the southern region of the Muzat River. There are about 15 million Uyghurs currently living in Uyghur Autonomous Region, At Kusan, we strive to help preserve, celebrate, and share Uyghur culture through food.

Uyghur Food Culture

Food is an integral part of Uyghur culture. The Uyghur people have been living in Xinjiang for centuries and have created a variety of cooking methods that have created a rich food culture. The unique character of Uyghur cuisine is a result of local products, traditional cooking methods, and recipes that have been passed through generations. Uyghur cuisine reflects the influence of neighboring cultures such as Greek, Persian, and Arabic cultures, yet Uyghur food culture is uniquely its own. Traditional Uyghur cuisine includes dishes like hand-pulled noodles, big plate chicken, and stuffed samsa cooked in clay ovens. Uyghur people have a deep understanding of natural medicine, and take great pride in creating dishes that are not only delicious but also highly nutritious. For Uyghur people, food is not just about sustenance. Food is an experience meant to be shared with loved ones.

Traditional Uyghur Dishes

Uyghur cuisine includes a variety of delicious dishes made with rich ingredients from across Central Asia. Here are a few traditional Uyghur specialities:

  • Laughman: This classic dish features fresh hand-pulled noodles served with lamb, vegetables and a spicy sauce.
  • Polo: This is one of the most popular Uyghur dishes. Fluffy, flavorful rice pilaf is served with shredded lamb and beef, carrots, green onion, cotton oil, and quail eggs.
  • Big Plate Chicken: Rich chicken stew is prepared with bone-in chicken, potato, green pepper, garlic, red pepper, and house spices.
  • Samsa: Fresh dough is stuffed with Flour, Beef and Onions, Black peppers, Salt, and Sesame.
  • Naan: Naan is an important daily staple for Uyghur people, and is one of the most famous street foods. Naan is a type of flatbread traditionally cooked in a clay oven with cumin and chili powder.
  • Kebabs: Lamb is a big part of Uyghur cuisine, and kebabs are a popular way to enjoy the flavorful meat. These kebabs are made by roasting chunks of lamb on a stick with cumin and chili powder.

These specialities are just the beginning. There are countless other Uyghur dishes including lamb wraps, salads, soups, teas and desserts. Once you taste Uyghur cuisine, you’ll want to try everything!

At Kusan, our kebabs are made by roasting chunks of lamb on a stick with cumin and chili powder.

Uyghur food at Kusan

At Kusan, our mission is to share the best of Uyghur food culture with you. On our menu, you’ll find all of the specialities listed and many more delicious homemade dishes. Our menu is designed to bring the best of Uyghur and Central Asian Halal food culture to the community in Silicon Valley. We prepare each dish with fresh ingredients, authentic recipes, and pride for our culture.

Here in San Jose, California, Kusan is the bridge between Uyghur culture and America. This mission is woven throughout everything we do. In our branding, the figure represents a traveler on the Silk Road. The basket represents ingredients, and the colors represent silk. Together these elements come together to represent our identity and passion for sharing unique Uyghur cuisine with you.

We invite you to Kusan, to enjoy a taste of our culture, live in the moment with your loved ones, and experience the culinary tradition of Central Asia. Join us for a laid-back lunch or an evening out. We can't wait to serve you something fresh and delicious.