Uighur cuisine: The flowering of a new Asian import
A Uighur restaurant should never be confused with a Chinese restaurant, said Maura Judkis in The Washington Post. “Yes, noodles and rice are staples in both cuisines,” but Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs) are an oppressed Muslim minority in western China, and their celebrated food borrows most of its flavors from the Middle East and Central Asia. In the past six years, the Uighur population in America has jumped to at least several thousand—most of whom fled fresh threats at home and settled in the D.C. area. Now some of them are opening restaurants, any of which might convince you that Uighur food is ready to take off.
Queen AmannisaArlington, Va. The first of the area’s Uighur restaurants, this twoyear- old family-run operation is a good place to try polow, a pilaf-like dish of cuminflavored lamb, rice, and vegetables. To turn up the heat, choose the Big Plate Chicken, a potato-filled stew that’s “mouth-numbingly” peppery. 320 23rd Street S., Suite 150, (703) 414-7888
KiroranFairfax, Va. The most famous Uighur dish of all is lagman (or lahman or laghman), a stir-fry noodle dish with onions, peppers, and either lamb, beef, or chicken. As chef Shadiya Ibrahim notes, a deft cook will make lagman with a single, long handpulled noodle. 10728 Fairfax Blvd., (703) 865-5033
Dolan UyghurWashington, D.C. To make Americans feel more at home, this new Cleveland Park restaurant bills its meat-stuffed pie, called goshnan, as “Uighurstyle pizza.” Though Uighurs tend to order the rose tea, Dolan also has a full bar. 3518 Connecticut Ave NW, (202) 686-3941