Dunhuang’s cuisine is heavily influenced by nomads, so grilled mutton is the most popular dish in both restaurants and hotels in this vibrant city. Dunhuang dishes are recognized as one of the New Eight Cuisines of China. Below are some recommendations of traditional dishes to sample.
What to eat
Camel Hoof on Silk Road
A dish, also known as Camel Hoof on Jokul, got its name for its shape that is like camel. To prepare, the hoof is cleaned and marinated in water until soft, then flavored with some seasoning and steamed together with chicken for seven or eight hours until the bones can be easily removed. The hoof is then cut into pieces, seasoned and braised in bamboo steamer for two or three hours. Finally, egg white is use to make the Jokul, putting them together to create shape of camel hoof on Jokul.
Stir-fried Hump with Five Shredding
This traditional Dunhuang dish has as its primary ingredient Camel hump, accompanied with shredded Yulan (dried bamboo shoot), Dongru (a type of mushroom), leek shoots, ham and chicken breast. It is featured in fat and soft meat.
Three Treasures of Anxi
Consists of Suoyang Wine, Guazhou Melon and Shuangta Fish, is a source of Anxi dining culture.
Fry Oil Cake
Stuffed sugar candy, rose essence, walnut and sesame in flour that is rounded, and then fried. The cakes are fragrant, crisp, and taste sweet.
A kind of Lamian (dough stretched to form fine noodles), Yellow Noodles look like golden threads, tastes delicious and have a soft texture. They can be added to soups, or mixed with cooked vegetable dishes.
Niang Pi Zi
A popular traditional fast food that is both a little spicy and vinegary. It is prepared by mixing flour and water together in a bowl, then ladle the mixture onto an iron plate, after steaming for one minute, the mixture become a wafer thin cake. Cut the cake into strips, leave until cool and flavor with mustard, garlic, capsicum, sauce and vinegar.
Where to eat
Daji Lvrou Huangmian Restaurant
Reputed to be the most famous restaurant in Dunhuang, serving local dishes. Donkey meat and yellow noodles in this restaurant attracts many people, locals or tourists.
Tianshi Caigenxiang Restaurant
This restaurant serves food with northwest China flavor, and dishes are mainly beef, mutton, and liberal in portion size.