Xinjiang Lamb Rice

November 2, 2022

For those interested in authentic Xinjiang cuisine, go no farther than this Lamb Rice, or Xīnjiāng shou zhuā fàn (新疆手抓饭) in Mandarin. You should save it for the holidays because it’s so exceptional. The people of Xinjiang, often known as the Uyghur, place a high value on sheep. You may make money off their wool, and their milk is a necessary element of their diet.

Indicative of the growing influence of China’s middle class is the popularity of this simple, familiar cuisine. While you wait, though, if you enjoy lamb, you can give this recipe a shot. Our Rice Cooker Ribs and Rice recipe, which many of you have tried and liked, is a good analog for this preparation method.


  • 2 pounds of fatty lamb (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
  • 1 pound of carrots (cut into thin strips)
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of uncooked white rice
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder


  1. For 30 minutes, put the rice in oak. Drain and put away.
  2. Cook the lamb in 4 cups of water with the ginger while the rice soaks. Lamb can be blanched while the rice is soaking by adding it and some ginger to a pot of water and boil.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb cubes and set them aside, making sure to drain any extra liquid. Then, drain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Do not discard the liquid; it will be used to boil the rice.
  4. Proceed to place the wok over high heat and add the oil. To obtain a lovely crust on the lamb, add JUST the fatty chunks and stir-fry.
  5. Set heat to medium-low and cook the fat until the meat begins to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Put the onion in and adjust the heat to medium. The onion should be cooked until it is clear. In order to brown the lamb on all sides, increase the heat to high and add the lamb in a single layer. You should set out a few minutes for this. Salt, soy sauce, and cumin should be added to the pot along with 2 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid set aside previously. Tent with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Carrots and raisins (if using) can be added now, and the pot should be covered for a further minute to bring the stew back to a boil. Remove the heat source.
  8. Put the rice and the remaining ingredients into the rice cooker (or a pot). Evenly disperse the rice. The liquid level shouldn’t be higher than the rice, but it should be low enough that you can see through the rice grains.
  9. Prepare the rice cooker by covering it and turning it on. For a pot, bring the ingredients to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Upon completion of the rice’s cooking time, remove the lid, stir in the remaining ingredients, and season with salt to taste.
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