A just-baked lamb burger
URUMQI, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Hamburger? No, it's a lamb burger! The delicious sandwich is an innovative variety of food that combines crunchy Khleb, or Russian bread, and tender lamb of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China.
The dish is invented by Gao Yajie, 46, from Tacheng City, Xinjiang. She has created the special sandwich inspired by her late grandmother, who came from Russia and was a master baker.
The old lady left Russian and arrived at Tacheng in 1934 with her parents. She was then eight years old, and lived in Tacheng for the rest of her life. Inheriting the craft of making Russian cuisine, she also passed on what she had learned to Gao Yajie.
"When I was young, I helped my grandma cook. It was exhausting but I had grasped my grandma's secret recipes," Gao recalls. She learned how to make Khleb and Russian roast meat.
Gao opened a restaurant and built a Russian-style oven in the yard. With the oven, she can bake delicious and tender meat.
One month before Gao's grandmother passed away, the old woman came to Gao's restaurant and taught her to brew Russian honey beer. It's a day Gao will never forget.
To cherish the memory of her grandmother, Gao has revised Grandmother's special dish, lamb with naan, which is a kind of flat bread, into lamb burger. Food cooked according to the special recipe has become an immediate success and they are popular in town.
Following is the recipe for making lamb burger:
- Select a fresh leg of lamb, and slice the meat into cubes. Season the meat with salt, cumin and chili powder for two hours.
- Prepare the dough in the same way of making traditional Khleb. Knead the dough until it is neither too hard nor too soft.
- Knead the dough into a wrap of about one centimeter thick.
- Put the seasoned lamb and sliced onions at the center of the wrap, work it into the shape of a leg of lamb.
- Put it into the oven. The temperature and duration of baking are important. If it is too hot, the wrap will get burnt; or the fillings will be undercooked if there is not enough heat.
Gao Yajie's younger brother put the burgers into the oven.
After four hours' baking, the golden color of the wrappings signify the burgers are ready.
The freshly-baked lamb burgers are crispy outside but juicy inside.
(All photos by Hu Huhu)