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Restaurants & Bars 5

Uzbek food

Derek Mancini-Lander | May 7, 2002 06:56 PM

Hi all,

About a year ago, I spent some time in Uzbekistan and did a lot of eating. One of the regular items in Samarqand was a shashlik (or kebab) made entirely out of cubes of fat, which were grilled in the tandoor. My friend and I called them "white shashliks". I wouldn't go for two skewers full, but it works as a nice change-up with a second stick of beef or mutton. The cool thing was that they were often consumed with, of all things, kim chi... that's right... kim chi! There are so many Korean businessmen in Samarqand and Tashkent (evidenced by all the Daewoo cars) that kim chi has become available in many of the bazaars, and it seems that it has influenced the local cuisine.

Anyway, does anyone know where I can find a kebab house that serves this fantastic fat kebab? It need not be an Uzbek restaurant, as far as I understand things, this sort of thing is done in Afghanistan, as well as the other Central Asian republics, and maybe even Iran too.

Can anyone help me out?! I'm dying for that melt in the mouth goo!

Also, there was a kind of unsweetened milk puddingish type specialty eaten for breakfast in Bukhara, which was called khaymak (not related to the sweet stuff eaten in Turkey and other places). This stuff was amazing and I need to find some here or at least learn how to make it. I kept asking how to make it, but was given vague answers like, "boil milk over a low flame for a whole day," which I tried but was left with only a yellow watery layer of scum, not the heavenly white pillow of Bukharan khaymak. Are there any Bukharis out there who can help me?

Thanks,

-Derek

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