Monday, September 7, 2009

Ashlyanfu Noodles at the Al-Tilek Bazaar, Karakol

Karakol has a large population of Dungan, an ethnic group of Muslim Chinese found in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and the Xinjiang province in China. Their cuisine combines Central Asian cooking with Far Eastern spices. 

Ashlyanfu Noodles are a light and delicious Dungan treat. Two types of noodles are mixed together in a bowl; cold wheat noodles and gelatinous bean noodles. The bean noodles are hand scraped from a mold.

A number of cold liquids are then added to the noodles. First, a vegetable mixture of tomatoes, green/red peppers, garlic and some fresh herbs. Then they are topped with a bit of very spicy red chili paste (beware!). Finally, a vinegary broth is poured over the dish, mixing everything together. 

The result is a tasty and fresh cold drowned noodle delicacy. Eat it with the locals on a bench at the market, and soak in the oriental atmosphere.  

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