“Big plate chicken” spice pack from Urumchi

I’m not big on non-perishables that are loaded with chemicals and preservatives.  I really appreciate fresh ingredients and the time taken to produce a beautiful stew.  That said, I couldn’t resist this very unusual find today at a local market in Chinatown (the meat market next to Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant on Cherry St. called “Grocery Market” or 永順內食食品市場)

dapanji_spice

Spice pack for “Xinjiang big plate chicken” — a halal product of Urumchi

It’s an instant spice pack for a well-known Xinjiang specialty called dapanji 大盘鸡, or “big plate chicken”.  Here is a nice image found in the wiki commons for this dish:

“big plate chicken” image by pravit

Big plate chicken” is a chicken stew that is much loved in western China.  It was supposedly invented by a migrant from Sichuan to Xinjiang, and it is popular among Han and Uyghurs (and Americans).  The spices vary from something that closely resembles Chinese 5-spice to something more like traditional Uyghur qordaq (a meat and root vegetable stew native to Xinjiang).

This dish is often served with a plate of flat handmade wheat noodles, that can be dumped into the stew.

The reason I bought this (and hey, it was only $1.95) was the packaging.  This is the first product I’ve noticed in a store in the US with Uyghur writing on it.  You may notice the bag is written in three languages, Chinese, Uyghur, and Russian.  It is a halal product of Urumchi.

dapanji_spice2

Chinese, Uyghur, and Russian instructions

Inside there is a red package of paste.  Spices and oil.  It closely resembles the look and aroma of Kang shifu brand instant beef noodles (complete with meat packet).  As I write this I realize that that product too definitely deserves a post here…

UPDATE Aug. 23rd, 2014: I finally wrote that post on Kang shifu.

If you would like to try a non-instant, decent version of this dish, Xi’an Sizzling Woks on Arch and 9th does it pretty well, a spiced chicken and potato stew complete with handmade noodles. Here is an image of that, courtesy of La:

XianSizzlingWoks_dapanji

“Big plate chicken” at Philly’s Xi’an Sizzling Woks

About David Dettmann

Food obsessed and frequently nostalgic.
This entry was posted in - Featured Food Discoveries, Central Asia/Uyghur food, Chinese food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Big plate chicken” spice pack from Urumchi

  1. Pingback: Follow up on “Big plate chicken” | Asian Markets of Philadelphia

  2. Pingback: On the growing popularity of “Xi’an” and “Northwestern Chinese” cuisine | Asian Markets of Philadelphia

  3. Pingback: Xinjiang(?) Hami melons in Chinatown | Asian Markets of Philadelphia

  4. Pingback: A childhood comfort food memory via Kashgar flatbread and a savory mutton stew | Asian Markets of Philadelphia

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