Ashlyamfu – the one dish to have in Kyrgyzstan

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Generally, I am no big fan of Central Asian food. Of course lagman is the bomb, and so is plov and the occasional somza, but most dishes seem to revolve around meat, meat, and more meat. And I am just not a big fan of meat. I mean, I like it every once in a while. But not every day.

But anyway, here is my daily pic:

Here’s a lemon that I squeezed into some fizzy water:

It was supposed to act as a remedy against a cold that I could feel approaching.

Here’s the beach where I spent the late afternoon:

Here is Kaji-Say:

And here is the most awesome thing – Ashlyamfu:

This is a Dungan dish (some say it’s Uyghur). The Dungans are Chinese Muslims, most of whom emigrated from the Chinese heartland of Shaanxi in the late 19th century. I have no idea what the name Ashlyamfu means – in Cyrillic it’s spelled Ашлямфу, but that obviously doesn’t help much, either. What I am suspecting though is that this dish must be more Dungan than Uyghur, because the “fu” in the name suggests that the origin is Chinese, not Turkic.

But anyway, this dish is truly awesome. It’s a sort of noodle salad, or a noodle soup, with starch noodles and sometimes regular handpulled noodles. There can be a tiny bit of meat in it, it’s served cold, and it should be spiced rather generously (as should most Chinese-influenced dishes). It tastes fresh and light and also quite spicy sometimes.

If you come to Kyrgyzstan, do yourself a favor and have some Ashlyamfu. They serve it everywhere in the country, but the closer you get to the city of Karakol on the shores of Issyk-kul, the better it is likely to be.


  • 周苏晓

    I have lost the trace of your continual forehead letters, finally what are they trying to tell?


  • waldmeister

    这是陕西甘肃宁夏新疆一代回民的饭,在中国叫粉汤,粉就是凉粉。不知道你徒步西北的时候吃过凉粉没有,我觉得Ashlyamfu中lyam fu应该是汉语凉粉liang fen的兰银官话的发音。Ash是啥意思就不知道了,一般去回民餐馆点就直接说粉汤。凉粉儿是豌豆或者土豆做的。


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