Cumin-crusted lamb makes me weak in the knees. I developed an obsession for it years ago when living in Beijing. From lunchtime through late night hours, it was easy to find street vendors selling cumin-crusted lamb kebabs, which they would cook up right in front of you on a charcoal grill. I also made a point of eating out often at Xinjiang restaurants (run by the minority Uighurs), where you could satisfy your lamb cravings with even bigger lamb kebabs on 18-inch metal skewers.
So when I saw Robyn's post on Fu Run last month and her photos of the restaurant's famous "Muslim lamb chops", the restaurant seemed like a good excuse to not cook for one lunch out of the week, and instead head out to Flushing. Fortunately, Kian from Red Cook was also eager to try it, so we made an afternoon of it.
Last summer one of my go-to cheap light meals was the liang pi noodles ("cold skin noodles") at Xian Famous Foods, spicy noodle bliss for $4 a plate. This spicy bean noodle salad was about 10 times better, which is saying a lot. These chewy glass noodles made with mung bean and tossed with peanuts, cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers, and an amazing chili sauce were so light and refreshing that we both wanted to lick the plate. Yes, spicy food that as actually cooling and refreshing is a rare feat, but this salad definitely fit those qualities.