Xian has some popular snacks you can try that differ from those from other cities. Maybe it is Xian’s history of being a Silk Road terminus or the presence of Muslims, but the snacks seem more familiar to Westerners than snacks further south. Popular snacks are Roujiamo, Xian Kabobs, Mutton Paomo, Guan Tang Baozi (Juicy Bun), quick noodle dishes, Muslim fruitcakes, honey cakes, and dried fruit. See must-taste Chinese foods.
Cold noodle refers to a kind of traditional noodle food with Korean favor. It is said that people, who eat long Cold Noodle at noon of the Fourth day of the first lunar month, can be expected with many happy returns. According to this belief, people also called cold noodle as longevity noodle (meaning auspicious).
Traditional ways of preparing this dish require appropriate proportion of flour mixture (buckwheat flour and flour). Another basic ingredient is beef or chicken soup which should be skimmed oil after cooling down. Sesame oil, pepper, MSG and other seasoning should be put on the top of the noodle, and then you can add some beef, egg or apple and pear slice as you like. Cooked in this way, cold noodle has unique flavor as well as smooth taste, very popular with all ages.
Tips: Eating cold noodles along with mustard and vinegar are better, since the condiments not only give sweet and sour taste but also bring other benefits to human body. To enjoy this traditional food, Hanluoshan Restaurant is a good choice for it is managed by a native Korean.
Dumpling in Sour Soup
With a history of over 1000 years, the Dumpling in Sour Soup properly deserves the name as an ancient flavor snack. Mutton dumplings are placed in a special sour soup before serving to the customers, hence the name. The name reflects its distinctive feature: sour taste.
Sour soup boasts for its wide rage of ingredients amounting to over 13 kinds. The most comment ones are sweet vinegar, dried shrimps, cooked sesame, chicken oil and butter, just to name a few. Mixing Vinegar (adding 30% water) with star anise, fennel, and cloves is a necessary process to cook sweet vinegar. And when the ingredients boiled, put sweet vinegar (sugar and vinegar as the proportion of 50:1) into the sour. 30 minutes later, this cate will be well prepared.
You can visit Dengjia Restaurant, a ten years old restaurant located in Fen Lane, to eat dumpling in sour soup.
Lao Tong Cured Mutton
Lao Tong Cured Mutton has been popular for over one hundred years in China, featuring nice fragrance, crisp meat quality and bright colors with white and red. Made with 6 complex progresses, the smell and the greasy element of the mutton have been cleared up, leaving the essence of the mutton. Lao Tong cured mutton even has been praised by Empress Cixi, a empress in the end of Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). In the theory of traditional Chinese medical science, eating mutton is benefit to whet the appetite and enhance the nutrition. Lao Tong Cured Mutton with unique flavor can be worth to taste.
1. Visitors can relish the cured mutton in a local restaurant named Nianzhipo Lao Tong Family.
Address: No. 162, Beiguangji Street, Lianhu District, Xi’an 莲湖区北广济街162号
Tel: 029-87240839 (25yuan)
2.Products for packaged Lao Tong cured mutton are available in Xi’an; visitors also can buy these products and bring home to relish them with family members.
Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup
Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup is the unique local snacks founded in Xi’an, with its history dating back to the 11th century BC. It well cooked with rich ingredients so as to form a pleasant flavor, thick soup and overflowing smell. Moreover, it offers a long and strong aftertaste with rich nutrition.
With functions of hungry-resistance and comforting stomach, Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup has been deeply loved by Xi’an local people and other nationalities for a long time.
Added high-quality beef and mutton with ingredients into the pan, we should reserve the soup after a-long-time cooking. Baked pancake have to be split into small pieces and then be continued cooked in the soup. Finishing the dish, a small bowl of soup will make your mouth filling exceptional fragrance. After eating it, the pleasant aftertaste will make you feel refreshed and you will definitely want another one.
The cake is a famous snack in a county of Shaanxi Province, Fuping County. Today, it becomes of the popular snacks in the whole province of course including Xi’an City. With an appropriately salty taste, the cake has golden external surface with crisp mouth-feel and soft core with great fragrance. The history of the cake can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), more than 2,000 years. Because the Queen Mother Bo (the mother of Emperor Wendi of the Han Dynasty) likes the cake very much, the cake was given a name, Taihou Cake (Taihou is a Chinese name of Queen Mother). Eating the cake with sugar garlic will have a better taste. .To enjoy the Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup, you can visit the famous Lao Sun Jia restaurant (with a history of over a hundred years) and the Li Ming restaurant.
Fan Family Braised Pork
Fan Family braised pork is made with fresh pork, after stewed with more than 10 condiments (packaged in a bag). When eating, the braised pork with some juice is contained between steamed bread. Fan Family braised pork is delicious without greasy but soft mouthfeel and aromatic fragrance.
Roujiamo: Finely Chopped Pork Stuffed in Baked Pancake
Roujiamo is mainly dominated by two categories in two regions. One is bacon stuffed in baked pancake which is popular in Shaanxi region, and the other one is with mutton stuffing commonly in Ningxia region.
Bacon and baked pancake combined properly together to form the celebrated Roujiamo with wonderful flavors. Fluffy bacon plus fragrant baked pancake, with a long and pleasant aftertaste, will satisfy your stomach and eyes. This cate has awarded as the excellent dish in 1989 by the "Golden Tripod Prize"(an award promoted by the Ministry of Commerce to select high-quality foods).
Due to the complexity and specialization of the ingredients (over 30 categories) and the cooking method, the bacon has red color, fragrant smell, and unique flavor. Earning the reputation as “Chinese hamburger “, Roujiamo is deeply loved by people both at home and overseas.
Tips: Do not drink too much tea after eating pork
These are much like Western kabobs and is like the common food in the west. Various kinds of meat is skewered and cooked over fire, and spices and sauce are added. These can come with the familiar vegetables like bell pepper placed in between.
Guan Tang Baozi
These are packets of meat and vegetables and spices that are placed on flat tortilla-like pieces of bread and cooked. Baozis are a favorite all over China.
Shi Zi Bing
These are buns that are made from persimmons. Persimmons are a common and very tasty fruit that is eaten in China. If you haven’t had a persimmon, the fruit itself might be a new favorite snack for you. Shi Zi Bing are stuffed with fillings such as bean paste or sesame paste and then fried. They are sticky and sweet. In the Muslim Quarter, each one costs about 1 RMB.
Biang Biang Mian
If you want to try a bowl of noodles, these are a local specialty that is made with wide noodles and served with toppings of eggs, tomatoes, and beef.
In the Muslim Quarter and on many city streets, there are Muslims selling their very thick and nutty fruitcakes. These cakes may be a foot thick and very big and be highly decorated. Good fruitcakes can taste very good.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
In the Muslim Quarter of the city that is close to the Drum Tower, a lot of shops and people with carts on the streets sell dried fruit like raisins and dates, different kinds of seeds like sunflower seeds, walnuts, peanuts and etc. These are readily available natural snacks. However, be careful about the cleanliness of the fruits and nuts. One way to make sure that the natural food is good to eat is to drop them in boiling water or rinse them in boiling water.
Feng Mi Zong Zi
If you love honey, Feng Mi (honey) Zong Zi is a regional snack for you. Honey is mixed with glutinous rice. It is popular in the summer because it is sweet and often served cold.
Questions and Answers About Xi’an Food
I updated this article on October 10, 2013
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