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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 4 dishes to try in Xi'an - Eating like a local in Xi'an
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4 dishes to try in Xi'an - Eating like a local in Xi'an

Xiao Long Baos means soup dumplings. While this may sound rather strange, these are little pockets of delicious dumplings with an even more delicious broth inside. The process of making Xiao Long Baos is to mix gelatin with the broth, so the jelly-like broth can be used as a filling with little problem. Once the dumplings are steamed, though, jelly dissolves and you are left with a little pocket of delicious broth. While there are many types of meat that are used in Xiao Long Baos, one of the best and must try are the lamb meat soup dumplings. Make sure to lightly dip the dumpling in the vinegar/chilli sauces that are provided for an interesting twist.

1

Rou Jia Mo

Rou Jia Mo can be called the Chinese Hamburger. It is essentially a pita bread/bun that has a spicy braised pork filling. The Chinese Hamburger usually uses a generous amount of chilli oil as a condiment. However, if you are trying this at a exclusive restaurant which is usually found around higher-end accommodation in Xian (think of popular chains like Citadines Gaoxin Xian), you can request they hold off on the chilli oil. Be warned, though, that most of the taste comes from the chilli oil. The aroma of the meat filling is out of the world, and it would be a shame to have a Rou Jia Mo that fails to live up to its enticing aroma.

2

Xiao Long Baos

Xiao Long Baos means soup dumplings. While this may sound rather strange, these are little pockets of delicious dumplings with an even more delicious broth inside. The process of making Xiao Long Baos is to mix gelatin with the broth, so the jelly-like broth can be used as a filling with little problem. Once the dumplings are steamed, though, jelly dissolves and you are left with a little pocket of delicious broth. While there are many types of meat that are used in Xiao Long Baos, one of the best and must try are the lamb meat soup dumplings. Make sure to lightly dip the dumpling in the vinegar/chilli sauces that are provided for an interesting twist.

3

Liang Pi

Translated to the rather ominous meaning of "cold skin" Liang Pi is a type of wheat/rice flour-based noodles dish that is utterly delicious. The process of making Liang Pi noodles is a long and interesting one: you place the dough in a bowl and add water, leaving it overnight. By the morning, the starch of the dough and the liquid have separated. The starch that is collected at the bottom of the bowl is then poured into a long flat tray and cut to form a noodle-shape. If you are a fan of smooth dishes, this is not for you. The noodles are a little rough in texture and not as slippery as one usually expects them to be. The dish is served with different condiments, though a popular option is with sesame peanut sauce and chilli oil.

4

Paomo

Paomo is a delicious soup served with lamb meat and vermicelli noodles, alongside hard bread that is soaked in the soup. The history of the dish says that is was the invention of the Emperor Zhao Kuangyin, who when returning home and with little money at hand, had ordered lamb soup at a small vendor and thrown in what little hard bread he had on him into the broth. While lamb paomo is the most popular, there is a beef version as well which you can try. The dish can have a strong smell, though, so it would be prudent to have gum at hand.

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