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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 30, 2022
Headline for 6 Must-Try Dishes When in Xian – Exquisite Treats for the Food Lover
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Must-Try Dishes When in Xian – Exquisite Treats for the Food Lover

If you visit the Chinese city of Xian, there will be several dishes that you must try, such as flatbread in mutton soup, kabob, Xian meat burger, cold noodles, biang-biang noodles, and more.


Flatbread in mutton soup

This dish, known as "yangrou paomo" in the local language, would truly represent the city of Xian as it is a much-loved culinary creation here. This dish which consists of shredded flatbread immersed in a mutton broth will be aromatic, spicy and tasty, making it a delight for the diner. If you order this dish in a restaurant, you will first be provided with unleavened flatbread. After you break this into small pieces, you will return it and the pieces will be stewed with vermicelli in mutton soup; finally, the result will be served to you with slices of beef or lamb.



Another very popular dish in Xian would be the tasty kabob, locally known as 'chuan'er". Many of the local people of Xian will share chuan'er with their friends as they drink beer at a restaurant late in the night. These skewers of lamb or beef are inexpensive and so tasty that they may seem addictive! Many of the locals will order large numbers of the skewers of meat – coated with chilli, cumin powder and pepper – and feast on them.


Xian meat burger

This much-loved culinary speciality is called "roujiamo" and may be described as the local hamburger. There are two important ingredients for this dish; the leavened baked bread and the braised shredded meat. It is considered that a proper roujiamo must be baked within a traditional furnace rather than an electric oven. The meat – typically a combination of lean and fat pork – must be shredded by hand and placed within the bread.


Cold noodles

Often served with roujiamo would be the local cold noodles, or "liangpi". To prepare this dish, rice noodles that have been sliced thinly are cooked and allowed to cool. Then, typically the noodles will be topped with a sauce made from chilli oil, vinegar, pepper powder and chopped garlic, followed by the addition of sliced cucumber and bean sprouts. An accommodation choice to consider where you could also enjoy this dish along with other local culinary favourites would be Grand Park Xian.


Biang-biang noodles

If you happen to visit a Chinese restaurant in Xi'an, you are sure to encounter plenty of noodle dishes. In fact, the locals enjoy a variety of different kinds of noodles, including wide, narrow, hot and cold varieties in addition to spinach noodles, egg noodles, and so on. A favoured variety would be biang-biang noodles which happen to be thick, wide and very long. These noodles would be chewy, savoury and served along with red hot peppers, vinegar, boiled bok choy and diced garlic.


Rice and date cake

This special treat is known as "zenggao" and happens to be a sweet yet not sugary food that is often enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert. To make this dish, dates, glutinous rice and kidney beans are placed overnight within a zeng, a traditional earthen utensil. Similar in appearance to a layered glazed cake, zenggao smells sweet and fruity and has a springy texture. You could enjoy this cake after you sampled the local noodles and meats.

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