Xi'an has a long history in culinary culture and has developed a unique cuisine with two culinary styles-the traditional and the modern. The traditional is characterized by the Tang Dynasty cuisine while the modern by the Shaanxi cuisine. The traditional recipes include such delicacies as Roast Piglet and Chicken in Bottle Gourd. The local flavour snacks include Steamed Bun Soaked in Mutton Soup and the Fan-Family Cured Meat Broth. Dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty banquet in Xi'an are two great inventions.
Dumpling or Jiaozi in Chinese is a traditional and popular food in China, especially in the north. At the banquet, nearly 20 varieties of dumplings that are steamed and stuffed with different delicious fillings such as vegetables, meats and seafood are served, these dumplings are not only tasty, but also characteristic with their colors and fragrance, style and culture meanings, all these make the dinner so unique that you should not miss it when traveling in Xi'an.
The most famous venues for the dumpling banquets are Defachang restaurant, also Tang Dynasty Palace and Shaanxi Grand Opera Theater where dumpling banquets can be combined with Tang Dynasty show.
Tang Dynasty Banquet
Tang Dynasty was one of the most prosperous dynasties and an open era in Chinese history, there were lots of exchanges between China and outside world, as a result, the culinary culture including the imperial cuisine was inevitably enriched.
Shaanxi people have tried to research the imperial cuisine of Tang Dynasty making it possible for you to taste typical dishes of Tang Dynasty in some of the restaurants in Xi'an. These dishes are not only tasty, colorful and fragrant with well-selected materials, but also full of cultures and legends with ancient styles.
The most famous venues for the Tang Dynasty banquets are Tang Dynasty Palace and Shaanxi Grand Opera Theatre where Tang Dynasty banquets can be combined with Tang Dynasty show.
Yang Rou Pao Mo (Steamed Bun Soaked in Mutton Soup)
The way of preparing the dish has made you interested already before it is ready to serve: first a bowl and one or two pieces of flat bread will be served, you need to break the bread into tiny chunks all by yourself, and after that, delicious mutton soup will be added in the bowl, now, it is ready for you to enjoy the broth and the break.
Griddle Steamed Bread with Mince Meat Fillings
Roujiamo is one of famous Xi'an snacks, which is made of mincemeat wrapped by griddle steamed bread. Before the mincemeat is made, the meat(with bones) must be boiled with wine, salt, rock candies, fresh gingers, shallot stems, and then a voile bag with more than twenty flavorings such as teasel nuts, cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamons, aniseeds, prickly ashes etc is put into the boiler to cook with the meat for about 3 or 4 hours. Then the meat (May still with bones) is scooped up from the boiler and boned. When eating this food, the mincemeat is put into between two pieces of just-made (not ready-made) griddle steamed bread. It looks something like sandwich but very different from sandwich in flavor. And it is very rich in protein, fat and carbohydrate. The bread tastes tender and crisp. And the mincemeat is incarnadine, pure and savory when eating.
Chopped Buckwheat Noodles
Chopped Buckwheat Noodles are Buckwheat flour noodles chopped by knife. Buckwheat is one of good minor cereals of Northern Shaanxi Province. The cereal is high-protein and low-fat, and with high vitamin contents. It is very nutritious. Shaanxi people use this cereal make many traditional foods. Among them, the Chopped Buckwheat Noodles are the most popular. They can intenerate vein, protect the vision, reducing fever, reduce pathogenic fire, promote digestion, and prevent the blood vessel of brain from hemorrhage. It is extolled as "long-life" noodles.
The noodles can be served either hot or cold. If it is served cold, flavor it with salt, vinegar, mustard, garlic sauce and hot chili. If it is served hot, warm it up in the hot soup and scoop it up and top it with stir-fried vegetables and meat. Chopped Buckwheat noodles taste a little bitter but delicious and they are beneficial all the year round for its antipyretic nature.
Liang Pi (Cold Noodles)
Liangpi (cold noodles) is a famous summer snack (also sold in winter) in Xi'an. This snack is made from wheat flour (or other starch). It looks translucent and tastes cold, and known for its white color, thin shape, smooth surface, pliable texture, tender and savory taste. It is eaten along with garlic, ginger, pepper, sauce, vinegar, bean sprouts, capsicum flour, salt, sliced cucumber, caraway, chicken essence, sesame oil etc. Male is not so interested in this delicious snack, but female is crazy about it, especially the nice girls and the elder women who have past their prime.