Some say there are two things that you absolutely must do in visiting Xi`an: visit the terra cotta warriors and taste Yang Rou Pao Mo. a type of mutton stew.
When you order this dish. you will first be served one or two pieces of a hard flat bread. Don`t try to eat this directly – you might not be able even if you try to bite in. You are supposed to break the bread into tiny chunks. the smaller the better. in the bowl provided. The waiter or the waitress will then return your bowl to the cook who mixes the bread and mutton soup together. This steaming hot meal is then returned to you with condiments like pickled garlic. coriander. and chili sauce. You can mix these into the stew as you like.
Food in Xi’an is quite different from the rest of China. especially compared with more easterly regions. Here. at what many people consider the start of the Silk Road. you see a delicious combination of Chinese cooking with Muslim and other traditions. Lamb. for example. is a commonly consumed meat in this part of China.
Xi’an is also famous for its snack foods. like 灌汤包子. literally. buns 包子 that have soup or a sauce poured inside them. In other words. very juicy buns. Be careful not to burn yourself; the sauce inside can be quite hot.
Speaking of dumplings. you can have a whole meal of 饺子 in Xi’an at what they call the 饺子宴. a whole banquet of 饺子 in different styles and with different fillings. Not all these 饺子 are steamed or boiled either. as some are even pan-fried. deep fried or roasted. Usually. the banquet will consist of just one or two samples of each type of 饺子. as the variety is so tremendous.
Another popular dish in Xi’an is the 肉夹馍。馍 is a type of bun. so this is literally meat sandwiched inside a bun. sort of like a Xi’an style hamburger. to put it simply.#
One great place to explore some of the local snacks is the Hui Min Jie. literally. the street for the Hui nationality. a largely Muslim ethnic group. This is located near the 大清真寺 Grand Mosque. which is one of the largest mosques in all of China. The area around the mosque has retained much of its original character.
These are just a few small examples of the rich food experience waiting for you in Xi`an.