Everything You Need To Know About Xi'an's Food
It’s AMAZING! Here’s a little piece of gossip that you may not be aware of. Real Chinese food is nothing like the “Chinese” food we have in America.
Dumplings, Dumplings, and Dumplings!
We can’t talk about Xi’an’s food without mentioning the dumplings! They come in all shapes and sizes with various fillings. Beware of the yummy soup dumplings. They’re delicious but can get a bit messy if you don’t eat them properly. The trick is to start with a small nibble and suck the soup out before continuing to eat the rest of the dumpling. Don’t just chomp and watch the soup spill all over your shirt!
I learned the hard way about the soup dumplings…
Try to find the little hole in the wall places! Often, the family-owned restaurants are the best since they’ve spent years perfecting one dish!
Hope You Like Spicy!
Hot, hot, hot! Literally. Most of the food in China is served warm. Not only is the temperature of the food mostly hot, but it’s spicy! Beware of the red, hot, peppers. They are not meant to be eaten, they are just meant to flavor the food. Again, I learned this the hard way.
A Little Eclectic
If you’re from The States like I am or even from certain European countries, you may not have tried some of the delicacies of Xi’an. I’ll try anything once! Listed in order of appearance from left to right: corn ice cream, a chicken foot, fried crab on a stick, quail eggs, and pig snout.
I have to admit, I didn’t try the pig snout and the crab and I wouldn’t eat chicken foot again. Personally, I thought the chicken foot was very tendony with not much meat on it. It didn't seem worth it. The quail eggs were very good, although I prefer chicken eggs. The corn ice cream was my favorite eclectic thing I tried. It was unexpectedly good and I thought the container it came in was so cute!
The Sweets Are Not So Sweet
The desserts in Xi’an are very different from American desserts and other countries that are a little heavy handed on the sugar. You won’t find any chocolate croissants or chocolate cakes here. Instead, Xi’an opts for a subtler, more natural kind of dessert. Fruit is popular as well as the use of cream, black beans, and other naturally sweet foods. You’ll also find sweetbreads and crepes as common desserts.
I never got the official names for these desserts but they were all very yummy! I turned 20 while I was in China and my friends and I went on a hunt for something sweet and similar to a birthday cake. We didn’t find anything close to what I’m used to in America, but it was exciting to try something new!
Vegetarian or Not?
While there is definitely meat served in China, it’s not usually the main part of the meal the way it can be in America. Meat is used as a flavorful luxury in many Xi’an dishes. You’ll find about three to four small pieces of meat in your meal as opposed to the big fist-sized portions we receive in most western cultures. If you’re a vegetarian, you shouldn’t have any issues finding meatless meals here.
Hot Pot Dinner
As I mentioned above, I celebrated my birthday while I was in China. The wonderful hosts that I was staying with insisted that we all go out to a traditional hot pot dinner to celebrate. If you’re like me and have never heard of hot pot, it’s similar to a restaurant like the melting pot but without the cheese and chocolate. You all sit at a big table with various raw foods (mostly vegetables) and you cook the food in the boiling water provided for you. It was a lot of fun! Since it was my birthday, the restaurant surprised us with traditional birthday noodles. They were oddly sour noodles and not something I had ever eaten before, which made it all the more fun!
Some Extra Inspiration
Just in case you needed a few more pictures to convince you to visit Xi’an….
The food in Xi’an China was fantastic! I’m always a little worried when I travel that I’m going to gain a significant amount of weight but oddly enough, I lost weight while I was in China (and not by calorie counting)! Everything in Xi’an is hand made the day of, so it made eating healthy very easy! I can’t wait to come back! Comment below your favorite dishes from Xi’an!
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