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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Xi'an Culture  »  Xi'an Traditional Food  »  Steamed Mutton
Steamed Mutton

Steamed mutton(羊肉泡馍) is a famous snack in Xi’an. Steamed mutton in the past is a tribute to the emperor's diet and in ancient times, it was called "mutton soup". The history of mutton soup can be traced back 11th centuries BC, when it also listed as king, princes of the ceremony dishes. Lanzhou and Xi'an steamed mutton are very different. Lanzhou steamed mutton is cooked lamb cut into large parts, put noodles, garlic, parsley into mutton soup, and then you can eat authentic mutton soup. As for the bun, Xi'an bun is unleavened (without fermented surface), and Lanzhou bun is a very tasty local made bread, flour keeping the original flavor even with no seasoning

According to legend, steamed mutton is originated from the ancient "mutton soup", dating back more than 2,000 years of history. But the most talked about is the story of between steamed mutton and Song Dynasty emperor Zhao Kuangyin.

It is said that by the end of the Five Dynasty, when Zhao Kuangyin was yet unsuccessful, penniless and destitute. One day, in Chang'an (Xi'an ancient times) the streets, because hungry, the poor man had to head to a shop to beg for food. Shopkeepers saw that he was poor, took a few days remaining two biscuits to him. But the biscuits were dry and hard, Zhao Kuangyin couldn’t bite. Then he smelled meaty, not far from the original shop where there was a butcher shop with boiled mutton. Zhao Kuangyin went to the shop for a bowl of mutton soup, put the hard and dry biscuits and break it into small pieces soak into the soup. Unexpectedly, inhale the aroma of fried bowl of broth, the broth soaked biscuits. Zhao Kuangyin got hot after eating the mutton soup.

A few years later, Zhao Kuangyin mastered the military power and did the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty. When the emperor Zhao Kuangyin was fed up with daily delicacies, as time went by, his mouth did not taste. One day, he suddenly remembered the warm bowl of incense to the heart through the body, "mutton soup" immediately ordered the cook to do it. But the taste was not the same as before.

Once, Zhao Kuangyin went out for inspections and went to Chang'an, then unknowingly wandered to the street, and smell that returning meaty. At this moment, Zhao Kuangyin went straight to the butcher and ordered the owner immediately to cook a bowl of "steamed mutton." But the store owner saw the emperor was both a pleasant surprise and a little fear. When steaming, fragrant steamed mutton was finally put in front of Zhao Kuangyin, he immediately found the feeling of that year. Then, the emperor eat the steamed mutton when guards watched in amazement. After eating, Zhao Kuangyin whole body relaxed, immediately reward the store.

Overnight, the emperor eat steamed mutton and it was spread in the city of Chang'an. More and more people were attracted to taste delicious food. Over time, steamed mutton became Chang'an people’s favorite snack which has spread so far. Delicious steamed mutton continue to appear in Shaanxi history and literature, and perhaps also because the emperor, thus known as "the first bowl in the world." Founded in 1920, Xi'an Tongshengxiang sheep (cattle) steamed meat production techniques are also included in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage.




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