Shaanxi cuisine

Shaanxi cuisine
Traditional Chinese 陝西菜
Simplified Chinese 陕西菜
Qin cuisine
Chinese 秦菜

Shaanxi cuisine, or Qin cuisine, is derived from the native cooking styles of Shaanxi Province and parts of northwestern China.


Shaanxi cuisine makes elaborate use of ordinary materials, and is best known for its pork and lamb/mutton dishes. It makes heavy use of strong and complex flavours. There is an emphasis on savoury flavours such as salt, garlic, onion and vinegar; sugar is seldom used. The main cooking methods are steaming, frying and stir-frying.

Due to its geographical location between the provinces of Shanxi and Sichuan, the flavours of Shaanxi cuisine include both the sour and spicy of Sichuan, and the salty flavours of Shanxi.

Shaanxi cuisine uses more noodles than other Chinese cuisines, but Shaanxi noodles are almost always thicker and longer than those of Beijing cuisine, and to a lesser degree, Shanxi cuisine.

The taste of Shaanxi cuisine can be quite spicy, however this can be diluted by adding soy sauce. Many different types of meat are used in Shaanxi cuisine such as duck, lamb, chicken, and beef. Additionally, there are vegetarian dishes where no meat is included, the extra flavour being provided by more spices, resulting in these dishes being considerably spicier.

Regional styles

Shaanxi cuisine includes three regional styles:

  • Northern Shaanxi style is characterised by the wide use of steaming as the method of cooking. The most common meat is pork, although lamb and mutton are also popular.
  • Guanzhong style, which uses pork and lamb / mutton equally with heavy flavours and tastes.
  • Hanzhong style, similar to Sichuan cuisine, is characterised by its spicy taste.

Notable dishes

EnglishTraditional ChineseSimplified ChinesePinyinImageNotes
Biangbiang noodlesbiángbiáng miàn
Crispy fried noodles金線油塔金线油塔jīn xiàn yóu tǎ
Cured beef and lamb臘牛羊肉腊牛羊肉là niú yáng ròu
Gourd head葫蘆頭葫芦头húlú tóuA dish made from pig's large intestine. It is called "gourd head" because the pig's large intestine looks like the top of a gourd. It originated as street food during the Northern Song dynasty. Since then, the dish has evolved to include variations with meat fillings inside the pig's large intestine, as well as the inclusion of other ingredients.
Guokui鍋盔锅盔guōkuīA kind of pancake made from flour. It is round in shape, about a foot long in diameter, an inch in thickness, and weighs about 2.5 kg. It is traditionally presented as a gift by a grandmother to her grandson when he turns one month old.
Hanzhong hot rice noodles漢中熱米皮汉中热米皮Hànzhōng rè mǐ pí
Lamb paomo羊肉泡饃羊肉泡馍yáng ròu pào móBreak the cake into pieces, put them into a bowl and pour boiling beef or mutton broth before serving it.
Lamb soup水盆羊肉水盆羊肉shuǐ pén yáng ròu
Mingsixi明四喜明四喜míng sì xǐAs Shaanxi is located far away from the coast, seafood hardly features in Shaanxi cuisine. This dish, composed of ingredients such as abalone, sea cucumber, squid, Shaoxing wine and clear chicken broth, is served only at major banquets and festivals in Shaanxi.
Qishan saozi noodles岐山臊子麵岐山臊子面Qíshān sàozǐ miàn
Rose mirror cake玫瑰鏡糕玫瑰镜糕méiguī jìng gāoA type of pastry made from glutinous rice. It is round in shape and looks like a mirror.
Roujiamo肉夾饃肉夹馍ròu jiā móIt is a famous snack in Shaanxi and can be found everywhere in China.
Shaanxi style liangpi陝西涼皮陕西凉皮Shǎnxī liángpí
Spicy soup胡辣湯胡辣汤hú là tāng
Vermicelli in lamb's blood soup粉湯羊血粉汤羊血fěn tāng yáng xuéA soup composed of ingredients such as congealed lamb's blood, paomo and other condiments. It is eaten with vermicelli and coriander.



  1. Tudoujiang (土豆酱) (25 June 2015). "Shaanxi on the tip of your tongue (舌尖上的陕西)". Red Meal Net (红餐网) (in Chinese). Retrieved 26 June 2017.
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