||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Chinese Wikipedia. (November 2013)|
A bowl of paomo served in the cafeteria of Xi'an Jiaotong University
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|Bread, lamb broth, lamb meat|
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Paomo (Chinese: 泡馍; pinyin: pàomó; literally "soaked mó") is a specialty of Shaanxi cuisine and is a typical food eaten in the city of Xi'an. It is a hot stew of chopped-up steamed leavened bread (known regionally as 馍 or 饅頭, pinyin: mó or mántóu) cooked in lamb broth and served with lamb meat, or the lamb substituted with beef. Paomo yangrou (Pita bread soaked in lamb soup; 羊肉泡馍)  is made of lamb soup and a great amount of flat bread. When making this dish, the cook breaks the bread into small pieces and adds them to the lamb soup. The lamb stew is called yangrou paomo (羊肉泡馍) and the beef version niurou paomo (牛肉泡馍). It is often eaten with pickled garlic and chili sauce.
One legend about its origin is that in the late five dynasties in China, Zhao Kuangyin (赵匡胤) who became the emperor of the Song Dynasty nation returned to his hometown after seeing his fiancée off. He had consumed most of his food and money on the journey. He had only two pieces of inedible big hard bread. His party went through a shop selling lamb soup and broke the bread in pieces and added it to the soup.
When he became emperor he returned to the small shop and asked the cook to make it again. After the meal, the emperor could not hide his happiness and named it Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb Soup.
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