|Literal meaning||soaked mó|
|Place of origin||China|
|Region or state||Shaanxi|
|Main ingredients||Bread, lamb broth, lamb meat|
Paomo 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 mo (馍; 饃; mó) or mantou (馒头; 饅頭; mántóu)), cooked in lamb broth and served with lamb meat, sometimes substituted with beef.
Lamb paomo (羊肉泡馍; 羊肉泡饃; yángròu pàomó) 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 beef version is beef paomo (牛肉泡馍; 牛肉泡饃; niúròu pàomó). Paomo is often eaten with pickled garlic and chili sauce.
One legend about its origin is that in the late Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, Zhao Kuangyin, the founding emperor of the Song dynasty, 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.
After Zhao Kuangyin became the 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 "lamb paomo".