Shaanxi cuisine makes elaborate use of ordinary materials, and is best known for its pork and lamb/mutton dishes. The flavour is strong and the taste is heavy. 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 taste of Shaanxi cuisine include both sour and spicy, in addition to the salty taste.
In comparison to other Chinese cuisines, noodles are more widely used than rice, but in contrast to the noodles of Beijing cuisine, and to a certain degree, Shanxi cuisine, the noodles of Shaanxi cuisine are nearly always wider, thicker and longer.
The taste of "Shaanxi cuisine" can be quite spicy. However, this can be diluted by adding a little soy sauce to the cuisine. Furthermore, different types of meat can be included in "Shaanxi cuisine" such as duck, lamb, chicken or beef. Additionally, there are vegetarian options in which no meat is included, but rather more spices resulting in spicier dishes.
A 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.
A 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.
As 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.