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.
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.