Xi’an: Islamic Street Food

by gigi on April 16, 2008

One of the interesting things we discovered about Xi’an was that it actually has a fairly large Islamic community. We toured the city’s mosque in the morning, which was right next to the Islamic street market. During the summer months, it is extremely busy but since we were there during low season, it was not too bad.

xi’an islamic st

The Islamic street is actually a cluster of streets that have a variety of goods for sale and of course, food. :) One street that we went on was especially packed with street stalls selling some pretty yummy stuff.

islamic st

Our tour guide recommended a stall that sold meat buns. Thin, half-moon shaped buns were cut in half and stuffed with shredded beef. I found the bun to be a bit dry but the meat was very tasty. In fact, it actually reminded me of Montreal smoked meat! :) If I recall correctly, this cost less than a dollar.

islamic street

Next, we had a sweet dessert called a “mirror cake”. It is prepared for you when you order it and is on a hot steel plate. The cakes are lined up in the lower right hand corner of the picture below.

islamic street

As the cakes are being heated, the stall owner sprays the cake with water to keep it moist.

islamic street

When the cakes are finished heating up, they are sprinkled with sugar, peanuts, and sesame. I liked how they were not overly sweet and enjoyed their gooey but chunky texture. I forgot to take a close-up shot of the finished product…I dug in right away! But you can see in the picture below of the man sprinkling the cakes with goodies.

islamic street

I am a huge fan of street food but since I was on vacation, I made sure to try only the hot foods. The snacks and food I saw on the Islamic street were totally different from what I see in markets anywhere else and I liked how everything was Chinese but with an Islamic twist. If I ever see any of these things here in Vancouver, I’ll be one of the first to line up. :)

Price: $ (I believe everything was under $1!! I would give half dollar signs if I could. :) )

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