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Qinghai Food

Located in northwestern ChinaQinghai Province shares a few similarities in terms of culinary culture with its neighboring provinces, including Tibet, Gansu, and Xinjiang

What to Taste in Qinghai?

Are you curious about the culinary in Qinghai, but don't know what to taste? Or perhaps, you're a connoisseur of gourmet. Now, we will introduce some foods commonly seen on the tables of Qinghai people, such as mutton, noodles, and dairy products. 


Fried and Braised Lamb are one of the most popular dishes among ethnic minorities in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The lamb is cut into chunks and put into boiling water; ingredients are added, and it is cooked over a slow fire until the meat is tender and fragrant, hot and crisp. Lamb's tendon is a local specialty of the Hui and Han peoples. Popular dishes include lamb tendon with mince, lamb tendon with silkworm juice, ginseng lamb tendon, and stewed lamb tendon with soup. A bright, light yellow color, roast lamb tendons are very tender, and the taste is extraordinary.

Recommended Restaurant:

1.Qingzhen·Yixin Mutton Restaurant (Huayuan North Street).

2.Shalihai ( 4 North Street )


Kebab ( BBQ ) is a kind of popular snack in the northwest of China, where there is a sizable Muslim population. Many vendors are seen making them at a street corner, especially in Qinghai and Xinjiang cities and towns. It is made of lean mutton cut into slices. These are stuck one after another on iron skewers, which are then arranged closely on a trough-like burner and grill over a charcoal fire. When the mutton oozes juice, salt, chili, and aniseed Powder are sprinkled on, and the mutton strings are ready to eat. Served at a formal dinner, they are made more refined, for example, coated with sesame seeds to enhance the taste.

Recommended Restaurant: Laqu Roasted Lamb Kang Guo Noodle Shop (Shuijing Alley, Chengzhong District)


Besides Qinghai Lake, the most memorable thing is Yak Yogurt, where you can find it on every street corner in Xining. With its sweet and sour taste, yogurt makes a nutritious summer drink.

Recommended Restaurant: Delu Yogurt (Mojia Street)


Liangpi (cold noodles) is another popular snack in Qinghai. Dough, rinsed in clear water until it becomes gluten, is cooked in a food steamer. The Cold Noodle can be yellow or black, very thin, and tasty. It can be served as a main dish, or appetizer to go with wine and liquor.

Recommended Restaurant: Mazhongyangchang Noodles Spicy Hot Pot (Mojiajie)


In the street restaurants of Xining or other towns, you can see a trendy soup for local people's breakfast, which is called Yasui Soup. It is made from mixed ox and sheep heads and entrails. The soup is fresh and tasty, and people often enjoy it with steam bread or fried bread. 

Recommended Restaurant: Ma'ersha Niuza (Xiguan Street Haiyi Building)


Suppose you visit a Tibetans home 100 km. From West of Xining, you will have a chance to taste Zanba, and milk tea is a concoction boiled in a pot or kettle, Refreshing, and quenching main ingredients are mild, tea and salt. Zanba is the Tibetan word for " flour sauteed in butter." It is made from milk tea, sauteed barley flour, golden butter, milky white "qulas" and sugar.  


When it comes to Xining drinks, you should taste the local Barley Wine; Qinghai is an essential base for producing barley, which is an excellent raw material for white liquor. Famous brands known for their authentic flavor and fragrance include Huzhu Barley Wine and Tianyoude produced in Huzhu Barley Distillery.


Because of the cold climate, the local people in Qinghai like to drink not only liquor but also black tea, and other beverages are also available such as green and jasmine teas. What is worth mentioning here is a kind of local traditional special tea called "wheat tea." Its name tells us that it is made from wheat, which is stir-fried, ground into a powder and then cooked together with tea. The wheat tea is considered a daily necessity for relieving fatigue, quenching thirst, and refreshing the mind.




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