The Chinese Hamburger

By Sherry Zhang

肉夹馍 (roujiamo), to start, is a popular Chinese street food from China’s Shaanxi Province. Furthermore, roujiamo is also commonly acknowledged as the “Chinese Hamburger,” since it’s essentially the counterpart of an American burger. However, unlike American hamburgers, roujiamo is commonly made of pork, though some minority groups may use beef or lamb. Flavorful, the pork is stewed for several hours in a soup mixture consisting over 20 different types of spices and seasonings. Although the amount of spices and seasonings may seem absurd, a lack of herbs can make the pork taste dry and bland. After the pork is stewed, it is minced and combined with condiments such as cilantro or bell peppers. Then, the chopped pork is stuffed into a type of flatbread called baijimo. Traditionally, baijimo is baked in a clay oven, but in the modern age, most Chinese people make their baijimo in frying pans. Because China has many different regional cuisines and ethnic groups, roujiamo is made differently from region to region. In other words, the taste of roujiamo may vary from vendor to vendor. Nonetheless, roujiamo is a scrumptious must-have food for anyone planning to visit China one day.