Hulatang – A spicy Dish in Xi’an

hulatang in xi'an

Hulatang (胡辣汤), also known as Xian Hulatang or Shaanxi Spicy and Sour Soup, is a popular dish that originated in the city of Xi’an, China. It is a savory and spicy soup made with a variety of ingredients that create a unique taste and texture. Here’s an introduction to hulatang in Xi’an:


Hulatang has a long history and is said to have originated in the Shaanxi province during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It was a popular dish among the people of Shaanxi due to its spicy and warming nature, which helped them to cope with the cold winters of the region. Over time, hulatang has become a famous street food in Xi’an, and it is now widely available in many restaurants and food stalls throughout the city.


The key ingredients in hulatang include lamb or beef, vermicelli, mushrooms, wood ear fungus, bean curd, and various seasonings. The soup is also infused with a unique blend of spices, including cumin, chili powder, and Sichuan peppercorns, which give it its distinctive flavor and aroma. The soup is usually served with chopped green onions and cilantro, which add a fresh, herbal note to the dish.


To prepare hulatang, the meat is first cooked in water with spices until it is tender. The soup is then strained, and the meat is sliced thinly and added back into the soup. The vermicelli, mushrooms, and bean curd are added to the soup, along with the seasonings and spices. The soup is then simmered until all the ingredients are cooked through and the flavors are fully infused.


Hulatang is usually served hot in a deep bowl. The soup has a bright red color due to the chili powder and other spices used in its preparation. The soup has a spicy and sour taste, with a slightly numbing sensation from the Sichuan peppercorns. The vermicelli and other ingredients add a soft, chewy texture to the soup, while the meat adds a rich, savory flavor. The soup is often eaten as a meal in itself, although it can also be served as a side dish.


Hulatang is a delicious and warming soup that is loved by the people of Xi’an and visitors alike. Its unique blend of spices and ingredients make it a distinctive dish that is a must-try for anyone visiting the city. Whether enjoyed as a meal or a snack, hulatang is a true Xi’an classic that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

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