Gansu cuisine
Traditional Chinese甘肅菜
Simplified Chinese甘肃菜

Gansu cuisine, also known as Long cuisine (陇菜), is the regional cooking style of the Han Chinese deeply influenced by the local Hui people in the Gansu province of Northwestern China.

Characteristic features

Gansu was the historical destination along the Silk Road that marked the entrance into China through the Hexi Corridor. All migration into China by the Northern Silk Road including economic and military passed through Gansu leading to the formation of Arabic, Islamic, and Chinese cultural characteristics within the region.[1][2]

Islam has historically dominated the region lending the strong practice of halal among local Hui and Han populations.[3][4][2] Gansu cuisine is unique for the signature Hui influence that is found only in Northwest China.[5] The halal preference has shaped the cuisine to revolve around roasting, steaming, and braising of primarily beef and mutton/lamb but seldom pork (in accordance to halal doctrine) and chicken[1][3][2][5][6] despite the two animals being most common in other Chinese cuisines.

The climate for Northwestern China is generally too arid and cold to grow rice making wheat, barley, millet, beans, and sweet potatoes as the main sources of starch.[1][6] Gansu is famed throughout China for their regional variation to hand-pulled noodles[6] locally referred to as "dragon whiskers"[2] which are skillfully stretched until the noodles are near needle-like in thinness hence their name.[7] Other famed starchy dishes are steamed buns, dumplings, and pancakes.[2]

The regional terrain ranges from desert, mountain, and plains making local dishes hearty and fulfilling[6] by usually being very fatty and oily.[1][3]

Salty, sour, and spicy are the prevailing flavors in dishes.[3][2][5][6][8]

Gansu cuisine is also influenced by the strongly Islamic provinces of Xinjiang and Ningxia[1] as well as the Sichuan province.[5]

Notable dishes

Name Chinese Pinyin Picture Notes
Lanzhou Beef Noodles 牛肉拉面 niúròu lāmiàn Also known as "Lanzhou lamian" is a beef soup with hand-pulled noodles originating from Lanzhou that can be found across China.[1][4][2][5][9]
Grabbing Mutton 手抓羊肉 shǒu zhuā yángròu Comes from how people would grab the mutton from street vendors to eat on the go.[1][3][4]
Stir-Fried Hump with Five Shredded Toppings 驼峰炒五丝 tuófēng chǎo wǔ sī The fatty meat of the camel's hump is diced then stir-fried along with shredded leek, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, ham, and chicken breast. The rarity of the dish made it a luxury.[1][3][4][5][6][10]
Snowy Mountain Camel Hoof 雪山驼掌 xuěshān tuó zhǎng Actually made from the tendon. Steamed with whole chickens for 7/8 hours until tender. Sliced and molded back into the shape of a hoof topped with cooked egg white.[1][3][4][5][6]
Jingyuan Yellow Braised Lamb Meat 靖远黄焖羊肉 jìng yuǎn huáng mèn yángròu A Geographically Protected Product in China. Cooked in a variety of methods from frying to braising in 10 Chinese medicinal herbs. Signature to the Jingyuan people.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Gansu's culinary culture and heritage". Reuters. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Gansu cuisines". China Discover. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Gansu Cuisine". CHINA & ASIA CULTURAL TRAVEL. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Gansu Food". Chinese Food Wiki. 4 January 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Lanzhou Dining -- What to Eat". Travel China Guide. 15 April 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas, Heather (24 May 2016). "Gansu Province Food". Learn Chinese History. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Gansu Cuisine Cultural Exhibition held in Lanzhou". This is Lanzhou. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Gansu Famous Dishes Which are the most famous dishes in Gansu. How many classic representative dishes of Gansu have you eaten?". INEWS. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  9. ^ "Explore Chinese Regional Cuisines". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Gansu Cuisine". China Planner. Retrieved 31 July 2022.