The Gourd Chicken, or Hu Lu Ji in Chinese, known as the "No. 1 Taste" early back to the Tang Dynasty, is still a classic and popular Shaanxi dish that everyone knows it.
Why is it called the gourd chicken?
There are two versions of story behind the name. One says that the name Hu Lu Ji derives from the Chinese Hu Lun Ji, meaning a whole chicken. Another version goes that the chicken looks like a gourd after being cooked. Perhaps both statements are correct, because it is indeed such a whole gourd-shaped chicken.
The gourd chicken follows strict production process. The chicken is local Wowo chicken which is about two catties. After processing, immerse it in a quality broth made of various spices and then steam it. After that, put it in a frying pan and then remove it immediately. The last process is pouring the chicken body over and over again with boiling oil until the chicken skin is golden and crisp.
Here comes the most important quality of the gourd chicken. The skin is crispy and the meat is so tender that meat is separated from the bone with a stroke. Dip it with chili or cumin, and it will taste better.
Where can we eat such delicious gourd chicken?
Here are five restaurants I strongly recommend.
Bamboo gourd chicken
The first one is of course the Bamboo Gourd chicken. Although it is far from the downtown, many people come here especially for the classic chicken, and the yard in front of the restaurant is often crowded with cars.
Address: Guodu, Chang'an District, Xi'an City (next to the South Gate of Xi'an University of Foreign Studies Chang'an Campus)
Gourd chicken/húlu jī,
Candied sweet potato/básī hóngshǔ,
Braised three dishes/huì sān xiān
Consumption: about 50 yuan/person
Zhaixiangzi Shaanxi Cuisine
Note that it is the Zhai Xiang Zi, not the Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi in Chengdu city. Gourd chicken is the signature dish here. It is unique in shape, delicious in taste, with crispy outside skin and tender meat inside. You will definitely like it!
Address: Fenxiang, South Street, Xi'an
Gourd chicken/Húlu jī,
Strip meat/Tiáozi ròu,
Hawthorn and yam/Shānzhā Xiān Shānyào
Consumption: about 65 yuan/person
03长安大排档/Chang'an Food Stall
The food stalls in each city contain the most unique dishes in the city. Chang'an food stalls are no exception. In this Chang'an Food Stall, you can not only eat all kinds of Xi'an delicacies, but also see folk performances such as shadow puppets and Shaanxi Opera.
Address: West of Yitian Holiday World, Chaoyangmen, Huancheng East Road
Chang'an Gourd Chicken/ Cháng'ān húlu jī,
Steamed Tripe with Bean Curd/dòu pí shuàn niú dǔ,
Guanzhong Six Small Bowls/guānzhōng liù xiǎo wǎn
Consumption: about 70 yuan/person
Although this is not a famous Shaanxi restaurant, the gourd chicken in the restaurant is great. If you are in the Gaoxin District, give it a try~
Address: 4th Floor, Sunshine World, Gaoxin Information Avenue, Gaoxin District
Gourd Chicken/Yùjiàn cháng'ān húlu jī,
Chang'an Fried Dumplings/cháng'ān dà guōtiē,
Red Willow Roast/hóngliǔ kǎoròu
Consumption: about 60 yuan/person
Jiangchengxiaoguan· Home-made South Shaanxi Cruisine
This is a chain of Shaanxi restaurants from Hanzhong city. There are currently three stores in Xi'an. You might as well try the authentic southern Shaanxi cuisine.
Address 1: 6th Floor, Saga International Shopping Center, Xiaozhai East Road, Yanta District (Xiaozhai Station of Metro Line 2)
Address 2: First Floor, Atravise Executive Hotel, No.51, Ximutoushi, Beilin District (Bell Tower Station of Metro Line 2 )
Address 3: Second Floor, Shishang South Yard, Nanyuan Gate, Wuweishizi Street, Beilin District (Bell Tower Station of Metro Line 2 )
Qinpai Gourd Chicken/ Qín pài húlu jī,
Ziyang Steamed Pots/ zǐyáng zhēng pénzi,
Hanshui Pickled Fish/hàn shuǐ suāncài jiāng tuán
Consumption: about 80 yuan/person
Tip: eat the gourd chicken as soon as possible after it is served,
so that you can feel the unique taste!