Xi’an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York’s Favorite Noodle Shop

Abrams. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781419747526. $35. COOKING
Wang’s father, David Shi, started Xi’an Famous Foods as a tiny stall selling the street food of his native western Chinese city, Xi’an. Many years later, as word spread and lines grew, Xi’an Famous Foods expanded to ten stores in New York. Xi’an cuisine is full of gutsy flavors with Szechuan peppercorns and chiles, but as befits a city on the Silk Road, it also includes spices more traditionally associated with Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, such as cumin and cardamom. Interwoven throughout recipes, such as Liang Pi “Cold Skin Noodles” and the signature Spicy Cumin Lamb, is an affecting immigrant story that traces the family’s journey from provincial China to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the urban core of the Northeast. Although we don’t necessarily know what the future of restaurants will be, there are lessons here for surviving upheaval.
VERDICT While challenging for beginning cooks, this enjoyable and readable offering features clear instructions and inspiring recipes that are well within the reach of the home kitchen. Wang’s DIY ethos makes the hard work fun.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing