Tuesday, January 08, 2008
A street food guide I read once recommended patronizing places where more than one family member works - a sign that their little business is popular enough to support a household. This couple works in perfect tandem - he shapes and bakes the bread and she chops up stewed chunks of pork with green pepper and stuffs it inside the round of bread, then moistens the sandwich with a ladle of dark broth before handing it to you. Rou jia mo (肉夹馍) is one of those snacks that can be boring or very, very good if done right. This family's bread is always fresh and crusty on the outside, and the sandwich is always satisfying. Even though they give you a plastic bag to use as a handle, you have to be careful of the juice running over your hands. Rou jia mo is not native to Sichuan (though it resembles the local hot pork guo kui; more on those in the future) but comes from Shaanxi. If you visit Xian you will see it more.
A close up of the sandwich, which costs 2.5 to 3 rmb or 20 to 24 cents. You can add an egg for another half rmb.