I discovered Xi'An Famous Foods (XFF) through an Asian creatives Facebook group I'm in and was immediately excited, because most westerners fail to realize how diverse Chinese food is. In most westerners' eyes, Chinese food is orange chicken and fried rice. I think there's also the misconception that rice is a staple across all Chinese foods. But actually, in northern China, where wheat is the abundant crop, noodles and breads are the staple. What was more exciting is XFF's meal kits. Since XFF is based in New York, being able to order their famous Biang Biang Mien (ripped noodles) and rip the noodles myself for fresh biang biang mien seemed like the perfect Christmas gift for my parents...especially my dad. So, let me tell you about our spicy Christmas meal...
First, Xi'An is in northwestern China. It's known as the first capital of China and the start of the Silk Road. As such, Xi'An boasts a flavorful mix of Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine. And due to an abundance of spices from trade, dishes tend to be spicy! If you just look at XFF's menu, you'll see that almost everything is bathing in a bright red chili sauce.
Now let's talk about the meal kits. It may seem intimidating to make your own ripped noodles, and the instructions may even overwhelm you, but XFF actually makes it really easy. All you have to do is chop the pre-portioned veggies, rip the noodles, cook the meat if your kit comes with mean, and then mix it all together. It's also incredibly quick. Takes no more than half an hour to prepare and cook everything.
My husband and I had a lot of fun rolling out the dough, stretching it, then banging it on the table before ripping it and tossing it in the boiling pot of water. Our toddler also got a kick out of the process.
According to XFF, each kit serves 4, and their instructions are for 1 serving. But let me just say, you can definitely feed A LOT more than 4 people with one kit. That being said, the noodles were not the sole main dish of our Christmas meal. It was one of several, plus lots of side dishes. Still, I think that one kit could actually feed 6-8 people. Guess maybe it depends on how hungry you are.
The final result was delectably chewy noodles and an extremely happy family. I'm not getting paid to say this, so you know this is genuine. I mostly just wanted to share with you a little bit of cultural insights and a yummy meal you may consider trying in the future...unless you're not able to handle spice very well. My husband isn't able to handle spice too well, but he said he tried a noodle and tried to wipe off some of the chili. It was still too spicy for him, but he said that the noodle was indeed very good.
So there you go! If you're in New York, I'd highly recommend visiting one of their restaurants. I'd really love to try their famous spicy cumin lamb burger. If you're not in New York, but you're somewhere in the States, you should try out one of their meal kits some time. It's as much a fun family activity as it is a delicious meal.
Have you ever had Xi'An Famous Foods??