What is rou jia mo?

Rou jia mo

Rou jia mo

While it's not as ubiquitous as Cantonese sweet and sour pork or Hainanese chicken rice, China's pork burger, rou jia mo, is having its moment in the sun. Rou jia mo (also written roujiamo) is a xiao chi - China's version of a "small eat" or snack. Rou means meat and jia means to place the filling into the mo, or bread.

Originally from Shaanxi province in north-western China, the street food is mostly made with long-simmered pork, fragrant from a mix of cardamom, cloves and star anise. There are also lamb and beef versions that are given extra kick with the addition of chillies and cumin. But whatever the protein, you can expect the meat to be topped with coriander and green peppers for freshness. The meat is served on round, slightly chewy, crusty flatbread. Historically, the bread would be baked in clay ovens, but now it's most commonly cooked on a skillet.

This burger has yet to grace the hip restaurants around town, but it's popping up in Asian food courts and eateries such as Shaanxi-Style Restaurant in Melbourne's Box Hill, and Xi'an Cuisine in Sydney's Haymarket.


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
The Producers: Long Lane Capers
Five ways to celebrate women in food this International Women’s Day
David Chang’s Ugly Delicious is about to make you very hungry
Lee Tran Lam on her obsession with podcasts
Australia’s top-ranked cheeses announced
SBS to screen four top food documentaries in February
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Hot 100 2015 - Food

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Women in Hospitality

A new organisation is empowering women working in the hospit...