Roujiamo or rougamo (simplified Chinese: 肉夹馍; traditional Chinese: 肉夾饃; pinyin: ròujiāmó/ròugāmó; lit. 'meat sandwich')[1] is a street food originating from the cuisine of Shaanxi Province[2] and widely consumed all over China.[citation needed] In the United States, it is sometimes called a Chinese hamburger.[3][4]

Roujiamo at a Shaanxi-style restaurant in Beijing
CourseMain course
Place of originChina
Main ingredientsPork and flatbread made with yeast
VariationsBeef, lamb
Roujiamo being prepared



The meat is most commonly pork, stewed for hours in a soup containing over 20 spices and seasonings. Although it is possible to use only a few spices (which many vendors do), the resulting meat is less flavourful.

Some alternatives are also available. For example, in Muslim areas in Xi'an, the meat is usually beef (seasoned with cumin and pepper), and in Gansu Province it is often lamb. The meat is then minced or chopped and stuffed in "baijimo", a type of flatbread. An authentic baijimo is made from a wheat flour dough with yeast and then baked in a clay oven, but now in many parts of China, baijimo is made in a frying pan,[2] giving a taste that diverges significantly from the clay oven-baked version. Depending on the types of spices used to cook the meat and the way the bread is made, the taste of roujiamo can vary greatly from vendor to vendor. Roujiamo is not a full meal and is often sold in the form of combo with liangpi.[citation needed] It is found with regional modifications across China.

Roujiamo is considered the Chinese equivalent to the Western hamburger and meat sandwiches.[5][3] Roujiamo is considered to be one of the world's oldest types of hamburgers, since the bread or the "mo" dates back to the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and the meat to the Zhou dynasty (1045–256 BC).[3] However, since people have been stuffing meat inside bread all across the world for centuries, it is unknown where it was done first.[6][unreliable source?]

See also



  1. ^ "肉夹馍英译Rougamo 泡馍标准黄豆粒大小" (in Chinese). Xi'an Daily. 26 May 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-12-11. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  2. ^ a b Tan, Tony (April 27, 2017). "What is rou jia mo?". Gourmet Traveller. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "What Are Chinese Hamburgers And Why Aren't You Eating Them?". The Huffington Post. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Chinese Hamburger, Rou Jia Mo 肉夹馍". The Woks of Life. March 4, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  5. ^ Shah, Khushbu (April 14, 2015). "China Brazenly Claims it Invented the Hamburger". Eater. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  6. ^ Wei, Clarissa (July 16, 2020). "Roujiamo: Is this Chinese snack the world's first hamburger?". Goldthread. Retrieved December 16, 2020.

Further reading