Roujiamo/Chinese Hamburger in Chicago
September 20, 2020 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is roujiamo (肉夹馍, "Chinese hamburger") on the menu of any Chinese restaurants in Chicago? If multiple places, are there any that deliver near the Uptown/Andersonville area? (Was entranced by this video).
posted by metabaroque to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
No idea where they deliver, but it looks like these guys specialize in them.

(I came here to recommend Homestyle Taste, which I think used to have these on the menu, but they sadly appear to have closed.)
posted by kickingtheground at 3:02 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you want to be thorough in your research, also try Taiwanese Bao (can't vouch for this particular restaurant, but they look right) and report back! The bread is steamed instead of baked like the ones in the video.
posted by A Blue Moon at 4:26 PM on September 20, 2020


Xi'an Cuisine in Chinatown (Chinatown proper, not New/North Chinatown on Argyle, unfortunately) has them, and imo theirs are slightly better and half the price of Han Burger for a slightly smaller portion. (This is by no means a warning against Han Burger, which is also pretty good--but my experience is that the quality can be a bit inconsistent, possibly related to their recent move.)
posted by pullayup at 6:19 PM on September 20, 2020 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, I don't have any Chicago-specific recommendations, but as someone who has has quite a few roujiamo (often rou jia mo...) in China, and in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, I do have some (hopefully) helpful advice:

I think "Chinese Hamburger" is a very good description of rou jia mo not just because of the basic form, but also for the wide variations you'll find. I've had tiny, slider-sized buns with extremely mildy-flavored, chopped meat that reminded me of a Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich. I've had sandwiches that tasted like the filling was made of a condiment consisting of soy sauce, oil, ground tofu, 5-spice, and soy sauce. (wasn't a fan of that one...)

Buns can be light and fluffy, dense and chewy, or floppy like a hamburger bun. In my experience, the meat filling is rarely "hot-spicy", but the seasonings and level of spices can vary greatly. Also, the meat to bun ratio can also vary a huge amount from place to place.

So, my point is basically that there is a huge variation in rou jia mo from restaurant to restaurant - similar to hamburgers. Everything from a White Castle slider to a fancy steakhouse burger. You're going to need to try several spots to see who makes the one for you.

Lastly, I suggest paying attention to the meat they use. Pork is (supposedly) the most common in China, but where I am, lamb and beef are also very common. Since the traditional cooking method involves boiling the meat in broth before mincing it, I've had better luck with pork and lamb than beef.
posted by Anoplura at 9:22 PM on September 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


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