Tibetan Food

Tibetan Food is known for its use of noodles, goat, yak, mutton, dumplings, cheese, butter and soups. Tibetan crops must be able to grow at the high altitudes, although a few areas in Tibet are low enough to grow such crops as rice, oranges, bananas, and lemon. Since only a few crops grow at such high altitudes, many features of Tibetan cuisine are imported, such as tea, rice and others.

Stable Food


Zanba is one of the traditional staple foods of Tibetan herdsmen, which is the Tibetan transliteration of fried noodles. In fact, it is the highland barley fried noodles, and is the staple food that Tibetan people must eat every day. When visiting a Tibetan family, the host will certainly serve the fragrant buttered tea and highland barley fried noodles.

Highland Barley Bread

Highland barley cake is made by highland barley flour, kneading dough with baking powder and water, waiting for the dough to ferment, then adding canola oil to bake, which is one of the favorite staple food of Tibetan people. Highland barley cake also helps digestion, invigorates health effectively and improves immunity, and is easy to carry.

Tibetan Noodle

Tibetan noodles are usually served with simple vegetables, diced beef, and scallions. People living in Tibetan cities like to eat Tibetan noodles and sweet tea for breakfast. Some restaurants also serve pickled radishes and chili sauce to flavor noodles. Some people say that Tibetan noodle soup is the most enjoyable meal, because the soup tastes good, plus a little onion to keep warm.

Tibetan Dishes

Yak Meat

Living in the area above 3500 meters all year round, yaks often eat wild herbs such as fritillaria, cordyceps and so on. Therefore, their meat is delicious and tasty. Yak body is treasure, meat can be eaten, skin can be sewn into garment, boots and bags, etc., head can be processed into crafts, tail can be made into brooms, and bullwhip is an aphrodisiac medicine. In addition, yak beef can be braised in soy sauce, stewed or dried to eat, with unique taste. 

Pipa Pork

Pipa pork is a kind of meat prepared by traditional Tibetan salting methods. Pipa meat can be preserved for a long time and can be preserved for years if not cut. The meat is delicious and tasty, meat color is transparent, making people mouth watering. Pipa pork can be boiled, stewed or fried, usually used to entertain guests.

Yak Meat Hot Pot

Yak meat hot pot is a specialty dish in Yunnan Diqing. Yaks live on the pollution-free plateau. They are grass-fed with delicate meat, and are the favorite of Tibetan people. Delicious soup base and appetizing yak meat can let people come to Diqing enjoy the delicious yak meat. Yak hot pot is an indispensable delicacy in the cold winter.

Tibetan Sausages

Tibetan people make full use of yak and sheep products for their livelihood. They like all kinds of sausages, among which blood sausages and white sausages are the most common and popular. Blood sausage is made of chopped mutton, which is tied to slices with yak or lamb intestines, and mixed with goat blood, salt, Sichuan pepper, hawthorn powder, etc. White sausages are made of rice, mutton blood, tallow and some spices.

Tibetan Drinks

Buttered Tea

Yak butter tea is a necessary drink for Tibetan people to entertain guests. It is often served with zanba and other staple foods. Brick tea contains much tannic acid, which can stimulate gastrointestinal writhing and accelerate digestion. If you drink the tea alone, you will be easy to get hungry. So yak butter or milk is needed when drinking the brick tea. Buttered tea is the best beverage in Shangri-la area because of its high quantity of heat, which can eliminate the cold and replenish the heat needed by human body. 

Barely Wine 

The highland barley wine, which has a history of more than 1000 years, is one of the main drinks in Tibetan area of Shangri-la. When you enter a Tibetan house, they always welcome you with barley wine. The barley wine has a clear and pure color, and a lingering taste.

Tibetan Yogurt

Tibetan yogurt is a kind of unique dairy product in the Tibetan area of Shangri-la. It is made with the yak milk which has been extracted yak butter. It is rich in nutrition, helpful for digestion, producing saliva and slaking thirst. It is most suitable for the old people and children.

Baixue Tea(白雪茶)

Baixue tea is also known as the Dixue tea, which grows in the snow mountain with an altitude of more than 4000 meters, is fragrant and sweet and has a slightly bitter taste. It contains many elements which are beneficial to the human body, and can reduce the blood fat, reduce the weight, refresh the brain, clear the summer-heat, promote saliva, moisten the lung, relieve the cough, and have a remarkable curative effect on the hypertension, the neurasthenia, the pharyngalgia, and the like.