Donkey Burger (Chinese: 驴肉火烧; pinyin: lǘròu huǒshāo) is a kind of sandwich commonly eaten in Baoding and Hejian, Hebei Province, China, where it is considered a local specialty,[1] though it may also be found in other parts of China. Chopped or shredded donkey meat is placed within a huǒshāo or shao bing, a roasted, semi-flaky bread pocket, and eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. The meat is typically served cold in a warm huoshao and often includes green pepper or cilantro leaves.

Donkey burgers are a popular street food and can also be found on the menus of high-end restaurants. Two famous donkey burger restaurants[where?] are "Great Flavor" (好滋味) and "Old Donkey Head" (老驴头).[2]

A well-known saying, especially in Baoding (and elsewhere in Hebei province), is "In Heaven there is dragon meat, on Earth there is donkey meat" (天上龙肉,地上驴肉). "Dragon meat" in this context refers to the meat of the Hazel Grouse.[3]

Hejian-style donkey burgers

Donkey burgers have two styles: Baoding style and Hejian style. Baoding style uses round huoshao, while Hejian style uses rectangle huoshao.

Donkey burgers originated in the Ming Dynasty. According to legend, the military of Zhu Di had nothing to eat, so soldiers began to kill and eat their horses. The local people then also began to eat horse meat; however, since horses were a valuable resource, common people substituted donkey meat and considered it tastier.[citation needed]

Donkey burgers became popular towards the end of the Qing dynasty after the Beijing-Hankou railway line was built, as donkeys were no longer needed to transport goods in and out of Beijing. When departing from Beijing, Baoding is the first major city on the Beijing-Hankou railway line. The traditional freight industry was hit particularly hard there, and as a result, donkey burgers became most popular in Baoding.[citation needed]

See also