The world's first hamburger doesn't come from where you think it comes from. It wasn't invented in the United States, and it didn't originate in Germany. No, the world's first hamburger comes from China.

If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. But Chinese hamburgers are very real and they definitely predate the hamburgers we call our own in the U.S. Known as rou jia mo, which translates to "meat burger" or "meat sandwich," they consist of chopped meat inside a pita-like bun, and they've been around since the Qin dynasty, from about 221 BC to 207 BC. Despite the differences between this Chinese street food and our American-style burgers, the rou jia mo "has been called the world's first hamburger."
如果你现在正在抓耳挠腮,你不是一个人。但是中国汉堡包真的存在,而且早于我们美国本土的“汉堡包”,在中国称为“肉夹馍”( meat burger,meat sandwich),它们是由切碎的肉塞在开口圆饼里做成的,从秦朝开始(公元前221年-公元前207年)就有了。虽然这种中国街头小吃和我们美利坚的汉堡大不相同,肉夹馍被称为“世界上第一只汉堡”。

The rou jia mo originated in the Shaanxi Province of China, and is now eaten all over the country. It's typically prepared and eaten on the street. The dough for the bun, or mo, consists of a simple mixture of wheat flour, water and maybe yeast. Of course recipes may vary, but this basic equation makes for a chewy and subtle pillow for the delicious filling. While the mo is traditionally baked in a clay oven, today it's often fried in a pan. They may look a little like Chinese steamed buns or baos, but the dough for those are, of course, steamed, not baked or fried.

The meat filling might consist of chopped pork, beef, lamb or chicken that has been stewed with a variety of spices, like ginger, cloves, coriander and star anise. You might also find herbs like cilantro or greens like lettuce garnishing the sandwich.