Tibetan food is an important part of Chinese cuisine. It features varied cooking of yak meat, mutton, milk product, highland barley and potato. The main ways of cooking dishes are to stew, braise, simmer, steam, fry and roast, while the staple food are made by steaming, boiling or frying. They use silver or high-quality porcelain dinnerwares, and the most common ones are wooden. The most popular dishes of Tibetans are stewed chicken with Chinese caterpillar fungus, stewed beef with Chinese caterpillar fungus, fried mutton ribs, roast lamb leg, air-dried meat, cold yak tongue, fried beef ribs, Tibetan sausage, potato curry, stewed beef and turnip, braised beef, steamed dumplings stuffed with beef, zamba, steamed bread stuffed with potato, rice curry, ginseng sweet rice and various kinds of desserts. The zamba is roasted highland barley flour, boasting a good smell and taste. The drinks include highland barley wine, buttered tea, sweet tea, milk tea, fresh yak milk and sour milk as well as Lhasa beer and mineral waters. The highland barley wine is fermented directly from highland barley and tastes sweet and sour.
The Tibetans follow several ways to drink tea: One is pure tea. They boil the tea in a pot and add cool water into it several times until the tea fragrance floats in the air. Then they strain the tea out and add some salt into the water. Two is buttered tea. This is a unique way to drink tea in highland and cold areas. They pour tea, butter and salt (or milk) into a special tea barrel. While stirring them, they add egg or walnut. The third one is milk tea. It is made of tea, milk and salt, popular in half-farming and half-grazing areas in summer and autumn. The fourth one is flour tea, popular in farming areas. First they stir-fry some flour or zamba, and then they add tea and salt. The fifth one is oil tea, also popular in farming areas. After frying the yak butter, the Tibetans add some flour or zamba, and then pour in tea and salt. The sixth one is sweet tea. It is made with high-class black tea, added with sugar and milk, common in Lhasa. Besides, there is a kind of tea boiled with mutton or beef bones. Some say Tibetans depend too much on tea, "They would live without food rather than without tea."