Chinese Street Food - A Brief Guide to Chinese

12 Jan

Eating OutChina is a great country with a dizzying variety of delicious traditional dishes and also one that's also blessed with quite a rich and long history of street food as well. The word Chinese actually means "food cooked on a flat piece of land." Cooking for locals on this kind of surface is much more diverse than you'd ever imagine when you experience it just in Chinese restaurants outside the West. From the flat pieces of grass to the majestic terracotta wall of a temple, Chinese cooking is something special and a little bit different from most other forms of cooking. You can see more here about this company. 

One of the most common forms of Chinese street food is the famous hot and sour soup. Szechuan Peppercorn Hot and Sour soup are a favourite in Szechwan and Hong Kong. This is a unique soup consisting of a mix of vinegar, garlic and onions, all of which have been slowly roasted and mixed together over a period of several months. The longer this mixture has been roasting, the thicker and richer the sauce becomes, with its flavour often containing a sweet and sour combination. The average price of a serving of this Szechwan hot and sour is around RMB 7.

Another popular Chinese street food is the Bao Long or literally, the Long Dish. Made from wheat noodles, and also known as Long Rice, this dish varies greatly from the typical noodles used elsewhere in China. Traditionally the noodles are cut into long strips before they are steamed along with vegetables and meat in a large pot, often with an addition of raisins and scallions. When these dishes are served, they are often served alongside a generous helping of rice, a rare treat in most restaurants elsewhere in China. The average price of a serving of this Bao Long is around RMB 5. Read more here about the best Chinese food from your favorite restaurant. 

Noodles are perhaps the most common ingredient in Chinese street food, and they can be found in abundance, particularly in Szechwan areas. Although noodles may be a very common sight on Chinese tables, they are also one of the most delicious foods that can be prepared with them. Common noodles used in Szechwan Chinese cooking include Chinese pilot, chu huong and pairs of dried wheat.

Pork is another popular street food in China. It is not so common elsewhere in China, but it is certainly popular in Szechwan areas, particularly Bamboo Stake, a popular joint in central Beijing where it is served alongside dry seafood. Although pork is traditionally a meat used for meat consumption, some Szechwan chefs are beginning to use it to make delicious stir fries. The meat used in these stir fries is typically lean beef, and they are usually accompanied by bean sprouts and vegetables. Typical prices for a meal containing beef meat with bean sprout and vegetables are around RMB 2.50.

Of all the common ingredients found in Chinese street food, the most famous dish that people love to order is chicken kebab. Although chicken kebabs are more common in northern China, they are also growing in popularity among southern Chinese. The typical chicken kebab contains chicken, onions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce, although you will occasionally find sesame oil or corn flour added to the mix as well. Chicken kebabs are served hot, although you will occasionally find them lightly fried, and the ginger and garlic give them a unique flavour that some Chinese people love, while others hate them. Check out this post that has expounded on the topic:

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