Best Chinese Street Food
Jianbing (Chinese Crepes)
Jianbing, known as Chinese crepes, is one of the most popular street foods eaten in China for breakfast. Outside of subway stations and tourist attractions, it is conveniently accessible along street corners. The key ingredients are typically the same although the types of Jianbing differ by town. The dough is made from wheat and grain flour and fried with egg as the base on a griddle. Meanwhile, scallions, lettuce, cilantro, and rich chili sauce fill the middle.
Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings)
Filled with vegetables and/or meat, popular street foods are jiaozi or Chinese dumplings. They are shaped like ancient ingots of gold that were thought to bring you good luck. Sometimes they are shallow fried or deep-fried and eaten for flavor with a dip of soy-vinegar sauce. One bite releases a sweet juicy broth mouthful that hits all the senses on the tongue, producing an explosive blend of flavors. Jiaozis are eaten all year round, but the Chinese New Years are more so.
Pai gu nian gao (Pork Chop with Rice Cakes)
In essence, Pai gu nian gao is a Chinese dish of pork chops and fried rice cakes. Pork chop is marinated and boiled with oil, sugar, sauce and ginger, while glutinous rice flour is ground into a paste, wrapped around the pork chop and then fried in thin, small segments. The method of cooking results in a hot, slightly sticky, compact meal that conceals the pork chops’ juicy flavors as well as the sauce.
Cong You Bing (Deep-Fried Scallion Pancakes)
Slim flatbreads layered with spiced scallion and deep-fried with oil are Cong you bing, best known as scallion pancakes. They are basically the Chinese version of Western pancakes, but rather than batter, they are made with dough. Cong you bing is a regular breakfast item found along China’s streets as a common meal, just as pancakes are an integral part of breakfast in America or European countries. While greasy, they are known for their initial taste and aftertaste, both flavorful and juicy.
Banmian (Chinese Noodle Soup)
Banmian is a common Chinese noodle dish that usually uses fish stock as the base for the soup, especially anchovy stock. In most cases, egg noodles consisting of egg, rice, water and salt, mushrooms, and anchovies are the ingredients. However, alternatives or additional ingredients such as sausages, chicken drum sticks, chili or Sichuan peppers may be used for variants of noodle soups. Depending on the vendor, banmian, especially the soup, leaves a flavorful aftertaste that lingers on the tongue for hours.
Bing Tanghulu (Candied Hawthorns)
Chinese hawthorns coated with a hardened coat of sugar syrup and skewered on long, thin sticks are Bing Tanghulus. Similar to mini candy apples, they taste both sour and sweet, but more sour, astringent, and granular. While tanghula comes with other fruits, such as strawberries or apples, the haws are stuffed with the most common and popular version found in central Beijing. While the interior is smooth, sweet and sour because of the fruit, the exterior is crunchy and sweet.
Chuan’r (Chinese Kebabs)
Chuan’r, also known as kebabs, are bits of meat on thinly sliced bamboo sticks that are skewered. They use some kind of meat or even vegetables. Coating the meat with salt, dried chili flakes, as well as ground cumin spice is the way street vendors prepare them, and then blend all three ingredients together before barbecuing the marinated meat over charcoal fires until well cooked. Chuan’r are common throughout China, but they are mostly eaten at outdoor night stalls called dapaidang during the summer.
Cifantuan or Ci Faan (Glutinous rice balls)
Rice balls filled with various flavored local ingredients are called Cifantuan or ci faan. The savory kinds are the most prevalent styles. These include aha cai, rousing (pork floss) and youtiaoo (pickled vegetables) (long golden-brown strips of deep-fried dough). There are also sweet versions, consisting of the same ingredients but with added sugar as well as sesame as the savory one. Cifantuan is one of the most common breakfast dishes on the streets of Shanghai’s Nanyang Lu and Xikang Lu.
Baozi (Chinese Bread Buns)
Baozi are dough buns often filled with juicy meat such as pork and/or vegetables barbecued, and steamed in bamboo steaming trays. The only difference is that baozi consists of thicker dough, as well as a greater amount of filling, and they are prepared similarly to the way jiaozi dumplings are prepared. Dabao (‘big buns’), which are the most popular types of baozi sold by street vendors, and Xiaobao (‘small buns’), frequently come in two sizes.
Huo guo (Hotpot)
Huo guo, more commonly known as hotpot, is a specialty of Sichuan that has spread its influence across the nation. In each region of China, several variations have evolved over time, using distinct meats as well as soup bases, sauces and condiments. Chongqing ma la hotpot, which adds Sichuan pepper to the boiling meat broth, is the most popular of all huo guo. It is known to leave the tongue with a burning and spicy sensation.
Rou Jia Mo (Chinese Hamburger)
Rou Jia Mo is a Chinese variant of the American hamburger, except that the buns, instead of ketchup and mustard, are thinner and flavored with beef gravy and chili paste. Instead of a large circular patty, the meat is shredded. With his or her own special filling of spiced mix, each vendor sells rou jia mo. Shaanxi Province’s lazhirous jiamo, which is made with pork in gravy, and Ningxia Hui Automonous Region’s yangrou roujiamo, made with lamb, are the two most common types.
Donkey Meat Sandwich
Since the Ming Dynasty, donkey meat has been a Chinese delicacy, according to historical records. It was
consumed for the survival of military men back then. Today especially in Baoding, it is an easily accessible, popular common street food that is easy to carry on the go. Initially, the donkey meat is shredded and then stewed with a combination of different spices and sauces. A juicy, savory batch of meat that is put between two sandwich buns results in this.