Chilly Potatoes , Chow-Mein , dimsums , Hakka Noodles , Manchurian! hmmmmm…..ain’t you salivating ? Ofcourse you are! These mouth watering snacks belong to Chinese cuisine. Chinese food is super nutritious and extremely “yummy-nummy” as well. Chinese cuisine is one of the ” Three Grand Cuisines” in the world and is famous for its appetizing spice blend.
Here are some of the finger-licking snacks from the streets of China-
Jianbing emerged in North-east China , approx 2000 years ago. Then later, it stepped down through generations. Jianbing or crisp fried Chinese crepes is a mandatory street food/breakfast for Chinese people. It’s appetizing taste is a major reason for its popularity. It has wheat as its main ingredient . Flavoured, beaten eggs are spread over the surface of the wheat and mung bean flour pancake as it cooks. It is topped with hoisin, chile paste, grassy cilantro, peppery scallions, some tangy pickles and a generous amount of fried wonton strips, makes it delectable to taste.
The entire perfection game for preparing perfect crisp Jianbings revolve around two factors i.e- speed and delicacy. It looks similar to our Indian Dosa while it is being prepared on the pan, and involves the same technique and precautions , while , being prepared . One should start at the very centre of the pan and spread the batter in a circular motion, to keep your crepe thin and even. You need to be sure, that the egg and the batter are spread evenly, before it solidifies to avoid it’s annoying sticking to the pan.
Whenever you go to China , don’t miss to try out the crispy crunchy Jianbings.
2. JIAOZI ( CHINESE DUMPLINGS)-
Jiaozi or Chinese dumplings is an essential delicacy on New Year’s Eve in China. The word ‘Jiaozi’ traditionally is referred as ” Tender Ears” , as they were used to treat frostbitten ears according to one of the folk stories. Zhang Zhongjing, was one of the great practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. The story reveals that one day Zhang Zhongjing was returning to his home when he discovered that many common poor people were suffering from frostbitten ears, as they were deprived of warm clothes and sufficient food. He prepared a soothing and filling dish for them by stewing lamb, adding some black pepper, and chopped some medicines in a pot and stuffed this mixture in small dough wrappers. After boiling these dumplings , he served them along with the broth, to his patients regularly , till the advent of the Chinese New Year .
Wheat dough is kneaded and rolled into small circles and stuffed with the savory filling of meat and vegetables , in the center, before passing them on to the ‘crimper’. Minced Napa Cabbage , ground pork , minced green onions with light soy sauce and several drops of rice wine , sesame oil , freshly ground black pepper and last but not the least , salt makes it tastes Muaahhhhhh!! Make the dumplings out of it and just boil them until cooked. You have your treat ready. Serve it immediately , steaming hot with chinese black rice vinegar for dipping.
3. PAI GU NIAN GAO ( Pork Chop with Rice Cakes)-
Pai Gu Nian is synonymous to heaven, for Chinese people. It is an authentic Chinese dish prepared with Pork Chops and fried rice cakes. The secret behind the lip-smacking taste is its method of preparation which adds extra crunch to it. The Pork Chops are marinated and boiled with oil, sugar, sauce and ginger, while the rice flour possessing the glutinous properties is ground into a paste and then sliced into thin small segments, wrapped around the pork chops and then fried . Your hot, slightly sticky , compact meal is right in front of you with the juicy flavors of Pork chops intact in it. You can’t miss tasting it , when in China.
Also found in all Hokkien-speaking areas (Eg- Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan). Banmian originally belongs to the streets of China. It is a popular Chinese Noodle dish, consisting of handmade noodles and is served with hot soup.
The story behind it is name “Banmian” revolves around the Hakka’s method of cutting the noodle into straight strands using a wooden block as ruler. That device which is found at hawker stalls is generally called the Banmian. The dish is a complete one pot meal and settles your cravings for noodles and soup as well. The hot soup is prepared with the fish or anchovy stock with added flavors of onions, garlic, ginger and bean paste. Many fresh vegetables are added to the broth like mushrooms, green onions , spinach, cabbage and bamboo shoots. Sometimes vinegar is added, occasionally with sugar to balance the flavor. Meat like Pork and chicken are also added in chunks to the soup to make it protein-rich meal. Finally, an egg is cracked into the hot broth and allowed to cook until the whites are set and the yolk is warmed through! In short, it is a wholesome salivating dish available everywhere in China.
5. BING TANGHULUS ( Candied Hawthorns)-
Originated in northern China , Tanghulu also known as BINGTANGHULA, is a traditional Chinese snack of candied fruit, which is now commonly available in many Chinese cities like Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and many more.
It resembles British Toffee or North American candy apples . Authentically, it is prepared with haws and rock sugar which produces a refreshing sweet and sour flavor. But now they can be made with any tangy fruit like strawberries , oranges, grapes, kiwi or even vegetables like Chinese Yam and Cherry Tomatoes. They all can be made into Bingtanghulu. These sugar coated fruits are strung on a bamboo stick which symbolizes happiness.