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Aug 10, 2006 02:21 AM

favourite chinese street food

Oh my gosh, they have soooooo many different varieties now, its hard to keep up! Okay, my list includes:

-fish balls (of course)
-as a matter of fact, all kinds of "balls" dunked in the chilli sauce
-orange squid, dunked in chilli sauce (and it HAS to be orange)
-fried 3 treasures (but there are more than 3 now; I like all of them)
-little bowl shark fin
-lettuce + fish curds
-smelly tofu
-cow tummies on a stick

MmmmMmmMm... with loads of chilli oil pleeease!

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  1. That's definitely a Hong Kong mix. Isn't the orange squid really cuttlefish? My best street food eatin' is in Shanghai, and I tend to go for crunchy/greasy rather than spicy (except for spicy dou hua):

    shengjian bao
    guo tie
    cifan gao
    you tiao
    salty doujiang
    spicy douhua

    I love xiaolong bao but don't really consider that street food.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Gary Soup

      OOh, I like your pictures on your site. :) I've been to Shanghai too, and remember the xiaolongbao in the airport. Not as good as the ones we had in the restaurant for sure.

      Oooh ooh, but I do like the chicken you had! Was it marinaded in shaoxing wine? Or is that xiaoshing? Aiya, I'm getting it mixed up (I'm not Putonghua, I'm Guangdonghua de). But it looks pretty yummy to me. I love having chicken when in China.

      I've never really had much streetfood while in Shanghai though. We were very sheltered from crowded places (except for ChengWang Miao, where the Temple was). But even then, there werent much streetfood there (as I recall), only staff selling xiaolongbao through the restaurant windows maybe.

      1. re: Gary Soup

        This is a Shanghai-centric list, since shengjian bao (one of my all-time favorites) just is not available in Beijing. However, most of the others are. Here is my Beijing-centric addition:

        sweet potato (in season)
        dou zhi (an acquired taste)

        1. re: James G

          MmmMmMmMm... I love hot hot hot sweet potatoes out on the street in the wintertime. Yum.

          1. re: jennjen18

            Jennjen, what are the fried three treasures?

            1. re: Polecat

              Fried 3 treasures--tofu, peppers and eggplant, I think? And in these, there are fishcakes implanted in them! There have been newer versions of these, like fried fishballs, and plain fried tofus. MmMmMmMMmmm.. I think its the sweet sauce that I like on them too.

      2. We also like the sweet potatoes. The roasted chestnuts and the ears of corn aren't bad either. But the all time family favorite is dan bing for breakfast.

        1. oh boy....

          jian bing i love it... i had it in beijing and would love to learn how to make it, i can't figure out what the fried dough is inside, my parents have no idea what i'm talking about so i'm out of luck, i couldn't make out what the vendor was saying it was when i kept asking as my chinese is conversational

          chicken egg cakes (literal translation) although i never saw them in china, had them in hong kong and in taiwan, i fell in love with them... so in love with them, my dad bought me a machine that the vendors actually have and brought it back from taiwan for me 15 years ago... have i used it, of course not, its the biggest thing ever and needs a huge heat source, etc, although next time i head back to my parents', i'm going to dust it off and go crazy

          1. The fried dough inside a jianbing is called a youtiao (油条), and they are not hard to make, but you can also often find them pre-made at good Chinese groceries. You just have to reheat them in the oven and they're good to go. As for the crepe part, you don't need to use a big Taiwanese thing to make them, a regular griddle will do fine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: James G

              There are two types of jianbing "stuffings." One is the youtiao, but more commonly (at least in Shanghai) it's a crispy, thin rectangular wafer-like thing which adds a delighful crunch and makes the jianbing less filling. I think it's this one the poster is referring to. You can see it in the youtube videos linked below. I've been looking for a definitive answer to this myself; it's usually described as being made from wheat dough, but at least one source said it was tofu "sheet," a.k.a. "bai ye" (百頁豆腐).

              Making jianbing:

              1. re: Gary Soup

                yeah the one i am looking for is the white rectangular crunchy thing, it looks almost like vermicelli noodles but it doesn't cook up like them... i asked several vendors, but couldn't make anything of what they said and they kept looking at me like i was silly because i kept asking. i am determined now to find out though =)

            2. i remember eating chestnut-like things that were roasted on the street in taiwan. it was dark brown/black and was shaped like a three-point star. tasted very similar to chestnuts. does anyone know that they are called?