Tianjin dining culture is renowned
throughoutChina, and not
only the traditionalTianjinsnacks, but the
cuisines from other regions ofChinacan also be found. Food Street
is a fairly good place for you to sample these cross-cultural Chinese dishes.
These traditional and famed snacks cannot be missed should you ever come to
visit this charming municipality.
Goubuli Steamed Stuffed
stuffed buns are known for their generous filling, which is succulent but not
famous snack was created during the late Qing Dynasty by a native ofWuqingCounty
, who had the nickname "Dogy". At
the age of 14, Dogy left home and came toTianjin
, where he was apprenticed to a
restaurant specializing in stuffed buns.
A diligent and
honest young man, he eventually opened a shop of his own. As his stuffed buns
tasted better and had a unique flavour, they attracted an increasing number of
customers. As time went by, his nickname became known far and wide. Later,
people changed "Dogy" to "Goubuli", which literally means "the Dogy who doesn't
talk", because he was often too busy to speak to his customers. Then,
eventually, his buns were called by the same name.
Today, with its
main outlet located atShandong
Road, Heping District, the Goubuli Bun Shop has
developed into a corporation with 89 branch restaurants opened inTianjinand two dozen other
Chinese cities, provinces and regions. In addition to over 90 varieties of
stuffed bun, its restaurants also offer more than 200 dishes.
Fried Cake is another one of the famous traditionalTianjinsnacks. It derived
its name from the narrowEar-Hole
StreetinTianjin's Beidaguan, where the shop selling it
Ear-Hole Fried Cake has a history of more than 80 years. lt was introduced by a
man named Liu Wanchun, who peddled it on a single-wheel barrow from street to
business prospered, he rented a room and opened Liu's Fried Cake Shop. Because
the fried cake he made was of high quality, reasonable in price and had a
special flavour, it soon became a popular snack.
The cake is made
of carefully leavened and kneaded glutinous rice dough. The filling is bean
paste made with good-qualified red beans. The pastry of the finished cake is
golden in colour, crisp and crunchy, while the filling is tender and sweet with
a lingering flavour.
plain in look, this queue-shaped fried dough is by no means easy to make. Each
bar of dough is made with quality flour and then fried in peanut oil.
The bars are
usually stuffed with a variety of fillings, most often the waxy tasting
beanpaste (Dou sha) - a taste for only the hardy.
Since it can be
preserved for several months, you can take some of this crispy specialty back
home to share with family.
traditional snack. It is made of baked millet and glutinous millet flour. The
soup is made by pouring boiling water to the mixed flour and then
adding sugar or brown sugar.
The way chatang
being served at stalls is as attractive as the soup itself. The water is boiled
in a big copper pot whose spout is usually fashioned into a dragon's head. While
making the soup, the skilled chatang maker holds severaI bowls in one hand and
pours the boiling water into them from quite a distance.
A snack of
strong local flavour, guobacai is a sort of pancake made of millet and mung bean
flour. The pancake is sliced and cooked in the sauce made of sesame oil, chopped
ginger, soy sauce, preserved beancurd and green onion. Guobacai is often served
along with fried dough and sesame cakes.
It is a custom
eat tangdui on the eve of the Chinese New Year. The most popular tangdui is made
of hawthorn berry. Hawthorn berries have their seeds removed and are skewered on
a thin bamboo stick, then dipped in hot syrup. When they turn cool, the stringed
berries wrapped in crystal sugar look like beautiful stone beans pungently sweet
hollowed hawthorn berries are filled with red bean paste, walnut and melon
seeds. Today, in addition to hawthorn, a wide variety of tangdui has been
developed, including water chestnut, tangerine, apple, pear and crab-apple,
(Shipin Jie) is like a shopping mall, only full of
food. There are two levels and about 50 restaurants, all under one roof. Some
are dirt cheap street stalls, others are more like sweet shops, some are top of
the range restaurants with prices to match. Make sure you check prices before
you order - they're rarely displayed. There are plenty of good dumpling
restaurants and you can also eat dog, snake and most of the more unusual Chinese