Posted by: Lotus Light | September 25, 2010

Street Food

I love street food.  There is nothing better at 4:30am after an evening of dancing to loud music than coming outside into the cool air and sitting at kindy chairs on a street corner, watching the world go by and eating freshly cooked noodles or rou jia mo (a type of hamburger). Winter or summer, this is a favourite activity. 

China has a huge variety of street food, ranging from noodles, piled fresh onto your bowl with various toppings, to baozi (steamed filled buns), tofu kebabs, stinky tofu, various forms of jiamo, and the list is endless. 
For breakfast street food like the egg filled omelet above is easy to order, cook, wrap and go.

In my first year here, I visited this street food seller frequently.  She and her husband are deaf, and each morning they would arrive with their 3-wheel bicycle and set up the hotplate on top of a drum stove.  They had a well-rehearsed routine that made their cooking efficient – he would break the eggs onto the batter mix, she would flatten; he would crumble the large sheets of crispy dough and she would add them after flipping the omelet; she would add the seasonings and he would have the plastic bag ready to slip the folded omelet into.  he would take the money as she prepared the batter for the next omelet. 

What made this couple special was the little dance she did while she was cooking.  We called her ‘the hoppy lady’ because she was so energetic and enthusiastic about her work that while she was busy cooking she would hop from one foot to another. And always with a happy smile. We could not communicate apart from hand gestures and smiles, but we enjoyed each others company and when I moved from the are she worked, I missed her and her yummy breakfast very much.

Near where I live now, we often walk down to the ‘kaorou’ place.  A line of small shops selling meat skewers, flavoured with spices from the Middle East.  Thee are wonderful on a hot summer evening, eaten with a large round of spicy naan bread, hot from the griddle, and washed down by a couple of ice-cold ales.

Lunches can be just as good from street stalls.  Liang pi,cold flavoured noodles, come in plastic bags with disposable chopsticks to eat as walk back to our apartments.  Large slices of filled flat bread or mantou, take away cold duck neck or chicken wings, strips of flavoured tofu…all quick to buy and easy to eat from the small shops and street stalls.

The variety is enormous, the taste is often better than the large restaurants and there is more fun in the watching of the making.  Street food rocks!

With all of this on offer, it is easy to see why China is a nation of fast food addicts. 



  1. Maybe I am a little bit over-concerned. You dont worry about food poisoning at all

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