Posted by: Lotus Light | January 19, 2012

Street food = real food!

Chinese people will tell you they have the greatest food in the world (without having actually tasted anything other than McDonalds or KFC for ‘foreign’ food!).  There are treatise and tomes written about the 8 different food styles (Cantonese (Guangdong), Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Fujian and Anhui) and the differences between north and south, east and west.  Of course, hometown cooking is seen as the best, and people will tell you they can’t eat food from different provinces, it’s just too awful.  🙂   I don’t agree that Chinese food is THE best in the world, (I love lots of different food from different places..) but there are times when it is really, really good.

The really BEST Chinese food is street food.  That is where the great cooks ply their trade.  There is nothing better than wandering around the streets snacking on different foods, different flavours and textures.  (Maybe pollution really is the best spice!)

Umm… fried jiaozi.  Very common food, often boiled rather than fried, and often also in soups.  Made of thin dough, stuffed with a variety of meat, veges or beans.

Noodle pots

Meat, pepper slices, noodles in soup. Eaten with chopsticks and the soup drunk straight from the bowl.  Great on cold days.  🙂

BBQ - kaorou

Favourite evening food in summer.  Nothing better than sitting on the footpath with a group of mates and a pile of these Xinjiang-spiced meat skewers and nang (naan) bread in front of you. Washed down with some beer of course.

Mutton leg

Strictly for the very hungry!  Good winter warmers.  hard to eat with chopsticks, so hands are OK.

Egg kebabs

One of my lunchtime or morning tea favourites.  Quail eggs cooked ‘on the stick’  in a hot griddle, brushed with spicy brown sauce.

Un-potato stew

A big heart-warming stew made from a flour jelly, veges, meat (sometimes) and spice.

Tofu kebabs

For the vegetarians.. firm tofu barbeque’d over the flames, brushed with spices.  Ummm…

Xi'an Burger

Leaving one  of the best for close to last.  Xi’an burgers are flat bread roll, quickly fried and filled with deep fried vegetables, meat, tofu, eggs – what ever you select from the table.  They are brushed over with a spicy gravy and eaten hot and yummy.  Fantastic food after a night clubbing. Sit on the kindy chairs on the footpath, watch the world go by, or the sky lighten and enjoy…

Dessert!!   Shibing – Persimmion cakes, stuffed with your choice of nuts, dried fruits, bean paste etc.

Dousha - sweet bean cakes

Another dessert – a bit dry and crumbly, but fills that ‘sweet’ gap.

Date and pear drink

Hot, sweet and yummy – just right after a chilly morning wandering the streets.


Street food cannot be beaten, even in the fanciest restaurants!  And of course, it’s way cheaper.



  1. Love street food – you can really get a feel for the flavour and place!!!

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