shu and joe

beijing street snacks dispatch #1

Published on February 1, 2006

jiaozi – Dumplings plumped with pork and fresh vegetables. Mostly consumed steamed, they may be found pan-fried (guotie) or floating in broth (xuejiao). Served steaming hot and by the pound, diners are encouraged to mix their own spicy, vinegary, sugary, salty sauce for dipping (and subsequent splashing on their sweaters).

hong xu pian – Similar in taste to fancy sweet potato chips found at client lunch meetings, the Beijing version is about 1/100th of the price and is sold off the back of a bike by hearty ruddy-faced farmers in woolen pants. When we offered to buy a half kilo, said farmer looked incredulous, pointed at Joe and implored “Why would he want to eat sweet potatoes??” Answer: Because they’re deep fried and delicious.

tang fu lu – Glazed local fruits strung on a stick, usually found clutched in the palms of apple-faced toddlers. Beijingers somehow manage to consume an entire stickful without dropping any pieces of fruit or skewering their mouths.

fang mi tang – A thick, light candy made out of flour and honey. Small bricks are cut off of a larger glacier and make a nice hollow clinking sound when placed in a bag.

re muo – When one’s slackened body requires hearty and immediate nourishment, this Beijing version of a hamburger appears in all its pork-filled grandeur. A distant cousin of “jian bing,”or fried bread, this hand-held lunch may occasionally be topped with an egg or a smattering of scallions.

Filed under: Beijing, China, Eat and Drink

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