In the crowded alley in Shanghai, travelers are met with the exotic, delicious aromas of steaming woks and sizzling fryers filled with meat, seafood, veggies, rice, and noodles.
An experienced traveler will be wary of street food, but if curiosity and a sense of adventure are mixed which has a healthy dose of caution, these street-side snacks can provide a fun, inexpensive, and authentic dining experience. Sticking to foods which have been seen cooked will support to prevent illness.
You will find some street foods that the traveler in China shouldn’t miss.
The stench of this malodorous, fermented tofu will greet shoppers just before the stand where it’s sold is in sight. Stinky tofu is really a favorite snack in a lot of parts of Asia. It truly is soaked inside a brine of fermented milk, meat, veggies, bamboo, and herbs, too as other ingredients that may perhaps differ by area. It tastes very much far better than it smells, but it still requires a a lot more adventurous palate, as it truly is an acquired taste even for the Chinese.
Bubble Tea, also known as pearl tea or boba milk tea, is originally from Taiwan but has manufactured its way onto the streets of mainland China. Produced from a base of black tea and milk, its distinguishing characteristic will be the collection of tapioca “bubbles” observed at the bottom with the glass which can be eaten making use of an over-sized straw. Travelers can appreciate the original flavor or pick from a variety of fruit flavors. The tea may possibly be served hot or iced, but selecting hot tea will be the safest method to go. Search for a vendor that seals the glass using a sanitary plastic cover.
Sold in bunches comparable to grapes, these round fruits appear like miniature kiwis. They come from the longan (which translates to “dragon eye”) tree. The most fun part about eating a dragon eye is cracking into the center. Once the fuzzy, brown coating is cracked, the sweet, pale center is ready to eat–but spit out the seed! Since these aren’t cooked, it is usually risky to try these on the street, so if at all feasible wash the fruit prior to eating.
These strawberries, stacked on a stick and covered in the hardened, butterscotch-colored glaze, will appeal to anybody using a sweet tooth. While they usually are not cooked in front of shoppers, the berries are dipped into a boiling glaze, so they may be a fairly safe bet. For those who come across this snack to be too sweet, the round, glazed berries that search extremely comparable to strawberries are a fine substitute as they’re a lot much more bitter.
Chinese Street Noodles
A great street noodle vendor will supply enough food in one serving to fill the stomachs of two hungry travelers for 5-20 yuan (about $.50-$2.00). Cooked in the big wok and made-to-order, shoppers select their veggies and sauce, which the vendor mixes with eggs and noodles. The finished product is hot, fresh, and absolutely delicious.
This is really a specialty of Jiaxing, which is located about 50 miles southwest of Shanghai, though Zongzi is usually discovered in other areas too. It consists of sticky rice soaked in a very sweet sauce and wrapped into a pyramid shape in bamboo. The bamboo is secured with string and also the center in the rice is filled with sweet bean paste. Zongzi can be a sweet snack that may also be quite filling.
The street food obtainable will differ area to area, but these are typical foods the traveler will most likely encounter throughout a stay in China. Do not miss out on the local specialties offered within the streets– be adventurous, but be smart.