The Rarest and Most Expensive Chinese Food Ingredients
1. Hericium Erinaceus
Average Price: fresh: RMB 15 – 30/500g; dry planted one: RMB 150/500g; dry wild one: RMB 350/500g.
Main Growing Area: Hailin City, Heilongjiang Province, Northeast China.
2. Bear Claw
Main Growing Area: Greater and Lesser Khingan Range in Northeast China.
3. Edible Bird’s Nest (EBN)
Average Price: RMB 200 – 400/one.
Main Growing Area: South China Sea Islands.
Generally, Edible Bird’s Nest refers to the edible-nest built by swiftlets with saliva and feather. EBN is not directly picked down to eat, but needs to be deeply processed. So, it is arguably one of the most expensive Chinese foods. It has a high nutritional value, rich in protein, sugar and minerals, which are especially good for women’s beauty. Edible Bird’s nest is usually simmered to retain its nutrients. Carefully tear the clean Edible Bird’s Nest into thin strips according to its texture, then put it into the ceramic pot and add water covering the Bird’s Nest. Place the pot in a steamer and simmer for 2 hours. Pour rock sugar juice on the cooked Bird’s Nest, and mix well. Then you can enjoy it.
4. Shark’s Fin
Average Price: RMB 350 – 500/500g.
Main Growing Area: Hong Kong and China’s coastal provinces.
Shark’s Fin is the fine filamentous cartilage in shark’s fin, which is a very expensive sea food. It contains lipid-lowering, anti-arteriosclerosis and anticoagulant ingredients, which can prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. But 80% of it is protein, and this protein does not contain the essential amino acid – tryptophan, so the nutritional value of shark’s fin is not very high. It is suggested that cook Shark’s Fin together with chicken, duck, shrimp, etc., in order to add the nutrition and flavor.
5. Caterpillar Fungus
Average Price: RMB 150 – 350/g.
Main Growing Area: Alpine regions of Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces of mainland China and the snow mountain with grasslands. Among them, Nagqu Prefecture in Tibet produces the best quality Caterpillar Fungus.
Average Price: Fresh: RMB 200 – 450/500g; Dry: RMB 1,500 – 2,000/500g.
Main Growing Area: Shangri-La and Chuxiong in Yunnan Province, southwest China; Yanbian in Jilin Province, northeast China.
7. Liaoning Sea Cucumber
Average Price: Fresh: RMB 350/500g; Dry: RMB 2,600/500g.
Main Growing Area: Lvshun, Dalian, Liaoning Province.
8. Morel Mushroom
Average Price: Fresh: RMB 60 – 120/500g; Dry: RMB 800 – 1,000/500g.
Main Growing Area: Gansu and Sichuan Provinces.
Average Price: RMB 35/one.
Main Growing Area: Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve, Northeast China.
Ginseng is a rare and expensive Chinese medicine. The older Ginseng grows, the better its quality and medicine effect is. Generally, it takes around 6 years for Ginseng to grow to adult. With long growing period and limited growing areas, Ginseng deserves to be an expensive Chinese food. Ginseng has cosmetic effects, but its value mainly reflects in medicine values. Its fleshy root is the famous strong tonic, which is applicable to adjust blood pressure, restore heart function, neurasthenia, physical weakness and other symptoms. Ginseng can be used to brew wine, cook soup, especially chicken soup. In addition, Ginseng can also be eaten raw.
Average Price: RMB 30/one.
Main Growing Area: Tai Lake and Yangcheng Lake.
China has a history of eating crab for more than 5,000 years. Crab’s meat is delicious and rich in protein and trace elements, but less fat and carbohydrate. The crab roe is the most favorite part by many Chinese. But it’s rich in cholesterol; accordingly, the patients of coronary heart disease, hypertensive and hyperlipidemia should eat less!
Steaming is the most common and simplest way to cook crabs at home. Be sure to clean the crab with a brush before cooking it. When eating, the eight legs of the crab need to be cut off with the scissors, including two large pincers. If the crab is cooled, the meat and shell of the crab will be separated automatically, which is convenient for eating and drinking. Crab meat stained with the sauce of salad oil, vinegar, and light soy sauce, is very delicious and fresh. September and October are the best time to eat crab in China. At that time, the crab meat tastes the most delicious and the crab roe is juiciest.