10 Most Popular Chengdu Street Food
|Dan Dan Noodles|
Chinese Name: 担担面 dàn dàn miàn
Flavor: numb and spicy
Dan Dan Noodles, aka Dan Dan Mian, is one of the most aged Chengdu street food. At the very beginning, it was sold by the venders who wandered through the streets and alleys, carrying all the ingredients and necessities by shoulder on a pole. Pole in Chinese is “Dan” and that’s the name origin of the noodles. The noodles is chewy, spicy and numb blended with chopped shallots, crushed peanuts, and cooked minced pork. Now you could find it easily not only in snack bars or snack stands by roadside, but also in these high-end restaurants.
2. Baked Egg Pancake
Chinese Name: 蛋烘糕 dàn hōng gāo
Flavor: sweet or salty
The batter for making Baked Egg Pancake is made of egg liquid, flour and brown sugar and then fermented. Then, it is baked in a pan, added the stuffing on the center and wrapped in the middle. The outer layer is crispy while the inner part is soft with different flavored stuffing. The most popular stuffing include sesames, white sugar, candied dates, minced pork with pickles, hams, crab roes, mixed stuffing, etc. It’s not big, so you might try more flavors at one time.
3. Bang Bang Chicken
Chinese Name: 棒棒鸡 bàng bàng jī
Flavor: a complicated flavor of spicy, sour, salty...
The chicken is boiled as a whole, torn or cut into shreds and at last add the special sauce. For the best taste, the cooks would beat the chicken with a wooden stick before cutting or shredding it. Stick in Chinese is “Bang”, that’s why this Chengdu street food is called Bang Bang Ji. For the sauces, it can be seasoned with white sugar, salt, chili oil, vinegar, or more condiments and there are three ways to add the sauce into the chicken. If you are going to eat it on site, the cook will drench the special sauce on the chicken shreds. If you are going to take the Chengdu street food away for later enjoying, the cook may blend the sauce with the shredded chicken. Moreover, the sauce can also be poured to submerge the chicken shreds.
4. San Da Pao
Chinese Name: 三大炮 sān dà pào
San Da Pao is a traditional Chengdu street food, which was sold on folk fairs in the old days. The main ingredient is glutinous rice. It is steamed and beat to be very glutinous dough, then take a small rice dough and beat it on the copper board. The glutinous rice dough would bounce into the basket of yellow bean flour, and starch with the flour. After pouring brown sugar syrup on the small doughs, the food is ready. As the glutinous rice dough makes three loud sounds when they’re beaten on the copper board, the food was named based on the sounds like the sound of artillery, meaning three artillery fires in Chinese. People often eat it with the local Laoyin Tea made from a special tree leaves in western Sichuan.
5. Iced Jelly
Chinese Name: 冰粉 bīng fěn
Flavor: sweet and refreshing
It is cool and sweet, the best food to relieve summer heat in a cheap price. After the special ice jelly flour blends well in water, cool it in the refrigerator for one to two hours, it would be caking and transparent. The ice jelly flour is taken from special trees growing in southwest China.
After, spoon some of the jelly, add brown sugar water and the fruit dices you like, it is ready. Raisins, crushed nuts, watermelon dices, haw slices... are the most frequently added things. Taro balls and small glutinous rice balls with rice wine are also popular to mix with the Iced Jelly. On the streets in Chengdu, you would find more kinds of the gladdening Iced Jelly.
6. Sweet Potato Noodles with Pork Intestines
Chinese Name: 肥肠粉 féi cháng fěn
Flavor: numb and spicy, or sour and spicy
Talking of Chengdu street food, Sweet Potato Noodles with Pork Intestines is out of the most popular ones certainly. The sweet potato noodles are freshly made, the soup is cooked with pork bones, and the pork intestines are cleared and boiled to be rolled and tender. The noodles are boiled right in the soup, thus the dish would be tastier. Chopped preserved vegetables, fried beans, chopped shallots, chili, vinegar, and salt are usually added as well.
7. Sugar Oily Guozi
Chinese Name: 糖油果子 táng yóu guǒ zi
Flavor: sweet, glutinous
Sugar Oily Guozi, called as swan eggs by the locals, is a recommended Chengdu street food for those who have a sweet tooth. The brown sugar is braised in hot oil at first, then glutinous rice doughs are deep-fried in the sugary oil till golden with crispy skin and soft inside, then take them out and sprinkle some white sesames on the surfaces. At last, wear them on the sticks. Usually, there are four or five balls on a stick. It’s an old snack that could be tracked back to the folk fairs more than 1,000 years ago. Nowadays, you could find it in the snack bars, food stands by roadsides or during the temple fairs in Chengdu.
8. Leaf-Wrapped Rice Balls
Chinese Name: 叶儿粑 yè er bā
Flavor: sweet or salty
It was originally a local seasonal food eaten only around Qingming Festival in spring, and now it’s a hot Chengdu street food. There are two flavors because of the different stuffing inside the glutinous rice doughs. The sweet stuffing is usually red beans, crushed peanuts and walnuts, and so on; and the salty stuffing is the fried minced pork together with chopped sprouts. The glutinous rice doughs with stuffing are wrapped in wide leaves of galangal, Curculigo capitulata or orange trees and then steamed to be done. Sometimes the glutinous rice flour is dyed with wormwood juice when kneading, so the doughs would be green rather other white.
9. Sour and Spicy Tofu Pudding
Chinese Name: 酸辣豆花 suān là dòu huā
Flavor: sour and spicy, salty
Chengdu has diverse versions of Tofu Pudding, aka Bean Curd Jelly. Sour and Spicy Tofu Pudding is the most popular. Blend soy sauce, vinegar and ground chili and pour the sauce into the bowl of Tofu Pudding, then sprinkle chopped sprouts, shallots and fried beans on the top to be done. It has a strong flavor of beans, and sour and spicy aroma to whet your appetite.
10. Guokui – Crispy Baked Cake
Chinese Name: 锅盔 guō kuī
Flavor: salty mostly, numb, or sweet
It is a common Chengdu street food that you could see here and there. These wheaten cakes are round, having a diameter of the similar length with your hands. The baked Guokui is usually filled with cold vegetable dishes, Sliced Beef and Ox Organs in Chili Sauce, and Bean Jelly, etc., which is a popular eating way locally. Some Guokui are like crispy and oily thousand-layered cake; some are salted or stuffed with minced pork or brown sugar. Whatever, the food is unmissable in Chengdu.
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