Snacks in Beijing are extremely plentiful and come steamed, deep-fried, fried, poached, or baked. These great little ''tide-me-overs'' can be found at many restaurants all over the city: most popular places include Longfusi and Huguosi snack counters.
Some snacks like Douzhi (soy bean milk) and Jiaoquan (crisply fried ring of dough) are great for breakfast. Other snacks popular with those who ''eat on the run'' include: Aiwowo (a steamed cone-shaped cake made of glutinous rice or millet with a sweet filling), Chatang (a pasty or custard made of millet or sorghum flour), Ludagun (a pastry made of steamed glutinous millet flour or soy-bean flour mixed with sugar), sweet baked cakes, pea-flour cakes, walnut cakes, small corn buns, eight-treasure rice, and fried sticky rice cakes. These will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. Heartier snacks, like Baodu Feng, can be considered a meal on their own.
Zhimaqiu (Sesame Balls) 芝麻球
These little fried rice balls are stuffed with a sweet filling (red bean paste or lotus paste) and pack a flavorful punch. Usually they are topped with sesame seeds. The best way to eat them is while they are still hot.
Wandouhuang (Pea-Flour Cake) 豌豆黄
This springtime snack is made out of white peas and pea flour. Pea-flour cakes, kidney beans and small corn buns were popular snacks even during imperial China. Today, Beijingers still love eating pea-flour cakes in the springtime.
Aiwowo (Steamed Cone-shaped Cake) 艾窝窝
These steamed cone-shaped cakes can be made of sticky rice or millet with a sweet filling. They first appeared during the Yuan Dynasty, and by the Ming Dynasty were an imperial favorite. Today they remain a famous Beijing snack.
Douzhi (Mung bean Milk) 豆汁
As early as the Liao and Song dynasties, Douzhi (mung milk) was made in Beijing, and it has remained popular to the present day. Rich in Vitamin C, fiber and protein, this milk provides enough energy to keep you going. In the summertime it helps keep one’s body cool, while it is considered beneficial to the spleen at any time of the year.
Youtiao (Sweetened Fried Bread Twists) 油条
Youtiao is sometimes translated as “fried bread sticks.” These long, golden-brown, deep-fried strips of dough are a traditional Beijing breakfast, often enjoyed with warm soymilk (doujiang). Not as common as they once were, they can still be found in the early mornings at some small shops and restaurants.
Ludagun (Pastry Made of Soy Bean Flour) 驴打滚
Ludagun are simply soybean flour mixed with sugar and baked. This ancient snack has been popular for centuries.
Literally “tea soup,” Chatang actually contains neither tea nor soup; rather, it is a flavorful flour gruel. Common to both Beijing cuisine and Tianjin cuisine, it’s most commonly sold as a curbside snack. It can be made from a variety of flours, including: sorghum, broomcorn millet, proso millet, and glutinous millet. First, flours of sorghum and/or millet are cooked, often by stir-frying. When a customer orders the dish, hot water is poured into the bowl containing the flour(s) to create a paste-like mush. Toppings like white or brown sugar, or sweet osmanthus (tea olive) sauce are added to give it its flavor.
The founder of Chatang Li set up his first stall in Changdian in Old Beijing; by 1886, he had relocated to Tianqiao where his shop became famous. Chatang Li offers nine kinds of Chatang, all prepared by hand. The flour is sifted at least three times before being mixed with lukewarm water; hot water, sugar, peanut, sesame and walnut kernels are then added simultaneously and mixed with a special copper spoon to create a thick, sweet, tasty treat. The cost for one bowl is 3 RMB. You can also buy packaged Chatang Li fried noodles for 10 RMB.
Add: 12 Taiping Jie, Xuanwu District, Beijing
Quick Boiled Tripe 爆肚
Quick-Boiled Tripe is a traditional Muslim snack made out of sheep or cow tripe. Right before boiling, the tripe is cut into thin strips to maximize its flavor. Enjoy it with sesame sauce for a taste that explodes in your mouth.
Baodu Feng was founded over 100 years ago by the Feng family, and for generations now the family has worked to perfect its tripe recipes. Baodu Feng first became famous when imperial eunuchs and Qing Dynasty aristocrats began to sing its praises and made it popular with the imperical family. Loyal to the end, Baodu Feng served the Qing Dynasty until the collapse of the feudal system. The specialty of the house is goat tripe: enjoy it with Baodu Feng’s special sauces made from sesame paste, soy sauce, vinegar, coriander, fermented tofu, and traditional Chinese herbs.
Add: 39 Langfang Ertiao, Qianmenwai, Beijing
Yueshengzhai, with about 230 years of history, is China's oldest Muslim food producer. The cooking method for Yueshengzhai cooked meat products originated from a cook serving the Qianlong Emperor at Qing Dynasty. Spiced sauce beef, Spiced sauce mutton, stewed beef and stewed mutton are feature products of Yueshengzhai. While keeping the traditional flavours, Yueshengzhai has developed almost 100 kinds of products, such as savory beef balls, tasty beef, beef sausage, chicken sausage, double flavour sausage, beef sandwich, and chicken sandwich.
Add: 6 Nanding Lu, Fengtai District, Beijing
Website: http://www.ysz.com.cn/English/index1.asp (English)
Xiaochang Chen 小肠陈
For over 100 years and four generations, the Chen Family has been stewing intestines with pork lungs and tofu and selling the dish as a light meal. Be sure try this dish once enjoyed by members of the Qing royal family in the Forbidden City!
Add: 132 Nanheng Dongjie, Xuanwu District, Beijing
Nailao Wei 奶酪魏
This street snack has been a favorite ever since the Qing Dynasty. Made from cow’s milk and rice wine, Nailao is similar to yoghurt. The milk mixture is baked for at least an hour and then rapidly chilled in a refrigerator so that it will keep its shape. The dish is thick, cool, tangy and sweet.
Add: 2/F, Niujie Muslim Supermarket, 1st Business Building, east of Niujie Beikou, Beijing
Old Beijing Dalian Huoshao (A pouch-shaped baked wheaten cake with pork and shallot stuffing) 老北京褡裢火烧
Another traditional snack dating back to the Qing Dynasty, Dailan Huoshao are packed with flavor. It’s best to enjoy them hot, accompanied by hot and sour chicken tofu soup.
Add: 310 Building, Gaojiayuan Community, Chaoyang District, Beijing 朝阳区高家园小区310楼
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