All posts by anna

NYU-SH (Spring 2017) Mapping Projects

Storymaps

The Formation of Natural Markets in Shanghai by Joseph Young and Killian Hauser

Stories about Roujiamo Vendors — An exploration of 3 different types of Roujiamo by Joy Wang and Zersh Li

Proliferation of Mobile Payment Amongst Street Vendors by Gina Leipertz, Jantima Somboonsong, Julie Hauge

Vendors, Customers and Community at the Pudong Mosque Market by Maike Prewett and Bridgette Williams

Yunnan South: Past and Present – Does the famous Street Still Deserve its Reputation as a “Foodie Street?” by  Savannah Billman and Linda Laura Laszlo

Changli Road – Post-EXPO by Jingyi Wang and Sabrina L Goodman

Shanghai Street Food – The Journey of Your Street Food by James Tang and Michael Margaritoff

Presentations

Street Food Surveys: ArcGIS and Fulcrum by Maike Prewett and Bridgette Williams

Street Food Clusters by Savannah Billman and Linda Laura Laszlo

Shanghai’s Street Food Vendors by Cuisine and Origin by Julie Hauge, James Tang and Michael Margaritoff

Street Food and Street Life: Tourism and Street Food by Jantima Somboonsong and Gina Leipertz

Street Food & Street Life: Popularity by Tyler Roman and Sabrina Goodman

Efforts to Ease Congestion Threaten Street Food Culture in Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia is famous for its street food, delighting tourists and locals alike with tasty, inexpensive dishes like spicy som tam (green papaya salad) in Bangkok or sizzling banh xeo crepes in Ho Chi Minh City. But major cities in three countries are strengthening campaigns to clear the sidewalks, driving thousands of food vendors into the shadows and threatening a culinary tradition.” reported by MIKE IVES, on The New York Times.

( Click on the picture to see the full story).

Menghua Street Wonton Reopened in Shanghai

Menghua Street Wonton was located on a small lane called Menghua Street in the old city area. The wonton stall was owned by two sisters who have already be in their 80s, and operated by the whole family. It was popular among lots of Shanghainese for the authentic flavor. However, it had to shut down the business for couple of months since the stall didn’t apply for a license for food business.

The first news report introduces the history and background of Menghua Street Wonton and reveals the reasons for it being shut down two years ago. Then the report analyzes the case from “Social Governance 社会治理” perspective to emphasize how to balance human relationship and law(人情和法理) and take benefit from the market.

This second report shows the how Menghua Street Wonton is related to politics, from a small case to a general view. Many Chinese political terms are used in response to current government strategy and direction to emphasize the reform.

People’s Daily: 是总理喊话让停业两年的梦花街馄饨复出吗?
Is it Premier’s appeal that saves the Menghua Street Wonton which has been closed for two years?

http://politics.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0123/c1001-29044946.html 

Keyword: social governance (社会治理) , balance human relationship and law(人情和法理), innovation in governance(制度创新), marketization(市场化).

For the question of basic-level social governance, as a problem remains for more than 20 years, the government is facing a dilemma. On one hand, the family of Menghua Street Wonton started their own business after they lost their jobs, using a bowl of wonton to support the life of three families in difficulty for 20 years, which is a form of mass entrepreneurship. On the other hand, doing business without license violates the law and public safety. Asking Menghua Street Wonton to shut down is a way to protect the benefit of the majority. There is no ground for blame when executing the law without considering human relationship.

Human relationship and law are the controversy that the government always face in basic-level social governance. To solve the problem, the government need courage, as well as the wisdom to execute law in a moderate and acceptable way.

The small wonton shop reflects the big problem of social governance. Premier Li Keqiang appeals for these business when he visits Shanghai in Nov. 2016, using Menghua Street Wonton and A Da Fried Scallion Pancake as examples to say that those small food business could face problems like getting a legal license. “should be more thoughtful of the people involved and seek ways to achieve reciprocal benefits. Governance should not be labeled as “indifferent” and should have more sentiment on the people.” Law could not be changed, safety should be secured and harmony must be reached as well. For the case, the government should bring innovation into governance. As regulators, the government should have empathy, and take advantage of the “invisible hand” – the market.

Shanghai local government has spent lots of effort on this case. Before the Premier appeals, they made several backup plans for Menghua Street Wonton to come back, hoping that their good will of serving the people can actually help hem and stimulate the market. Finally after two years, Shanghai local government found a “hand of the market.”

People involved in this case says that it was marketization that helped Menghua Street Wonton reopen. “The government help people connect different side in the market and the enterprise interact with regulatory departments. People work together to save the traditional food of Shanghai.” This enterprise is Eleme. “In the past year, we communicated with the owner and the government for dozens of times. I was on spot for so many times,” said Eleme’s special assistant of CEO Zhen Yao.

Zhen Yao used to eat Menghua Street Wonton in childhood. “The stuffing is full, the soup is delicious and the pastry is good. I have been eating it since I was little kid so I do hope pass the flavor down to the next generation.” It’s really common to take away raw wontons in Shanghai. They are thinking under the background of “Internet,” enabling customers to buy Menghua Street Wonton only on Eleme, which would help the brand to achieve better performance in marketization.

Sina Finance: 阿大葱油饼、梦花街馄饨,这两家小食店为何让总理念念不忘?
Why do the Premier think of the two street food stands, A Da Fried Scallion Pancake and Menghua Street Wonton?

Keyword: streamlining government and delegating authorities, combining regulation and freedom and optimize governmental service(“放管服”) , reform, innovation in governance(制度创新), governmental service(政务服务)

Premier Li clarified that streamlining government and delegating authorities, combining regulation and freedom and optimize governmental service are the important content of the new reform, which is a great transition of the job of the government, as well as a core problem of pushing economic system reform and dealing with the relationship between the government and the market.

‘Under the complex international background and the stressful domestic economic situation,” to release the power of the market and innovation of the society by the new reform. This is the great potential of Chinese economy.’

Premier Li Keqiang says that since the government is elected, we have canceled and give the power to lower level government on administration approval for more than 618 cases, pushed the reform in business sector, taken innovative regulatory methods and focused on improving governmental service to release the power of the market and innovation of the society and help new business grow and traditional business upgrade.

He asked local department and government should consider the situation thoroughly to reform themselves, and then take more powerful action to push the new reform.

The Menghua Street Wonton and A Da Fried Scallion Pancake that always mentioned by Premier Li represent his higher expectation on the new reform.”

Tangjiawan Wet Market, Huangpu District, Shanghai

Tangjiawan wet market locates in Laoximen area in Huangpu District, near Tangjiawan Road, Zhaozhou Road and Ji’an Road. It closed on Feb. 24th, 2017 due to urban construction plan. The new location would be nearby, on Ji’an Road. Tangjiawan is one of the earliest wet markets in Shanghai.

Media Report: This wet market in Shanghai has been 114 years old. Let’s say “Goodbye” to it.

Published by: WeChat public account – 东方网 (eastday021)

Source: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5OTkwMzc4Mg==&mid=2652017821&idx=1&sn=2d6b23f56986917680dfeb8084317bcf&chksm=bcd263d48ba5eac2525ccd588cbb577fe3abff49e2d6c30ef592c4f2c06e739c0ac5048010bd&mpshare=1&scene=1&srcid=0310snpPybWIKGReRyQSB1e6&pass_ticket=0acf64H7JjXKr83ZBvuY2YZXmW7iI4K8p8e4pH%2FXL%2F4nrje2QntnKIR%2FAbO6JDT3#rd

Following paragraphs are selected translated version of the post:

Vendors and residents are frustrated about the fact that the wet market is shut down. Vendor Mr. Zhu moved his stand from Ji’an Road wet market to there more than 10 years ago. “The vendors who I know, none of them leaves Tangjiawan wet market in the past more than 10 years,” said Mr. Zhu. He looked at the pork stand and said, “During the Spring Festival, that vendor could sell 7 to 8 pigs, and the fish vendor can sell almost 150kg yellow fish at most. The business here is very good so that none of us are willing to go.”

 

Mrs. Qian lives near Luxun Park( Hongkou). Every week, as part of life after she retired, she and her neighbors would go together to Tangjiawan with their small cart for grocery shopping, which has been last for more than 10 years. They took No. 18 Bus to Tangjiawan for fresh grocery, and then go to the E-Mart for milk, flavorings, toilet paper and etc. “We are used to this life. If the wet market is gone, where should we go for grocery shopping?”

Mr. Wang, who is 82 years old, also loves the wet market. Although he and his family moved from Tangjiawan to Zhabei Park, he and his wife always come back, not only for grocery shopping, but also reunion with their old neighbors.

 

“The popularity of Tangjiawan has become a unique local culture,” said a retired high school teacher Mrs. Wang who always goes there to buy grocery. There are so many retired people nearby and meet each other at Tangjiawan. Many of them are strangers before, they start to know each other, and finally become friends. “If the wet market is gone, people have to go to different places. It’s hard for them to meet each other again.”

A wet market for more than a century: Tangjiawan

According to the local history documents, Tangjiawan wet market was built in 1903, which is the oldest wet market among all 22 indoor wet markets that were built before the liberation of Shanghai, even 17 years older than the famous Sanjiaodi wet market (Hongkou). At first, the wet market was a floor in wood structure.

 

According to other documents, the Chinese Sections of Shanghai decided to build an indoor wet market near Tangjia Lane outside Ximen (for today it’s called Laoximen). One of the officer of the army, He Fenglin appointed the leader of a department which supervised the constructions in Nanshi (now Huangpu), Shanghai, Yao Zhizu to call for bids and be responsible for this project. Shanghai Wangjinji Construction got the bid and built Tangjiawan wet market. The wet market was in wood structure and was divided into more than 30 areas. Because they intentionally reduced the work and used inferior material for the construction, the building crazed after few years of use. One of the primary beam crashed and led to a severe accident in which more than 40 people died and 100 people injured. This was the most severe accident right after Nanjing National Government Shanghai City Hall was established. After that, the government paid for reconstruction for the armored concrete structure.

After Shanghai was liberated, the government reconstructed Tangjiawan for several times. In 1950s and 1960s Tangjiawan was like a wet market on the road. Vegetables, meat, fish, shrimp, crabs and etc. were directly put on the iron shelves covered by felt. Vendors and buyers were exposed to sunshine or rain – the environment of the market was not that good. The wet market moved into the current building in 1970s and 1980s.

 

It’s said that to know a city, the best way is to go to the wet market. The hidden place in crowded city might look not as shiny as other places, even a little bit dirty, but the most basic and grass-root life is there. The relationship of people becomes closer because of “food/eating”. Either vendors or buyers, their effort, achievement, joy or tears is connected by the small wet market, which adds another scene to the city.

(Origin: 新闻晨报: Shanghai Morning Post by Jiefang Daily, Mar. 25th, 2015)

Social Media Discussion

  1. Weibo user @井蟾斋主posted on WeChat the full album for Tangjiawan wet market. From the dialog going under the original post, there is more about the life in lanes, back to around 1970s from people’s discussion about some card games.

Source: WeChat public account:  井蟾齋迂語

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzIzMDA1Nzg0Nw==&mid=2649730703&idx=1&sn=63f22084aad7541a4dfa1bcbcde1069e&chksm=f0a23c97c7d5b581b2f549e537616519d2aa2039307d0c87d9b0778ca61dc6adc66dcd3f7849&mpshare=1&scene=1&srcid=0310014Nn3QKndxApGn4xvsR&pass_ticket=0acf64H7JjXKr83ZBvuY2YZXmW7iI4K8p8e4pH%2FXL%2F4nrje2QntnKIR%2FAbO6JDT3#rd

Content of the post:
@井蟾斋主:  The wet market with a hundred years’ history comes to an end. After two years’ struggle in moving due to city construction, most of the buildings in Tangjiawan area are turned down. The “isolated” island in this area, the Tangjiawan Wet Market, which was opened in 1903, have to shut down in a few days, on Feb. 23rd, 2017. Although people know that the market is to be closed in a couple days, the stand owners are still there for their business, and there are many customers. The lane between stands, which can only allow two people pass, is crowded. The scene is as usual –  people are selling vegetables, meat and fish in the last days of their business.

@老Q识途: It will be closed in the afternoon of Feb. 23rd, but there will be a replacement for Tangjiawan Wet Market soon.

@井蟾斋主: The new address will be at the cross of Ji’an Road and Zhaozhou Road.

NYU-SH (Spring 2016) Street Food Final Projects + Interviews

 Final Projects

Li Fei: Street-Food Vending in Shanghai (Ana Bonomi, Arianna Rodriguez & Yi Yin)

The Red Cart: A Step to Formalization? (Xinying Zhang, Jiaqi Dong)

The Art of Street Food (Jin Kim and Emma Schumann)

Debunking Shanghai: Food Safety, Agriculture & Organic Eco-Farming (Shirley Ariza and Aleksandra Lekowska)

Street Vending in Shanghai and NYC (Milica Gligic and ZhenYu Zhu)

Is ShuDaoDian 疏导点 a Solution to Streetfood Problems in Shanghai? (Lingyi Liu, Shannelle Chua, Ziqi Wang)

Let’s Talk about Chuanr (Felipe Valencia & Teng Ma) 

Interviews

Lingyi Liu, Shannelle Chua, Ziqi Wang

Emma, Sylvia, Ariel

Quintus, Aleks

 

Jī Dàn Zǎi – Egg Waffle – 鸡蛋仔

Originating in Hong Kong, Jī dàn zǎi (Chinese: 鸡蛋仔) is a honeycomb-shaped waffle made notably out of egg. It is cooked with a griddle already moulded into its unique shape and are most often served hot in its original flavour. It is one of the more popular snacks sold by street vendors in Hong Kong and loved particularly by students. Jī dàn zǎi has gradually made its way from Hong Kong to mainland China, often appealing the mainlander crowd with traditional Hong Kong signs all over its stands.

Ingredients:
The general ingredients for the egg waffle mix consists mainly of egg, sugar, flour, cream, and evaporated milk. Depending on the vendor, other sweet additional ingredients could be added such as custard powder and tapioca. Other variations and flavors include chocolate, seaweed and pork floss, and sesame and peanut flavored.

Cooking Method:
Pour the egg waffle mix into a two-sided honeycomb-shaped griddle. Close the griddle to create the honeycomb shape. In order to bake the waffle, two methods are typically used. The first involves the traditional way of baking the egg waffle mix over a charcoal fire. The second and most commonly used method (due to economic and safety reasons) is to bake the mix over an electric stove top. The ideal jī dàn zǎi has a crisp, fully baked, golden exterior while the inside of every circle is semi-cooked to a soft and melted filling.

History:
The origins of the egg waffle can only be traced back to its roots in 1950’s Hong Kong. One story surrounding the snack claims that the honeycomb shape is actually the shape of several eggs in order to make up for a lack of them. At the time of post-war Hong Kong, eggs were a luxury. Others say that the egg waffle mix was created by accident when traders bought cheap broken eggs and made it into a batter.

Possible Variations:
Gai daan tsai

Photo Credit to: https://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/File:HK_Lower_Wong_Tai_Sin_Eatate_Tung_Tau_Tsuen_Road_n_Ching_Tak_Street_%E9%9B%9E%E8%9B%8B%E4%BB%94.JPG

Mǐ Huǎ Táng – Puffed Rice Snack – 米花糖


This kind of food can be easily found all around Shanghai, it is sold both in stores and on streets. It originally comes from Sichuan , where it has been enjoyed for couple of centuries. The snack is present in all of China in many forms and variations, which is in a great extent due to the simplicity of its ingredients. The simplest form of 米花糖 (mǐhuǎtáng), where rice is mixed with dissolved sugar. It costs only 10 yuan per pack. The  pack contains around 350g. Price might vary depending on the ingredients.

Ingredients:
米花糖 has many variations. The simplest kind is made out of white rice to which sugar dissolved in water is added. The flavor of the snack can be modified depending on what ingredients are used and in which quantities. Some people like to add oil, dried fruits, honey or nuts on top of sugar.

Cooking Method:
Before any other ingredient is added, the rice must be puffed. The two most common ways are deep frying or dry puffing, which is done with a “popcorn machine” (爆米花机 bàomǐhuājī). The rice is fried in a scalding hot oil; it takes from 15 to 25 seconds for rice to puff if the temperature is right. The “popcorn machine” is mostly seen on streets. While using this machine is a healthier way of puffing rice, the temperature and the pressure of the cylindrical metal container must be kept under control. The metal container is constantly rotated, while heated by burning coal. The act of rotating the container helps evenly distribute the temperature inside. Because the container is sealed, the pressure inside rises with the increasing temperature. When the rice is puffed and the container is opened, the pressure creates a small explosion and the rice bursts into a “bag” placed over the container. Puffing rice with the “popcorn machine” takes  between 8 and 10 minutes.
Puffed rice is mixed with sugar that has been dissolved in water, then cut into small brick like pieces. One can add dried fruit pieces or nuts on top of sugar. Cutting the mixture is usually done on a lower temperature, where the sugar creates a stronger bond between rice grains.

History:
米花糖 is believed to come from Sichuan Pujiang. Traditionally  米花糖 that comes from Pujiang is made with lard oil, which gives it a characteristic taste and aroma. 米花糖 was first recorded during the Qing dynasty, around two hundred years ago. Nowadays 米花糖 and its variations can be found even in Hong Kong, where it was brought during the Japanese war.
In the beginning of 2007 a 米花糖 Museum has been opened in Pujiang, Sichuan. It is the first and the only museum that focuses on 米花糖.

Possible Variations:
Yìmǐ 薏米–  puffed barley  (5rmb for around 200g)
Bàomǐhuā 爆米花 – popcorn  (5rmb for around 200g)
Yùmǐtiáo 玉米条 – corn sticks are usually pre-made at home with “rice stick machine” 米棍机 (5 rmb around 200g)

Bào Chǎo Mǐ Huā – Puffed Rice – 爆炒米花

Puffed rice is a typical Shanghai snack and a part of old Shanghai memory. Usually, the vendor places a bag of rice and the shaking furnace on a tricycle. In the afternoon, he will rides to the head of the “lòng táng (弄堂)“, which is a typical Shanghai alley, and start to peddle. They have their special tune, which goes as “bào–chǎo-mǐ-huā–lou—.” in Shanghai dialect. The end “lou” is a necessary modal particle and it has to last long enough. However, the huge sound of the puffering is always the best advertisement. When children hear the sound, they will carry a small bag of rice and a spoon of cooking oil to find the vendor. When the pressure is ready, the vendor will notice everyone. He shouts, “Coming!” Then everyone covers their ears and retreat a few steps away. The sound is like having a tire punctured. Nowadays, the peddle of the vendor cannot be heard anymore, but the huge sound remains. You can still find the vendors of the puffed rice in the street especially at night. Just follow the sound.

Ingredients:
You only need a small bag of rice, sugar and a spoon of oil for a big bag of puffed rice. However, the machine for the puffed rice can also be used to puff other things. Some vendor also puffs beans, corns and rice cakes. You can also require the vendors to add your spices into it. The recipe can be creative according to you.

Cooking Method:
The mechanism of making the puffed rice is quite simple. First you open the container and pour the rice and oil into it. If you like sweet puffed rice, you can also add more sugar into it. Then you seal the container and start to heat it. The vendor controls the air bellow by one hand and shakes the iron furnace by the other hand. You can tell the pressure by the piezometer attached to the furnace. When the pointer arrives at the high pressure area, the vendor will notify everybody to get ready. You need to cover the two endings tightly with bags as soon as possible. Finally the show ends with the huge sound and white appetizing puffed rice.

History:
Puffed Rice was invented in Wu prefecture (now western Zhejiang Province) in the Song Dynasty. The earliest record of the puffed rice is written in the book “Record of Wu Prefecture” by Chengda Fan. Originally, this kind of food was especially cooked during the Spring Festival for divination purpose. In Song Dynasty, it was made on the day of the Lantern Festival. Because the utensil for the puffed rice at that time was not sealed and weather you could get the rice puff was all by chances. The utensil is called “fǔ (釜)”, which is the origin of the cauldron. It was placed on the stove and heated with wood fire. Thus, the one who got more puffed rice was regarded as the luckiest one. After the westernization and modernization, people invented the sealed iron shaking furnace to make puffed rice. It is also said that the British invented the similar machine to make popcorn and then they brought it to China by the merchants later. Before the Open and Reform, when Chinese people still live a poor life, people buy rice according to food coupon so they do not own much rice for snack. Puffed rice is still a snack only for the Spring Festival. The great sound made by the puffing is the happiest thing for the children. With the development of Shanghai, more and more people are able to enjoy puffed rice at any time. However, fewer people are making puffed rice and it becomes a part of the memory for old Shanghai people.

Photo Credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shizhao/6779948306

Yú Wán – Fish Ball – 鱼丸

Fish Ball (Chinese: 鱼丸 Yú Wán)is a general name for ball-like fish  snacks in China. It’s very popular in southern part of China, such as Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou and etc. The fish ball can be chopped fish crust stuffed with pork or without. The mouth feel for it can be soft or crispy, depending on the ingredients used. The cooked fish ball on the street is 1 to 2 Yuan each on average (usually it’s sold as 10 Yuan for one bowl, which includes 5 to 6 fish balls). It can be cooked with other ingredients or simply boiled in the water for soup.

Ingredients:
Fish such as eels, yellow croaker or little sharks, are chopped into mince, added with salts and condiments, mixed with potato starch and made into ball-like shape. Chopped pork can be stuffed into the ball.

Cooking Methods:
The fish ball can be fried with curry, hot peppers or other vegetables.The most common recipe used by the street food vender is simply boiling fish balls in the water and providing them with soup.

History:
According to the history, Qin Shihuang (The fist emperor in China) told his cook to prepare a fish dish for every meal, but the fish must be without bones. Picking the meat from the bones is really difficult and the new fish dishes are also difficult to design.
One day the cook, getting sick of thinking about new fish dishes for the emperor, chopped the fish on the table to vent. Surprisingly, he found that the fish meat was chopped into mince and the fish bones can be easily picked out of the meat. Therefore he rolled the chopped fish meat into ball-like shape and boil them in the water with condiments. Qin Shihuang liked the fish ball soup a lot and the recipe was adjusted and passed on through generations.

Possible Variations:
Fuzhou fish ball — with pork inside.
Southern-Fujian fish ball (脆丸) — without pork inside.

Related Cuisine:
Fujian Cuisine (闽菜)

Xiǎo Lóng Xiā – Crayfish – 小龙虾

Xiao long xia (小龙虾), translated directly to little dragon shrimp or little lobsters, are a popular dish served in restaurants and on the street in Shanghai. While most popular in the summer, you can still find them in early spring cooked and served out of makeshift carts lining the streets. The dish has many fresh ingredients, including it’s main one as the crayfish are cooked live. After cooked and fried in a spicy mixture, you shell the crayfish and get a small bite of meat from it’s tail- no silverware allowed.
 
Ingredients:
Crayfish, cooking oil, water, soy sauce, chillies, peppercorn, mala sauce, and ginger.
Method:
Crayfish are cleaned and rinsed with cold water. Then, the crayfish are boiled for a few minutes until they turn a deep red. After being boiled, they are put into a large, circular, deep fryer which contains a mixture of cooking oil, water, soy sauce, chillies, mala sauce, peppercorn and ginger for a few minutes. After being fried, they are then shelled and enjoyed!
History:
In the 1930s, Louisiana red swamp crayfish was brought to Jiangsu province by the Japanese. While first the creatures were seen as exotic, they were not welcomed by the local people as they caused crop damage and brought no direct benefits to people of the community. However, the crayfish adapted to the local environment and populations began to flourish in the coastal environment. Eventually, the crayfish were made and popularized into a dish called xuyi shisanxiang longxia, or “Xuyi Thirteen Fragrance Little Lobster,” that brought major business to cities in the 1990s. The flavor was influenced by neighboring provinces like Anhui and Zhejiang which contributed to the spicy oil mixture the crayfish are cooked in. Now, crayfish are considered a local food as they are farmed in coastal areas.
Variations:
There can be many subtle variations of this dish as the spice mix the crayfish are fried in can be manipulated to fit any spice level from mild to very spicy. Every restaurant or vender uses a subtly different mixture so they’re bound to taste similar, but not the same, at every spot you try out. There are also variations were crayfish are flavored with wine or beer to give it a fuller taste.
maxiao 麻小- mala flavored crayfish
shisanxiang crayfish 十三香小龙虾 – thirteen spice crayfish

Dāo Xiāo Miàn – Sliced Noodle -­ 刀削面

A noodle delicacy coming directly from the noodle­-renowned Shanxi region. The Hand Shaved Noodles offer a rustic approach to the many variety of noodles found in China. The technique for preparation requires precision only achieved with endless practice. Unlike the other variety of noodles, these are meant to look simple, imperfect, and simply mouth-watering. Prices range depending on the different ingredients that can be added, but you can expect to pay around 30rmb per dish. It is considered as one of China’s famous five noodles, the other four being Beijing’s Zhajiangmian, Wuhan’s dry noodles, Sichuan’s dan dan noodles and Shandong’s Yi mein.

Cooking Method:
Preparing the Dough­
4 Cups of of bread flour (小麦面粉)
1­2 Cups of water
or
3 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Cup of rice flour
1 tbs of Salt
1tbs of baking powder
1­2 Cups of Water
Pour the dry ingredients into a bowl, open a small space in the center and slowly start pouring water. Mix the dough as you pour the water until you have a dry–but not sticky–mass. Add more water if necessary. When you have a rough dough, knead for 10 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and knead again for another 10 minutes. Roll the dough into an oval and let it rest in the fridge.
OPTIONAL: Repeat the knead­rest process until you have a smooth surface. Wrapping the dough in plastic paper, while letting it rest, helps moisturize the dough.
Boiling the Noodles­
The noodle itself has a seemingly simple, traditional preparation. Start boiling water and add salt. Once the water is boiling, hold the dough on one hand and use a sharp knife to cut slices out of the mass (Preferably at a 30 degree angle). The motion should be seamless, with the knife always touching the dough. Cook for about 5 minutes and then take the noodles out.
Add the noodles to a beef bone broth (牛骨头). Add red braised beef (红烧牛肉)or red braised cow mix (红烧牛杂). Place a few coriander leaves on top and enjoy.

History:
Dāoxiāomiàn originated in Taiyuan, Shanxi during the 12th century. Although there is no clear record of how this type of noodle preparation came to be, there is a common tale that dates its origins back to the Mongolian Tartar occupation of the central plains in the Yuan Dynasty. At that time various types of household metalware were confiscated in order to prevent people from revolting and thus only one knife was available for every ten houses. The tale tells the story of a housewife preparing noodles. She had left the dough resting waiting for her family’s turn to use the knife. However while the husband was walking back home he stumbled upon a sharp yet thin piece of metal on the ground. Once home, the husband impatiently handed his wife the piece of metal and suggests she uses it to cut the dough–it worked. This technique resulted in noodles thick around the center but soft around the edges, a characteristic trait of Dāoxiāomiàn. This method quickly spread among the people of Shanxi. Later in the Ming Dynasty this technique also spread outside of the household and into restaurants and city streets.

Variations:
Variations occur both in terms of sauces/broths and toppings. The broth can be cow bone broth, replaced by gravy, the noodles can also be braised in a pork marinade sauce, they can be stir fried or even presented cold tossed. Toppings can include more pork, bay leaves, cow innards, bean sprouts, etc.
太原刀削面, Taiyuan Noodle
大同刀削面, Datong Noodle
刀削面卤汤, Gravy soup DaoXiaoMian

Zhè Jiāng – Sugarcane Juice – 柘浆(甘蔗汁)$*

Due to its sweet taste and great availability, sugarcane juice (Chinese: 柘浆) is a popular drink sold by street vendors throughout the year. Since sugarcane is grown in warm temperatures in Southern provinces like Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian, the juice obtained from this plant is commonly found in most cities in Southern China. Depending on the size, a glass costs between 6 and 9 yuan.
Described as “neutral” and “sweet in flavour” in traditional Chinese medicine, sugarcane is considered to be an active antipyretic, so that it effectively reduces fever. While it is a great source of instant energy, this plant drink is also low-glycemic, therefore it doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. Sugarcane juice contains folic acid which protects from neural birth defects and increases chances of conception. Great amounts of calcium present in this delicacy help build bones and teeth, while potassium balances the pH levels in the stomach. In addition, flavonoids in sugarcane reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Ingredients:
Sugarcane is juiced without any additives. It is naturally rich in fructose, hence the sweet flavour without any added sugar. Occasionally it may be prepared with other ingredients, for example ginger, lemon or lime.

Cooking Method:
The juice is produced by crushing this plant in a specialised juicer, which are produced on a world scale in China. While today these machines are typically powered, in poorer areas it is still common to find hand-cranked machines. The juice is usually served cold.

History:
Sugarcane is indigenous to the tropical climates of Southeast Asia. It was first planted as a crop in New Guinea around 6000 BC, though it spread around the world soon afterwards. While juicing (and often crystallising) sugarcane is the most popular method of utilising this crop, other uses include producing molasses, liquor, as well as raw consumption.
After Brazil and India, China is the world’s third biggest producer of sugarcane, harvesting 125 536 thousand metric tones a year.

Related Cuisine:
Vietnamese Cuisine
Thai Cuisine

Dòuhuā – Tofu Pudding – 豆花

Dòuhuā can be found in restaurants, but it can also be bought from little stalls by the street to peddlers carrying around the ingredients around in two buckets hanging from a stick on the man’s shoulders. It has gone beyond China to many places in Southeast Asia, and it’s amazing how so many people could be brought together by tofu.

Ingredients:
For the tofu: Soy beans, gypsum powder, corn flour/cornstarch
For the syrup, the sweet kind: brown sugar and water. Optionally, add ginger

Cooking Method:
To make the soy milk, soak the soy beans for about 10 to 16 hours. Grind the soaked beans and put through a strainer. Boil the milk, then mix water with the gypsum and cornstarch. Pour in the gypsum mixture. Stir it a lot, because gypsum could settle really quickly to the bottom. When done, stir for a few seconds then cover it and let it rest. It can be served in 15 minutes by using a ladle to scoop out lumps of it.
For the syrup, pour water into a saucepan, and when it’s boiling, put in the brown sugar. Ginger can then be added.

History:
Tofu originated during the Han dynasty in China. Some say that tofu came from Prine Liu An’s failed experiment to create immortality pills, others say that it came about from a Mongolian cook accidentally mixing sea salt with boiling soybeans. The creation of dòuhuā came soon after, and it is believed that douhua originated at around that same time. It was carried to other parts of Asia with the spread of Buddhism.

Related Cuisine:
It differs in different parts of China. For example, it is eaten with soy sauce in Northern China. In Sichuan, it can be eaten with chili oil and Sichuan pepper. It can also be found in other countries, such as Taiwan, where it can be served with crushed peanuts and adzuki beans and tapioca. In Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, it can be served with ginger syrup and peanut. In the Philippines, specifically in Baguio, it can be served with strawberry syrup, due to the abundance of strawberries in that mountainous area.

Photo Credit to :https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7340/16587403572_50a8d5432b_b.jpg

Má Huā – Fried Dough Twist – 麻花

Although I was born in Beijing, my ancestral hometown is in Qingdao, Shandong province. There were plenty of different street food near the neighborhood where my grandma’s house in Qingdao was when I was a little girl. Thus, back in the deep of my memory, I was simply fascinated with the snacks that I enjoyed on the street. One of them is Má Huā (Chinese: 麻花).
It is well-known that TianJin is the city which is the most famous for Má Huā, however, Má Huā is not typical to TianJin. We also have Jisan Má Huā in Shanxi province, Xianyang Má Huā in Shaanxi province and so on. Overall, it is a Han ethnic food with various flavors in different places, which is made of two or three twisted strips of dough and usually fried in peanut oil. Since it looks like hinge, it is also called “hinge stick” in Chinese (Chinese: 绞链棒).
It describes the clothes is almost torn up due to wear and tear. Má Huā can be either sweet or salty. Má Huā contains a lot of protein, vitamin and trace elements that is good for human body under its shiny golden color. Although it is fried, it is not fatty at all, so it is ideal as a kind of snacks. When it is the “Beginning of Summer” (Chinese: 立夏), there is a tradition of eating Má Huā in the Northeast area of China.

MÁ HUĀ – FRIED DOUGH TWIST – 麻花

Ingredients:
Salt, Sugar, Peanut Oil, Wheat Flour, Sesame

Cooking Method:
1.  Put wheat flour and peanut oil with salt and water together into a container, well mix them and wait for 20 minutes to let the dough ferment.
2. Take out the well-fermented dough and cut it into many tiny pieces of dough, and then rub each tiny dough to make it into strip shape (Depend on your personal preference, you can also add sesame and sugar into the dough when you rub it).
3.  Continue to rub each strip shape dough in opposite direction and close the ends to make a raw  Má Huā.
4. Put the oil into the pan and fry the Má Huā when the oil is not too hot yet.

Additional Cooking Method:
I got to know Má Huā so well because it is a tradition to my family to make Má Huā by ourselves during the Spring Festival. What is interesting is that our cooking method is different than others. We not only add sesame and sugar into the dough but also use olive oil to fry. What’s more, the way of making raw Má Huā is different than simply rub it till it becomes strip shape but we make the dough as a thin pancake and then cut it into small pieces. At last, we roll over one side of the edge and make it as a Má Huā shape.

History:
There are different histories of different type of  Má Huā from different places. No one can tell for sure when and what the exact origin of Má Huā is. However, there is one among them that I find most interesting to me, which is the origin of Daying Má Huā in Henan province. It is said that at the end of Ming Dynasty, there were a lot of poisonous scorpions in Daying and many people died because of being bite by the scorpion. So the local people decided to make twisted dough which looked like the tail of scorpion and eat it after frying in order to curse the scorpion every the second day of February of Chinese lunar year. It is called “eat the tail of scorpion” (Chinese: 咬蝎尾).
Later the tradition gradually developed into making today’s Má Huā. And Má Huā thus implies fortune and happiness. Whenever there is someone either get married or pass away, the local people will give Má Huā as a gift to express their best wishes to the ones.

Interesting Point:
TianJin GuiHuaXiang ShiBaJie (Chinese: 桂发祥十八街) Má Huā is the earliest Guinness record keeper of Má Huā in China. They created the largest Má Huā in the world at that time. It was 1.5564 meters long and 24.98 kilograms weight.

Possible Variations:
Yóu Tiáo 油条
Zhá Săn Zi 炸馓子
Táng Ěr Duō 糖耳朵

Photo Credit to: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7340/16587403572_50a8d5432b_b.jpg

Tŭ Sŭn Dòng – Sea Worm Jelly – 土笋冻

 

 

Tu Sun Dong (Chinese: 土笋冻)  is a dish consisting mainly gelatin extracted from boiled sea worms topped with spices and herbs such as cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili sauce. The literal translation of the name means “earth bamboo shoots, chilled.” These sea worms are commonly harvested in shallow, muddy beaches in the southwestern province of Fujian, China. Prices range from anywhere between five and ten kuai. Although the slimy, smooth texture and physical features of the worm might seem daunting to eat, this protein rich food is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system and ward off the common cold.

Ingredients:
The main ingredients are sipunculid worms and a variety of spices. Most vendors will put strong flavors such as soy sauce, vinegar, and chili sauce to counterbalance the mild, sour flavor of the worms.

Cooking Method:
First, the sipunculid worms are soaked in water to get rid of the excess mud. Then, they are thrown into boiling water. The boiling worms release a gelatin like substance. This gelatin is then poured into small molds. After waiting a period of time to cool, this slightly brown and dull yellow looking gelatin are set in the white carcasses of the worm. Achieving the jelly, smooth texture is a sign of a good Tu Sun Dong. The jelly is then topped with the vendor’s special array of spices and herbs.

History:
Similar to many delicious, impromptu kind of dishes, this delicacy started as a necessity. A military commander with his army in Xiamen ordered his men not to seize any food from the indigenous people. Many soldiers stationed near the beach found a bountiful amount of sea worms. They simply boiled these worms and ate them. Coincidentally, the chilling cold of the winter naturally turned the soup into jelly. A vast majority of the soldiers rather preferred the jelly than the soup and this dish was born.

Possible Variations:
none

Huái Nán Niú ròu Tāng – Huai Nan Beef Soup – 淮南牛肉汤

Huai Nan Niu Rou Tang (淮南牛肉汤) is a special dish from the Anhui region (East of China, Northern part of Anhui) which takes over 5h to prepare. It is based on the special tasty beef broth and then noodles and other toppings are added. The dish costs 12 kuai (14 if you want a boiled egg added).

Ingredients:
Soup: Beef, garlic, Chinese herbs, water, oil, ginger, anis, salt.
Toppings: noodles (either rice noodles or sweet potato noodles), crushed chilly sauce, cilantro, shallot, caraway, vinegar and an optional boiled egg.

Cooking Methods:
The broth takes about 5 hours to prepare. The beef is cooked and then soaked in water with ginger anis and salt to absorb the flavors.
Once it’s ready, the soup is poured in a large metal container where then separately a ladle is added with the chosen noodles. It takes one minute for the noodles to cook. Once it’s done, a spoonful of a “mysterious powder” is added to the base of the bowl. Then the cooked noodles are placed in the bowl, with the caraway on top, the cilantro and shallot and a vinegar drip. To top it, you add a spoonful of the chilly crushed sauce, and then the final touch: the bowl is filled up with the tasty huai nan beef meat soup!

History:
There are divided theories as to where this dish originates from. Some believe this dish originates from either the nomadic Song or Yuan Dynasty people, others believe Wangan Liu to be the pioneer but it is also presumed that Kuangyin Zhao was the first. In《淮南子·齐俗训》(Huai Nan Zi Qi Su Xun), there is this account of the preparation: “今屠牛而烹其肉,或以为酸,或以为甘,煎熬燎炙,齐味万方,其本一牛之体。” which means that from the same cow meat one can obtain different flavours, such as sweet or sour, by different cooking methods. This dish is now one of the most traditional and authentic foods in the Anhui province and there are a good number of street food vendors who cook a delicious and authentic version of it for a good price.

Possible Variations:
Noodle Type- rice noodle (mi fen) or sweet potato noodle (hong shu fen)
Optional boiled egg added at the end

Wú Gǔ Jī Liǔ – Chicken Fingers/Chicken Strips – 无骨鸡柳$

Wú Gǔ Jī Liǔ(Chinese: 无骨鸡柳) is one of the most common street food found not only in Shanghai but all over China. Almost every student has tasted this typical street food at the school gate during their school days. It is very common that a crowd of students gather around the vendor to buy the chicken fingers after classes on their way home. Not expensive, generally there’s only¥2 that you can buy one strip.

Liǔ in Chinese means willow. The reason why it is called Jī Liǔ is that the chicken breast has to be cut into several slices of the shape of willow leaves before fried. Different from making it at home, most of the chicken fingers were fried once before vendors come to street to sell them. And when someone wants to buy the chicken fingers, the vendor will fry them again to warm them.(one thing makes it unhealthy is that sometimes the vendor even fries them 3 or more times without changing oil) Before being eaten, the chicken fingers will usually be topped with various flavoring including paprika, ground cumin and hot sauce. Along with a stick inserted, the chicken fingers are easy to hold to eat on the street.

Ingredients:
Chicken breast is main and essential. The marinade is necessary which is a mixture of water, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, yellow wine, MSG(monosodium glutamate), table salt, sugar, ground white pepper, garlic powder, and oil.

Cooking Method:
Cut chicken breast into pieces, and then cut chicken breast pieces into strips as willow leaves. Insert a wooden stick into per strips. Mix all the ingredients together to make marinade. Soak the chicken strips in the marinade in refrigerator for 12 hours to flavor and soften them thoroughly. It is recommended to turn all the chicken strips over in marinade every 2 hours. When the chicken strips are well soused with marinade after 12 hours, pour about 300ml oil to pot and then heat it. When bubbles can be seen, put the chicken strips into hot oil and fry them for about 2 minutes. Then take them out and get rid of oil.

History:
Different from classic friend chicken, there’s no flour wrapping around the chicken. But since it became popular after 2000, it honestly has something to do with western fried chicken. So it’s more like a variation: a type of Chinese localized western fast food. As for street food, to make them faster and sell them more on the street, the vendors fry them at home, so those chicken strips are just semi-finished products, and they fry them again on the street before selling them. And sometimes, owing to problems, they will fry these chicken strips three times and even more. Though it is unhealthy, this repeated process is normally what we usually called street food style.

Possible Variation:
xiāng sū Jī Liǔ – Chicken Fingers/Chicken Strips – 香酥鸡柳

Reference:
General information: Chicken strips vendor Mr. Zhang around Nextage Department Store on Zhangyang Raod

bīngtáng húlú – Candied Haw in a Stick – 冰糖葫芦

Tanghulu is one of the most traditional Chinese snacks in history. The taste is sour hawthorn and sweet, crispy sugar cover. It is made by several candied Chinese hawthorns on a bamboo skewer. Hulu means the bottle gourd in Chinese but here it refers to all small, round fruits used to make this kind of snack. It is commonly sold in winter, which is the reason why Iced Tanghulu is the other name, since the sugar cover is cold in winter. If Tanghulu is made in summer, the sugar cover will be sticky and impair the taste of it.

Tangulu is considered as a northern Chinese cuisine originally, but later it was sold all over China. In the past, the vendors put the Iced Tanghulu in a cart or carrying pole, and they would peddle along the street. The child gathered around the vendors to purchase Tanghulu. Contemporarily, some manufacturers also have their own shop to sell the Tanghulu instead of peddling.

Ingredients:
Sugar syrup
Chinese hawthorn
Sesame sprinkles
Alternatively:
Cherry tomatoes
Mandarin orange
Strawberries
Kiwifruit
Grapes

Cooking method:
The Chinese hawthorns are put together onto a bamboo skewer. Then the skewer is immersed into the sugar syrup so that the whole skewer and hawthorns can be covered with the syrup. The cover of sugar will get hard after the skewer is took out from the syrup. Alternatively, the hawthorns can be replaced by other fruits.

History:
The contemporary view the origin of Tanghulu is Liao Dynasty, but there are also some folk stories depicting the history.
It is said that Consort Huang (the most favorite concubines of the emperor) got heavily sick and the royal doctors could not treat her. The Emperor Guang of Song dynasty inquired in the whole country and one doctor from the outside of palace succeeded in curing the Consort. He asked the consort to eat hawthorns with candies. Later, the method became prevailing in folk and was called as Tanghulu.

 

Bing Tanghulu in literature:
“Either in daytime or night, people can always hear the vendor’s peddling about the persimmons. And the vendors also peddle the Bing Tanghulu, which is adored by children. Several candied fruitlet are put together on the skewer.” – Lin Yutang (Translated by Zhenyu Zhu)

Photo Credit to: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TangHuLu.JPG

Gǎ Ba Cài – Pancake Stripe “Noodles” – 嘎巴菜$

Gǎ Ba Cài (嘎巴菜) is a Tianjinese word. After translated into standard Mandarin, it is called Guō Ba Cài (锅巴菜). It is a traditional Tianjin street food which only serves as breakfast. It is so unique that no one can find it anywhere else around the world. Ga Ba Cai looks like short wide green noodles dipped in sticky brown sauce. Ga Ba Cai is salty and with a complex taste from a combination of many different kinds of spices. The “noodle” part is chewy and the “sauce” part is strong and a bit sticky. The “noodle” part is called “Gǎ Ba (嘎巴)”. “Gǎ Ba” is the Tianjinese for “Guō Ba (锅巴)”, which means the “crust” part that is created when rice or paste touches hot metal surface. “Ga Ba” is another way for Tianjinese to say “Jiān Bing (煎饼)” (pancakes). The “sauce” part is called “Lǔ (卤)”, which means the sticky soup-like sauce.

Ingredients:
Rice, Mung Beans, Chopped Scallions, Chopped Ginger, Cut Caraway Pieces, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Aniseed Powder, Ferment Flour Sauce, Soy Sauce, Five Spices Powder, Soda Powder, Starch Solution, Smoked Tofu Slices, Preserved Tofu Sauce, Sesame Sauce Chili Oil and Garlic Chops Dipped in Water, etc..

Gǎ Ba Cài (嘎巴菜) is a Tianjinese word. After translated into standard Mandarin, it is called Guō Ba Cài (锅巴菜). It is a traditional Tianjin street food which only serves as breakfast. It is so unique that no one can find it anywhere else around the world. Ga Ba Cai looks like short wide green noodles dipped in sticky brown sauce. Ga Ba Cai is salty and with a complex taste from a combination of many different kinds of spices. The “noodle” part is chewy and the “sauce” part is strong and a bit sticky. The “noodle” part is called “Gǎ Ba (嘎巴)”. “Gǎ Ba” is the Tianjinese for “Guō Ba (锅巴)”, which means the “crust” part that is created when rice or paste touches hot metal surface. “Ga Ba” is another way for Tianjinese to say “Jiān Bing (煎饼)” (pancakes). The “sauce” part is called “Lǔ (卤)”, which means the sticky soup-like sauce.

Ingredients:
Rice, Mung Beans, Chopped Scallions, Chopped Ginger, Cut Caraway Pieces, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Aniseed Powder, Ferment Flour Sauce, Soy Sauce, Five Spices Powder, Soda Powder, Starch Solution, Smoked Tofu Slices, Preserved Tofu Sauce, Sesame Sauce Chili Oil and Garlic Chops Dipped in Water, etc..

Cooking Methods:
Making “Gǎ Ba”:
The ratio between rice and mung beans should be 1:1. Soak rice and mung beans in water until they are soft, mill them into paste. Get a spoonful of paste and pour it onto a special pan (which is constructed with a flat iron plate and a barrel-shaped stove under it, people use to add coal into the stove). Use a T-shape bamboo pice push the paste a round to form a very thin layer of pancake (Gǎ Ba or Guō Ba or Jiā Bing). Use a metal blade to remove the pancake from the pan. Collect a deck of pancakes, cut them into stripes like bamboo leaves. Lay the pancake stripes aside and let them cool down. Add a bit of flour to them and shake a bit in case they will stick together.
Making “Lǔ”:
Boil peanut oil and add chopped scallions, chopped ginger and caraway pieces until they create a special smell. Add aniseed powder and ferment flour paste and stir fry for a while. Pour in soy sauce until boiled. Add salt water, five spices powder and soda power; boil until boiled. Add starch solution and stir until the whole soup is sticky.
Final Step:
Get a bowl of “Ga Ba”, for the “Lu” in it. Stir a bit and add smoked tofu slices, preserved tofu sauce, chili oil, sesame paste, chopped caraway and chopped garlic in water (the ingredients added varies from stand to stand). Stir again and enjoy.

Tips:
1. Put “Lu” and “Ga Ba” together only when you are about to eat it. Soaking in “Lu” for too long can make “Ga Ba” too soft and lose its chewy texture.
2. Eat “Ga Ba Cai” when it is hot. After it get cold, the “Lu” will change its texture and taste (“Ga Ba” can be cold but “Lu” must be hot).
3. Since “Ga Ba Cai” has a strong and salty taste, most people will have a bowl of soy milk or eat a “Shao Bing” (sesame pancake) with it.

History:
As known, Jian Bing are from Shandong and has been exported to everywhere around China. In addition to wrap vegetables and eat with sauce, some people also soak Jian Bing in water because they are dry. After Jian Bing came into Tianjin, there forms two ways of eating Jian Bing: Jian Bing Guo Zi (fried bread stick wrapped with pancake) and Ga Ba Cai. The earliest and most famous place to eat Ga Ba Cai is Da Fu Lai (大福来), the name means “great luck comes” in Chinese. Ga Ba Cai was created in Qing Dynasty. A man called Zhang Lan managed a Jian Bing stand to earn living. When the emperor Qian Long came to Tianjin, he stopped at Zhang Lan’s stand and ordered some Jian Bing. Because the emperor has never tasted non-royal food, so he became very curious and ate the Jian Bing too fast. Because Jian Bing are dry, so Qian Long was chocked by eating too fast. Zhang Lan turns very nervous and thought the emperor will punish him. At this moment, Zhang Lan’s wife came up with an idea and soaked Jian Bing into a kind of salty soup she just created and gives to her husband to offered to Qian Long. After Qian Long taste it, he was so amazed by the taste and asked who created the dish. Zhang Lan’s wife came out from the back and saluted the Emperor. Qian Long asked her name and it turns out her name is Guo Ba, which is the same sound as the food Guo Ba. Qian Long praised her name and said it just means the “Ga Ba” on a pan. Qian Long decided to name the food after the women and add a character Cài (菜) which means dish and formed a name “Ga Ba Cai”. The day later, Qian Long awarded the couple with a lot of money. The guard who was sent to deliver the money told the couple that their great luck comes. To show their gracefulness, Zhang Lan changed the name of his stand in to Da Fu Lai and changed his Jian Bing stand into Ga Ba Cai stand which sells Ga Ba Cai only. After refined the cooking method, Ga Ba Cai gets very popular in Tianjin.

Related Cuisine:
Tianjingnese Cuisine

Gǎ Ba Cài (嘎巴菜) is a Tianjinese word. After translated into standard Mandarin, it is called Guō Ba Cài (锅巴菜). It is a traditional Tianjin street food which only serves as breakfast. It is so unique that no one can find it anywhere else around the world. Ga Ba Cai looks like short wide green noodles dipped in sticky brown sauce. Ga Ba Cai is salty and with a complex taste from a combination of many different kinds of spices. The “noodle” part is chewy and the “sauce” part is strong and a bit sticky. The “noodle” part is called “Gǎ Ba (嘎巴)”. “Gǎ Ba” is the Tianjinese for “Guō Ba (锅巴)”, which means the “crust” part that is created when rice or paste touches hot metal surface. “Ga Ba” is another way for Tianjinese to say “Jiān Bing (煎饼)” (pancakes). The “sauce” part is called “Lǔ (卤)”, which means the sticky soup-like sauce.

Ingredients:
Rice, Mung Beans, Chopped Scallions, Chopped Ginger, Cut Caraway Pieces, Peanut Oil, Sesame Oil, Aniseed Powder, Ferment Flour Sauce, Soy Sauce, Five Spices Powder, Soda Powder, Starch Solution, Smoked Tofu Slices, Preserved Tofu Sauce, Sesame Sauce Chili Oil and Garlic Chops Dipped in Water, etc..

Cooking Methods:
Making “Gǎ Ba”:
The ratio between rice and mung beans should be 1:1. Soak rice and mung beans in water until they are soft, mill them into paste. Get a spoonful of paste and pour it onto a special pan (which is constructed with a flat iron plate and a barrel-shaped stove under it, people use to add coal into the stove). Use a T-shape bamboo pice push the paste a round to form a very thin layer of pancake (Gǎ Ba or Guō Ba or Jiā Bing). Use a metal blade to remove the pancake from the pan. Collect a deck of pancakes, cut them into stripes like bamboo leaves. Lay the pancake stripes aside and let them cool down. Add a bit of flour to them and shake a bit in case they will stick together.
Making “Lǔ”:
Boil peanut oil and add chopped scallions, chopped ginger and caraway pieces until they create a special smell. Add aniseed powder and ferment flour paste and stir fry for a while. Pour in soy sauce until boiled. Add salt water, five spices powder and soda power; boil until boiled. Add starch solution and stir until the whole soup is sticky.
Final Step:
Get a bowl of “Ga Ba”, for the “Lu” in it. Stir a bit and add smoked tofu slices, preserved tofu sauce, chili oil, sesame paste, chopped caraway and chopped garlic in water (the ingredients added varies from stand to stand). Stir again and enjoy.

Tips:
1. Put “Lu” and “Ga Ba” together only when you are about to eat it. Soaking in “Lu” for too long can make “Ga Ba” too soft and lose its chewy texture.
2. Eat “Ga Ba Cai” when it is hot. After it get cold, the “Lu” will change its texture and taste (“Ga Ba” can be cold but “Lu” must be hot).
3. Since “Ga Ba Cai” has a strong and salty taste, most people will have a bowl of soy milk or eat a “Shao Bing” (sesame pancake) with it.

History:
As known, Jian Bing are from Shandong and has been exported to everywhere around China. In addition to wrap vegetables and eat with sauce, some people also soak Jian Bing in water because they are dry. After Jian Bing came into Tianjin, there forms two ways of eating Jian Bing: Jian Bing Guo Zi (fried bread stick wrapped with pancake) and Ga Ba Cai. The earliest and most famous place to eat Ga Ba Cai is Da Fu Lai (大福来), the name means “great luck comes” in Chinese. Ga Ba Cai was created in Qing Dynasty. A man called Zhang Lan managed a Jian Bing stand to earn living. When the emperor Qian Long came to Tianjin, he stopped at Zhang Lan’s stand and ordered some Jian Bing. Because the emperor has never tasted non-royal food, so he became very curious and ate the Jian Bing too fast. Because Jian Bing are dry, so Qian Long was chocked by eating too fast. Zhang Lan turns very nervous and thought the emperor will punish him. At this moment, Zhang Lan’s wife came up with an idea and soaked Jian Bing into a kind of salty soup she just created and gives to her husband to offered to Qian Long. After Qian Long taste it, he was so amazed by the taste and asked who created the dish. Zhang Lan’s wife came out from the back and saluted the Emperor. Qian Long asked her name and it turns out her name is Guo Ba, which is the same sound as the food Guo Ba. Qian Long praised her name and said it just means the “Ga Ba” on a pan. Qian Long decided to name the food after the women and add a character Cài (菜) which means dish and formed a name “Ga Ba Cai”. The day later, Qian Long awarded the couple with a lot of money. The guard who was sent to deliver the money told the couple that their great luck comes. To show their gracefulness, Zhang Lan changed the name of his stand in to Da Fu Lai and changed his Jian Bing stand into Ga Ba Cai stand which sells Ga Ba Cai only. After refined the cooking method, Ga Ba Cai gets very popular in Tianjin.

Related Cuisine:
Tianjingnese Cuisine
Making “Gǎ Ba”:
The ratio between rice and mung beans should be 1:1. Soak rice and mung beans in water until they are soft, mill them into paste. Get a spoonful of paste and pour it onto a special pan (which is constructed with a flat iron plate and a barrel-shaped stove under it, people use to add coal into the stove). Use a T-shape bamboo pice push the paste a round to form a very thin layer of pancake (Gǎ Ba or Guō Ba or Jiā Bing). Use a metal blade to remove the pancake from the pan. Collect a deck of pancakes, cut them into stripes like bamboo leaves. Lay the pancake stripes aside and let them cool down. Add a bit of flour to them and shake a bit in case they will stick together.
Making “Lǔ”:
Boil peanut oil and add chopped scallions, chopped ginger and caraway pieces until they create a special smell. Add aniseed powder and ferment flour paste and stir fry for a while. Pour in soy sauce until boiled. Add salt water, five spices powder and soda power; boil until boiled. Add starch solution and stir until the whole soup is sticky.
Final Step:
Get a bowl of “Ga Ba”, for the “Lu” in it. Stir a bit and add smoked tofu slices, preserved tofu sauce, chili oil, sesame paste, chopped caraway and chopped garlic in water (the ingredients added varies from stand to stand). Stir again and enjoy.

Tips:
1. Put “Lu” and “Ga Ba” together only when you are about to eat it. Soaking in “Lu” for too long can make “Ga Ba” too soft and lose its chewy texture.
2. Eat “Ga Ba Cai” when it is hot. After it get cold, the “Lu” will change its texture and taste (“Ga Ba” can be cold but “Lu” must be hot).
3. Since “Ga Ba Cai” has a strong and salty taste, most people will have a bowl of soy milk or eat a “Shao Bing” (sesame pancake) with it.

History:
As known, Jian Bing are from Shandong and has been exported to everywhere around China. In addition to wrap vegetables and eat with sauce, some people also soak Jian Bing in water because they are dry. After Jian Bing came into Tianjin, there forms two ways of eating Jian Bing: Jian Bing Guo Zi (fried bread stick wrapped with pancake) and Ga Ba Cai. The earliest and most famous place to eat Ga Ba Cai is Da Fu Lai (大福来), the name means “great luck comes” in Chinese. Ga Ba Cai was created in Qing Dynasty. A man called Zhang Lan managed a Jian Bing stand to earn living. When the emperor Qian Long came to Tianjin, he stopped at Zhang Lan’s stand and ordered some Jian Bing. Because the emperor has never tasted non-royal food, so he became very curious and ate the Jian Bing too fast. Because Jian Bing are dry, so Qian Long was chocked by eating too fast. Zhang Lan turns very nervous and thought the emperor will punish him. At this moment, Zhang Lan’s wife came up with an idea and soaked Jian Bing into a kind of salty soup she just created and gives to her husband to offered to Qian Long. After Qian Long taste it, he was so amazed by the taste and asked who created the dish. Zhang Lan’s wife came out from the back and saluted the Emperor. Qian Long asked her name and it turns out her name is Guo Ba, which is the same sound as the food Guo Ba. Qian Long praised her name and said it just means the “Ga Ba” on a pan. Qian Long decided to name the food after the women and add a character Cài (菜) which means dish and formed a name “Ga Ba Cai”. The day later, Qian Long awarded the couple with a lot of money. The guard who was sent to deliver the money told the couple that their great luck comes. To show their gracefulness, Zhang Lan changed the name of his stand in to Da Fu Lai and changed his Jian Bing stand into Ga Ba Cai stand which sells Ga Ba Cai only. After refined the cooking method, Ga Ba Cai gets very popular in Tianjin.

Related Cuisine:
Tianjingnese Cuisine

Luóbosī bǐng – Turnip Strips Cake – 萝卜丝饼

Luó bo sī bǐng–Turnip strips cake (萝卜丝饼) is originated in Jiangsu Province, which is a popular pastry near the area around Suzhou, Wuxi and Jiangyin. The recipe of turnip strip cake varies due to different place and time period. People usually eat turnip strip cakes for breakfast since it provides both pastry and vegetable, which is healthier than the deep fried pastries. Turnip strips cake are can be easily find at the breakfast vendors, as well as in some traditional eateries. The most traditional way to bake the turnip strips cake is to put it in a coal stove. When the vendor picks out a piece with the long “pliers,” you will definitely be appealed by the smell of the turnip strips cakes. With the development of the cooking supplies, more and more eateries choose to use electronic oven for convenience, but most vendors on street still keep the coal stove. The common price for a turnip strip cake is about 1.5 kuai to 3.5 kuai.

Ingredients:
Stuffing part:
Turnip, ham (preferred, or salted meat or fresh meat), spring onion;
lard oil, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, white pepper powder, spring onion.
Pastry part:
Flour, sesame, lard oil, vegetable oil, salt, water, yeast powder.

Cooking Method:
Stuffing Part:
1. Chop turnip into thin strips, put some salt into the turnip strips and wait for 10 mins to squeeze the water out.
2. Boil the vegetable oil and pour the hot oil on the chopped spring onion to make the spring onion oil.
3. Chop ham/salted meat/fresh meat into small granule, seasoning with a little cooking wine.
4. Mix the turnip strips, chopped ham or meat, spring onion oil and the lard oil, seasoning the mixture with salt, sugar and white pepper powder.
Pastry part:
1. Mix half of the flour with yeast powder and warm water. Let the dough rest for 30 mins.
2. Mix another half of the flour with the vegetable oil and the lard oil to make the oil pastry.
3. Make both of the dough and the oil pastry into thin pieces. The size of the dough should be twice larger than the oil pastry. Put the oil pastry in the middle, fold the two sides of the dough and then use the stick to roll the mixed dough into the original size.
4. Fold the mixed dough, and use the stick to roll it into the original size. Repeat at least three times.
5. Use the pastry to wrap the stuffing. Put some sesame on the top. Bake the raw turnip strip cakes in the coal stove or oven for 10-12mins.
* Lard oil is essential in this street food and most lard oil is hand-made by the vendors. They chop the raw leaf lard into small pieces and then boil that in water; when water get evaporated, the lard oil comes out and eventually it would become pure lard oil. People usually store lard oil just in bottle or bowl because it would be concrete so that it’s hard to go bad. The left cracklings, for some people, could be their favorite snake. Many of the famous food in Shanghai, like wonton(馄饨), bā bǎo fàn–Eight Treasures Rice(八宝饭)and etc. It’s also popular among southern China. Scientific research shows that lard oil contains high content of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, which is good for health.

Recommended Place to Go:
East Gate Eatery 东门餐厅
Address: No. 2 Kangjia Lane, by Zhonghua Road, Huangpu district.
*Please notice that if the boss is not in a good mood or not satisfied with the quality of the ingredients, chances are that you might not get a turnip strip cake from him

History:
Nowadays in Shanghai, the turnip strips cake is not the same as what people in Suzhou eat. The earliest version is to put the wet pastry in a small mould with the turnip strips, pour another layer of wet pastry on the top and then fry it, which is now called yóu dūn zǐ油墩子in Shanghai. Shanghai style turnip strips cake is a combination of the turnip stuffing with huáng qiáo shāo bǐng– Huangqiao sesame cake(黄桥烧饼), which is originated in Suqian, Jiangsu, so the Shanghai style turnip cake can keep both the golden brown flaky pastry and the juicy and tasty turnip stuffing. The turnip strips cake has been in fusion since it is introduced in Shanghai. One example is the fusion with the fried egg pancake from northeastern part of China, where people prefer to put stuffing like leek in the pastry. Instead of the flaky pastry, this type of turnip strips cake is thinner and crispier, because the plain pastry is fried. People first put a piece of pastry on the pan, then the turnip strips and the egg, and finally fold everything into a rectangle piece. Usually this kind of fried turnip strip are served with a special sauce.

  

Possible Variations:
luó bo sī jī dàn guàn bǐng–fried egg pancake with turnip strips stuffing
luó bo sī sū—turnip stirps puff, in Cantonese Dim Sum

Related Cuisine:
Jiangsu Cuisine, Shanghai Cuisine

NYU-SH (Fall 2015) Street Food Final Projects

Deep Mapping Shanghai’s Street Food: Final Projects

Jianbing – An Impact (Alec Roscoe & Sam Chen)

What is Authentic Xinjiang Cuisine (Wesley Livingstone & Lilian Korinek

Halal Food & Community (Sunny Xiang, Mary Kate How Fee Koy  & Anna Schmidt)

Shanghai Street Food: Turf, Tradition, Taste (Rio Hodges & Larry Wu)

xxGuanxi Capitalism (Ben Weilun Zhang and Michael Kumar)

In the Modern City... (Matthew Patel & Roz DeMesa)

Culinary Tourism in Asia (Nava Shmulevich & Julia Lee)

A Story of a Chuar Family (Jimmy Machale , Forest Denton & Anya Shevchenko)

NYU-SH (Spring 2015): Street Food & Urban Farming

Deep Mapping Shanghai’s Street Food: Videos & Final Projects

STORIES OF CHANGE ON SIPAILOU AND DANFENG ROAD (Li Jiawei and Bai Hailun)

Video Interview: Street Sellers (Li Jiawei, Bai Hailun and Michelle Huang)

THE SYMPHONY OF STREET FOOD  (Tyler Rhorick, Xiran Yang and Hunter Jarvis)

STREET FOOD AND NIGHTLIFE ON YONGFU LU (Annie Seaman, Taylor Miller, and Michael Chavez)

Video: Burgers, Community & Friendship

THE SMALL (STREET FOOD) COMMUNITY: YUAN ZHU XIAO QU/源竹小区 (Michelle Huang)

ECNU (THE OLD AND THE NEW) (Sarabi, Cici Zhang and Tayyaba Aslam)

*  Video Interview: Remembering Street Food & the Popcorn Vendor

EXPLORING HONGKOU DISTRICT (Rewant Prakash, Amy Zhao and Guillermo  Carrasquero)

Video: Green Onion Pancake Interview

WEIFANG LU & ZHANGYANG LU: THE ‘OLD’ NEIGHBORHOOD (Echo Wang and Kevin Pham)

* Video Interview: Frying to Make a Living  

Tongji University

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Bear in mind – wherever there’s a college, there’s street food. One of the top univercities in Shanghai, Tongji University is also famous for its street food market. The food includes skewers, noodles, etc, all at a price competitive with the food served at Tongji’s own canteen.

Wenmiao Road文庙路

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Wenmiao or Confucius Temple, used to be the place where Chinese worshipped Confucius and students prayed for good grades and bright future. While the temple was still there, Wenmiao Road has become a classic Shanghai local market. Located in the heart of the old Shanghai area, Wenmiao Road has now become the favorite place for local students, game and anime lovers and collectors. Streetfood also flourished there, to meet the needs of the passengers.

 

 

Zhangjiang High Tech Park

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The Zhangjiang High Tech Park is one of the biggest IT/Research Park in China. Its residence are mostly college students and young white-collars. Street food market flourished there and most stalls gathered near the metro station.

Xi’an rou jia mou: Dingxi Lu, Wuyi Lu

map

  1. Name/ Description: 西安肉夹馍/ Xī’ān ròu jiā mó
  2. Specialty (named dish): Ròu jiā mó, “meat burger”, “meat sandwich”
  3. Location/Area: Changning District, Dingxi Lu and Wuyi Lu
  4. Fixed or Moving: Moving Cart (make shift table attached to a bike)
  5. Time of Day: Evening
  6. Comments: The server was really nice and very trusting. Most street food stand owners tend to accept money whilst they prepare your food. However, this particular stand owner was trusting enough to allow us to take out own change from his money jar.
  7. Review: First time at this cart and also first time trying this dish. After trying this we definitely would come back or try it at a different cart because the flavor was unique and quite delicious. For only 5 yuan we got a hearty portion of richly spiced pork stuffed between Chinese-styled “pita” bread. We’ve seen this snack in other street food locations before that were popular however this particular stall had few customer. This could be attributed to the time of day (we went at 7 PM) and it’s location.

 pot

cart

 

Man Offers $16,112 Reward to Test Youtiao

China Daily reported about a man named Wang Dawei, a youtiao street food vendor from Weifang in East Chinas Shandong province, who offered a 100,000RMB reward to any individual who could disprove his claim that his youtiao was not aluminum-free. Many people know that the secret ingredient local street food vendors use to make their youtiao extra-puffy and crispy is aluminum sulfate crystals, a highly toxic ingredient if consumed too often or at large amounts.

“Using a unique technique, Wang’s youtiao onlycontain 0.7 milligram of aluminum per kilogram. This not only reaches the international standard of 100 milligram per kilogram, but isalso lower than the ceiling of 10 milligram per kilogram for fried food issued by the European Union.”

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-04/10/content_17424989.htm