beijing Chinese food and snack

62 Best Beijing Chinese Foods & Snacks You Must Try 2023

Hey there, fellow food enthusiasts! Get ready to embark on a wild culinary ride through the streets of Beijing, where deliciousness awaits at every corner. It’s 2023, and boy, oh boy, has this city been cooking up some mouthwatering surprises!

In this blog post, I am taking you on an epic gastronomic adventure, introducing you to the 62 absolute must-try Beijing Chinese foods and snacks that will make your taste buds throw a parade in your mouth. From traditional classics to quirky concoctions, Beijing has unleashed its culinary creativity like a chef on a sugar rush.

So loosen those belts, sharpen those chopsticks, and prepare for a hilarious and delicious extravaganza as we delve into the 62 best Beijing Chinese foods and snacks you absolutely must try in 2023. Bon appétit and brace yourself for a belly full of laughs and flavors!

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🍚Top 42 Beijing Chinese Foods

1. Peking Duck

 Peking duck

Peking duck (Chinese: 北京烤鸭) is a famous Beijing Chinese dish renowned for its crispy skin and succulent meat, and it has become a symbol of Chinese cuisine worldwide.

The dish involves roasting a whole duck until the skin turns golden and crispy, while the meat remains tender and juicy. The duck is typically served with thin pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and a sweet hoisin sauce. The skin is carefully sliced and placed in the pancake along with the other ingredients, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Peking duck is a beloved culinary experience, cherished for its delicious taste and cultural significance.

2. Golden Crab Roe Tofu

Golden Crab Roe Tofu beijing food

This recipe (Chinese: 蟹黄豆腐) creates a vibrant golden dish by blending tofu and crab roe. It involves stir-frying diced tofu and crab roe together with garlic, ginger, and various seasonings. The outcome is a delightful and healthy dish with a distinctive golden color derived from the crab roe. Apart from enhancing the dish’s appearance, the crab roe contributes a unique and delicious flavor to it.

Note: Due to the high cost and complexity of extracting crab roe, it is frequently substituted with salted eggs.

3. Peking Shredded Pork with Sweet Bean Sauce

Peking-shredded-pork-with-sweet-bean-sauce-beijing-food

Peking shredded pork with sweet bean sauce(Chinese: 京酱肉丝) is a well-known and beloved dish in Beijing’s culinary scene. It is a straightforward dish to prepare, consisting of marinated shredded pork that is stir-fried until cooked, followed by the addition of a sweet sauce, which is then simmered until it thickens. Finally, the dish is quickly tossed to ensure that every pork strip is coated in a flavorful sauce.

Typically enjoyed alongside steamed white rice, this dish is widely favored in various Chinese restaurants. For an enhanced taste experience, it is common to pair it with Chinese onion, as the locals do.

4. Steamed Pork with Rice Flour

Steamed-Pork-with-Rice-Flour-beijing-food

Beijing authentic steamed pork with rice flour(Chinese: 粉蒸肉) is a delectable and healthy dish that features pork belly and homemade rice flour as its primary components. To prepare the dish, the marinated pork belly is combined with the rice paste before being steamed in a steamer for 90 minutes at high heat. The resulting dish is rich in flavor and texture, with the steamed meat being tender, without being overly greasy.

5. Stir-fried Potherb Mustard

Stir-fried-Potherb-Mustard-beijing-food

The main ingredients of this dish(Chinese: 炒雪里红) are potherb mustard and ground pork. The cooking method involves mixing the marinated potherb mustard, bean sprouts, and pork together and stir-frying them until well combined. Despite its simplicity and affordability, this dish offers a savory and delicious flavor that appeals to people of all ages.

6. Fried Chinese Toons

Fried-Chinese-Toons-beijing-food

Fried Chinese toons dish (Chinese: 炸香椿鱼儿) is a traditional Han Chinese dish in Beijing. The main ingredients used in the dish are Chinese toon sprouts, flour, and eggs. To prepare the dish, the Chinese toon sprouts are coated evenly with the prepared paste before being fried in a pan. The resulting dish has a crispy golden skin, and the toon sprouts have a fresh and tender taste with an irresistible aroma.

7. Stir-Fried Sliced Lamb with Scallion

Stir-fried-sliced-lamb-with-scallion-beijing-food

Stir-fried sliced lamb with scallion(Chinese: 葱爆羊肉) is a medicinal dish that combines mutton and eggs as its main ingredients. This dish is known for its health benefits, including tonifying Yang, strengthening the waist and kidneys, and nourishing the body. To ensure the lamb is tender and juicy, the selection of ingredients and cooking methods are crucial.

It is recommended to choose fresh lamb shank with minimal lamb odor, as this type of meat is easier to cook thoroughly and retains its tenderness. Once the meat is in the pan, it should be quickly cooked over high heat. This technique results in a shiny appearance of the dish and ensures the meat remains tender, providing a satisfying aftertaste that lingers on the palate.

8. Stewed Lamb

Stewed-Lamb-beijing-food

Lamb, known for its warm nature, is often consumed during the winter season to increase body heat and combat the cold. This dish(Chinese: 焖羊肉) involves frying the lamb in a small amount of oil and then adding seasonings to simmer it over low heat. This cooking method results in a flavorful and tender lamb without any strong “goaty” taste.

9. Braised Sea Cucumber with Scallions

Braised sea cucumber with scallions (Chinese: 葱烧海参) is a highly popular dish, counted among the top ten classic dishes of Beijing. The key ingredients include sea cucumber and green onion, with the preparation being deceptively simple yet difficult to master. Green onions are added to help eliminate any unwanted odor from the sea cucumber, and together the two create a harmonious flavor profile.

The dish has a savory and slightly sweet taste, with the sea cucumber being exceptionally tender and flavorful, accentuated by the aroma of the scallions.

Besides its delectable taste, sea cucumber is also highly nutritious, being an excellent source of protein and low in fat. However, it tends to be relatively expensive.

10. Fried Dough Drops

Fried-Dough-Drops-Beijing-food

Fried dough drops dish(Chinese: 炒疙瘩) is a unique fried noodle dish originating from Beijing. To make it, fine flour is mixed with water and kneaded into a dough which is then cut into small pieces and boiled in water. After boiling, the dough drops are immersed in cold water for three to five minutes to ensure they are the perfect texture. Shredded beef is stir-fried with oil and seasonings, then combined with the dough drops and sesame oil and fried until golden.

The dish is typically mixed with a variety of seasonal vegetables and has a colorful appearance and soft, pliable texture.

11. Braised Pork Belly With Red Fermented Bean Curd

Braised-Pork-Belly-beijing-food

Braised pork belly with red fermented bean curd (Chinese: 京味腐乳红烧肉) is a popular Beijing dish that combines the rich flavors of red fermented tofu with a tender pork belly. The cooking method involves both stir-frying and braising, resulting in a dish with a delightful rosy color and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is often served with steamed rice, allowing the flavorful sauce to be soaked up and enjoyed with each bite.

What is Red fermented bean curd?

Red fermented bean curd, also known as bean curd, is made by fermenting soybeans with ingredients such as yellow rice wine, sorghum wine, and monascus. This fermentation process gives it a strong flavor profile, making it an ideal seasoning for various braised dishes.

12. Braised Ribbon Fish

Braised-Ribbon-Fish-beijing-food

The famous braised ribbon fish(Chinese: 酥焖带鱼) is highly regarded in imperial cuisine. The preparation involves frying the fish initially, followed by braising it in a casserole alongside a medley of spices. The resulting dish exhibits a vibrant red hue and delivers a delightful blend of salty and fresh flavors. The fish boasts crispy bones and tender, moist flesh, making it a versatile option that can be served either hot or cold.

13. Braised Pork with Gold Ingot Eggs

Braised-Pork-with-Gold-Ingot-Eggs-beijing-food

Braised pork with gold ingot eggs(Chinese: 元宝肉), known as “yuan bao rou” in Chinese, is a well-loved dish savored during Chinese New Year celebrations, symbolizing wishes of prosperity and good fortune.

To achieve the distinctive appearance of Chinese ingots resembling boats, the top half of the egg white is skillfully removed. The braised pork, although fatty, is remarkably flavorful without being greasy, while the eggs soak up the savory meat soup, resulting in a truly delectable taste.

As the two ingredients simmer together, the flavors intensify, creating a more robust and satisfying culinary experience.

14. Fried Mutton Fillet in Sweet Sauce

Fried-Mutton-Fillet-beijing-food

The fried mutton fillet in sweet sauce (Chinese: 它似蜜) is a classic halal delicacy. Begin by thinly slicing the lamb and marinating it for 20 minutes. Then, fry the lamb fillet in oil until it undergoes a color transformation, and carefully remove it to drain any excess oil. Next, combine the sweet sauce with the lamb, ensuring a thorough blend, and continue stirring for an additional minute.

The resulting dish boasts an appetizing bright red hue. The tender lamb imparts a delightful balance of sweetness and tanginess, making it a truly irresistible treat.

15. Arhat Prawns (Luohan Prawns)

Arhat Prawns(Chinese: 罗汉大虾), a renowned Beijing dish enjoyed since the Qing Dynasty, have gained popularity due to their distinct appearance resembling a big-bellied Arhat. The main ingredients for this dish are prawns and sesame seeds. The recipe involves two cooking methods and presents the prawns in two different shapes and flavors.

The prawns are divided into two halves: the first half features a red shell, while the second half is golden with a shrimp filling. After cooking, the prawn portions are delicately arranged on a plate. The dish displays a vibrant and vivid color, with the tail portion providing a crispy texture and the head portion offering a delightful combination of sweetness and sourness.

Arhat Prawns are a classic delicacy that showcases the complexity of Beijing cuisine. The visually appealing presentation, coupled with the interplay of flavors and textures, has made this dish beloved among connoisseurs of Beijing cuisine throughout history.

16. Four Happy Balls (Braised Pork Balls)

Braised-Pork-Balls-beijing-food

Four happy balls(Chinese: 四喜丸子), a renowned Chinese delicacy from the Shandong culinary tradition, is a dish that comprises four delectable meatballs with rich color, aroma, and flavor. These four meatballs are significant as they symbolize four major life events, namely prosperity, status, longevity, and happiness.

To prepare this dish, the minced pork is mixed with chopped ginger, scallion, and water chestnut, forming a porous filling that helps absorb the juicy flavors while cooking. The meatballs are then deep-fried until golden in an oil pot while the sauce ingredients are boiled in another wok before adding the fried meatballs. The result is a delectable dish with a crispy exterior and juicy, tender interior meatballs.

17. Stir-fried Pickled Cucumbers

The stir-fried pickled cucumbers dish(Chinese: 肉丁炒酱瓜) is a popular dish commonly prepared at home. Pickled cucumbers, a well-known type of salted vegetable, are a staple in most households. The dish involves cooking diced meat with pickled cucumbers, resulting in a rich and savory flavor that combines the taste of the meat with the tang of the pickles.

In regular households, cucumbers are often bought for simple processing, turning them into ordinary pickles for everyday consumption. This versatile dish can be enjoyed either cold, accompanied by wine, or hot, served with rice.

18. Pork Rind Jelly Salad

Pork-Rind-Jelly-Salad-beijing-food

Making this dish(Chinese: 老北京豆酱) is not complicated, and more time is used to clean up the pork rind. The pork rind is cut into strips and simmered until thickens. Herbs and spices like star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaf are added to enhance the flavor. The mixture is then poured into a bowl and allowed to cool and set, forming a jelly-like consistency.

The texture of the jelly is slippery, while the taste is salty and smooth. It is commonly stored in the refrigerator and can be cut into various shapes when served.

19. Fried Chicken with Chinese Cabbage

Beijing cuisine’s fried chicken with Chinese cabbage(Chinese: 菜包鸡) is often considered as an enhanced version of Kung Pao Chicken. For this authentic dish, the chicken is marinated in a sauce for 20 minutes, then wrapped in cabbage leaves, coated in batter, and deep-fried until it turns a pale yellow color. The result is a delightful combination of crispy exterior and tender meat inside, making it a suitable choice for people of all ages.

20. Fried Tenderloin with Vinegar

Fried-Tenderloin-with-Vinegar-beijing-food

It is a dish(Chinese: 醋溜里脊) made by mixing fresh eggs and tenderloin and cooking them in a sauce that is prepared beforehand. The dish has a strong flavor of vinegar and is both sweet and sour, making it a popular home-cooked meal. It is especially refreshing during the hot summer months and is often served as an appetizer.

21. Braised Eggplant with Corn Cake

Braised eggplant with corn cake(Chinese: 金饼熬茄子) is known for its savory and flavorful taste, as well as its digestive benefits. The key ingredients in this dish are eggplant and corn cake. The cooking process involves first stir-frying pork belly, then adding eggplant and stir-frying it briefly. After seasoning, water is poured in and the dish is cooked for 7-8 minutes. Then, introduce tomatoes and corn cake to the pan and simmer until fully braised to completion.

22. Cold Braised Carp

Cold-Braised-Carp-beijing-food

Cold braised carp(Chinese: 五香鱼) boasts a savory and delectable taste with a delightful aroma, rivaling the renowned roast duck. The cooking process involves marinating the fish in a sauce for 45 minutes, followed by frying until golden brown. Once fried, the fish is removed from the oil, drained, and added to a pot along with various seasonings. It is then simmered until the flavors are concentrated and the dish is ready to be served.

23. Peking Duck Roll

Peking-Duck-Roll-beijing-food

The Peking duck roll (Chinese: 北京鸭卷) is a culinary creation derived from the famous Peking roast duck. It combines multiple cooking techniques to produce a unique dish.

It involves using Beijing roasted duck’s skin and leg meat, which is then sliced and rolled it up. The resulting roll exhibits a golden color and offers tender and delicate meat. The addition of cucumber adds a contrasting freshness to the overall texture of the duck.

This dish can be enjoyed as part of a meal or paired with drinks, and it has earned a place as a delicacy in the renowned “Whole Duck Banquet.”

24. Palace’s Deep-fried Fish Head and Steamed Fish

Palaces-Deep-fried-Fish-beijing-food

This particular dish (Chinese: 宫门献鱼) is renowned in Qing imperial cuisine. It begins with selecting a fresh whole fish, which is then cleaned and divided into three parts: the head, body, and tail. The head and tail are fried until they turn golden, while the marinated fish meat is steamed. Finally, a sauce is poured over the fish head, tail, and meat separately.

The presentation involves placing the head and tail on either side of the dish, with the white fish meat positioned in the center. This arrangement creates a visually appealing display reminiscent of a fish leaping out of a palace gate, offering two distinct colors and flavors.

The fish head and tail exhibit a pleasant blend of sweet, sour, and slightly salty tastes, while the fish meat in the middle remains fresh and tender.

25. Peking Cured Bacon

Peking cured bacon (Chinese: 北京熏肉)primarily consists of pork leg as the main ingredient, which is flavored with star anise, cinnamon, and green onion.

The process involves pickling, cooking, and smoking the meat. The fresh pork is cut into small pieces and salted overnight. The meat slices are then cooked in a mixture until the soup thickens, resulting in a flavorful dish.

Finally, the cooked meat is placed in a smoking drawer and smoked for approximately 10 minutes, giving it the distinctive quality of “cured bacon.”

26. Stir Fried Chicken with Sweet Bean Sauce

Stir-fried-chicken-with-sweet-bean-sauce-beijing-food

Stir-fried chicken with sweet bean sauce (Chinese: 酱爆鸡丁) is a time-honored Shandong cuisine that has been enjoyed for centuries. This dish showcases the traditional cooking techniques of Shandong cuisine, delivering a delectable combination of flavors with its rich sauce and sweet-salty taste.

The cooking process involves quickly stir-frying diced chicken with soy sauce over high heat to ensure that every piece of meat is evenly coated with the savory sauce. It is typically served with rice.

27. Baosanyang (fried pork, pig kidney and pig liver)

Baosanyang-beijing-food

Baosanyang (Chinese: 爆三样) is a flavorful dish consisting of sliced pork meat, pork kidney, and pork liver as the primary components. These three ingredients are combined and fried to create a dish that is visually appealing with its red and white colors, and it offers a fresh and rich taste. Moreover, Baosanyang is known for its beneficial effects in nourishing deficiencies, strengthening the spleen, and aiding digestion.

28. Stir-Fried Sliced Pork Tenderloin

Stir-Fried-Sliced-Pork-Tenderloin-beijing-food

Stir-fried sliced pork tenderloin (Chinese:滑溜里脊) is a dish that involves thinly sliced pieces of pork tenderloin being quickly cooked in a hot pan with oil and various seasonings.

The pork is usually marinated beforehand to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Common ingredients used in the dish include soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and vegetables like carrot and cucumber. The stir-frying process ensures that the pork cooks rapidly, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a delicious savory taste.

29. Stir-fried Shredded Chicken with Enoki Mushroom

Stir-fried-shredded-chicken-with-enoki-mushroom

Stir-fried shredded chicken with enoki mushroom (Chinese: 金针鸡丝) is a popular homemade dish that features enoki mushroom and chicken as the primary ingredients. To prepare, chicken breast is shredded and marinated with rice wine, ginger, and starch for 10 minutes. The shredded chicken and enoki mushrooms are then fried until cooked and finally garnished with chopped green onion and red pepper. It is also a low-calorie option, while the enoki mushrooms boost metabolism and strengthen the immune system.

30. Peking Ribs

Peking-Ribs-beijing-food

Peking ribs (Chinese: 京都排骨), also called Beijing-style ribs, are a popular Chinese dish originating from Beijing. Made from pork, these ribs are marinated with a blend of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, and spices, then roasted or grilled until tender. They are glazed with a sticky mixture of brown sugar and vinegar, resulting in a sweet and savory flavor.

Peking ribs are enjoyed as a delicious appetizer or main course, prized for their succulent meat and rich, caramelized coating.

31. Fried Duck with Green Pepper

beijng-Fried-Duck-with-Green-Pepper

The dish of fried duck with green pepper (Chinese: 青椒鸭丁) is prepared by stir-frying diced fresh duck breast and green pepper. Prior to cooking, the duck breast is marinated with egg white and starch. It is then cooked alongside the green pepper and seasoned to achieve optimal taste.

The seasoned duck meat becomes tender when mixed with the spicy green pepper, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy robust flavors.

32. Qianlong Cabbage

Qianlong-Cabbage-beijing-food

When visiting Beijing, it is highly recommended to indulge in the renowned Qianlong cabbage dish (Chinese: 乾隆白菜), believed to have been enjoyed by Emperor Qianlong during his covert travels.

The key to its essence lies in tearing the cabbage by hand, as cutting it with a knife alters the taste. The sauce plays a vital role, combining sesame paste, vinegar, honey, and sugar in precise proportions. Finding the right balance is crucial, as excessive vinegar or honey can affect the overall flavor.

With its delightful blend of sweet and sour notes, Qianlong cabbage offers a layered taste experience. It stands as a popular and quintessential cold dish with a flavorful sauce.

33. Pork Joint Stewed with Rock Sugar

Pork-Joint-Stewed-with-Rock-Sugar

A renowned dish from Beijing’s Tan’s Cuisine is the Pork joint stewed with rock sugar(Chinese: 冰糖肘子), which involves cooking pork joint with rock sugar through roasting, frying, and steaming. This delightful dish features a tender and crispy pork joint with a vibrant red color. The sauce has a thick, sticky texture and offers a delightful balance of salty and sweet flavors. Apart from its delicious taste, this stew is highly nutritious, providing benefits like enhancing skin strength and elasticity, as well as promoting facial beauty.

34. Instant-boiled Mutton

Instant-boiled-Mutton-beijing-food

Instant-boiled mutton (Chinese: 涮羊肉), also known as Hot Pot or shuan yang rou, is a popular Chinese dish originating from the regions of Inner Mongolia and Sichuan.

It involves cooking thinly sliced mutton in a boiling broth flavored with various spices and herbs. The mutton slices are quickly submerged in the bubbling broth and cooked for just a few seconds until they turn tender and retain their natural flavor.

The cooked mutton is then dipped into a variety of accompanying sauces, such as sesame paste or soy sauce, before being enjoyed.

35. Beijing Barbecue

Beijing-Barbecue-beijing-food

Beijing barbecue (Chinese: 北京烤肉), a renowned dish in Beijing for over 300 years, is commonly served in halal restaurants throughout the city.

This delectable cuisine involves marinating mutton and beef with ginger, scallions, and seasonings, and then grilling them on a specialized round iron plate, also known as “Zhizi.” Diners gather around the plate to relish the flavorful meats and sprinkle their desired amount of dry spices.

Barbecue establishments, such as “Kao Rou Ji” and “Kao Rou Wan,” showcase the highest level of Beijing barbecue techniques.

36. Braised Shark Fin Soup

Braised-Shark-Fin-Soup-beijing-food

Braised shark fin (Chinese: 黄焖鱼翅) is a popular dish found in Beijing’s Tanjia cuisine. It showcases the main component of shark fin, which is collagen, cooked together with a high-quality stock consisting of chicken, pork, ham, dried scallops, and mushrooms. This combination enhances the flavor of the dish.

The specific type of shark fin used in this dish is known as Luzon fin, sourced from the Philippines. Luzon fin is characterized by its fatty nature and abundant gelatin content. This dish boasts a pleasing texture, combining elements of slipperiness, crunchiness, and smoothness.

37. Kung Pao Chicken

Kung-Pao-Chicken-beijing-food

The preparation of Kung Pao chicken (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁) can differ across regions in China, but at its core, it is a straightforward dish made with chicken breasts, peanuts, and a chili sauce.

In Beijing, Kung Pao chicken was historically a renowned dish in the imperial palace, boasting a distinct old Peking flavor that continues to be highly esteemed.

The chicken is tender in taste, while the peanuts add a crispy element. The overall flavor profile is characterized by spiciness and heat, making it an excellent pairing with steamed white rice.

38. Stir-fried Fish Slices

The stir-fried fish slices (Chinese: 抓炒鱼片) exhibit a beautiful golden hue, along with a crispy outer layer and a tender inside. They are boneless and free from any prickly thorns, providing a delightful blend of sourness, sweetness, saltiness, and freshness.

While there are no strict criteria for selecting the raw materials for this dish, it is advisable to opt for fish varieties that have fewer bones, such as black carp, silver carp, mandarin fish, perch, grass carp, basa fish, or similar types, as they serve as ideal ingredients.

39. Three “non-stick” Sweets

Beijing-food-Sweets

The preparation of the “three non-stick” sweets (Chinese: 北京三不沾) involves a mixture of eggs, starch, sugar, and water. It is famous for its golden hue, delightful flavor, and distinctive quality of not adhering to plates, chopsticks, or teeth. This unique characteristic is what gives it the name “three non-stick.”

The Beijing Tongheju Restaurant has gained a reputation for its exceptional expertise in preparing this dish, ensuring that the sweets have a pure color, and a sweet taste, and are thoroughly enjoyable.

40. Shaguo Bairou

Shaguo Bairou (Chinese: 砂锅白肉), meaning “a casserole with meat,” is a famous delicacy in Beijing, celebrated for its exquisite combination of tangy and savory tastes derived from pickled cabbage and white meat.

This dish is particularly favored during cold winter days, as it provides warmth and alleviates any greasiness. Despite its appearance of being oily or heavy, experienced diners cleverly start by dipping meat slices into a sweet sauce and occasionally relishing bites of pickled cabbage. Another delightful option is to enjoy the rich golden brown soup by ladling it over a bowl of rice.

41. Zha Jiang Mian

Zha Jiang Mian

Zha Jiang Mian (Chinese: 炸酱面), also known as “fried sauce noodles,” is a highly regarded dish that holds the second position in China’s “Top Ten Noodles” list.

It consists of ground pork, a flavorful sauce, thick fresh noodles, and a variety of toppings. These toppings typically include cucumber, Chinese toon, bean sprouts, green beans, and soybeans, which are prepared separately.

To make the sauce, diced meat, scallions, and ginger are fried in oil, then combined with either soybean paste or sweet bean paste to create the Zha Jiang sauce.

The cooked noodles are then tossed with the sauce and garnished with the prepared vegetables, resulting in a delicious serving of Zha Jiang Mian.

42. Stir-fried Cucumber Sauce

Stir-fried cucumber sauce (Chinese: 炒黄瓜酱) is a flavorful dish made by stir-frying fresh, lean meats and young cucumbers in a yellow pasta sauce. The result is tender meat coated in a rich sauce, combined with crispy cucumbers for a delightful flavor.

This dish is particularly enjoyable during the spring when cucumbers are in season.

🍪20 Best Beijing Chinese Snacks

43. Douzhi

Douzhi-beijing-food

Douzhi (Chinese: 豆汁), also known as mung bean milk, is a traditional fermented dish in Beijing with a rich history spanning 300 years.

Its unique sour taste comes from the fermentation process. After grinding mung beans into a fine pulp, the lower layer consists of starch, while the upper layer is a light green juice, which is the pre-fermented bean milk. With time, raw mung bean milk is produced. When prepared, Douzhi is served alongside crispy golden fried rings (similar to wheaten flour doughnuts) and spicy pickles, making it a beloved snack among locals.

Drinking douzhi is cherished by Beijing locals and seen as a form of indulgence. Some people, upon their first taste, may find it difficult to swallow due to its strange smell, while others become so enamored with it that they drink it on a daily basis.

44. Chinese Cabbage with Mustard (Jiemodun’er)

Chinese-Cabbage-with-Mustard-beijing-food

Chinese cabbage with mustard (Chinese: 芥末墩儿) is a classic chilled dish enjoyed by the people of Beijing, particularly during New Year’s Eve dinner.

As Chinese cabbage becomes available in the market and the Spring Festival approaches, many homemakers prepare this dish. It consists of pickled Chinese cabbage accompanied by a mustard sauce, offering a refreshing taste that helps balance the heaviness of other rich foods consumed during the festivities.

While the flavor may seem peculiar and may not be appealing to those who aren’t fond of mustard, that’s part of its allure.

45. Ma Dou Fu

Ma-Dou-Fu-beijing-food

Ma Dou Fu (Chinese: 麻豆腐) is prepared using fermented mung-bean dregs that have been mashed and fried after being left over from the production of Douzhi. The beans are ground on a stone mill, resulting in a thick, dark green paste. This paste is then boiled, strained, and squeezed through a cloth bag to create Ma Dou Fu.

Traditionally, Ma Dou Fu is stir-fried in lamb fat along with yellow soybean paste, soybean sprouts, and potherb mustard until it thickens. To finish, it is garnished with fried red chili oil. This dish showcases vibrant colors, including red, green, and yellow, and offers a distinctive combination of sour and salty flavors.

46. Quick-fried Tripe

Quick-fried-Tripe-beijing-food

This popular traditional snack (Chinese: 爆肚) is commonly found in Tianjin and Beijing, often served by Muslim restaurants and roadside stalls along snack streets. It features ox tripe or goat tripe as the main ingredient. The sliced tripe is boiled briefly and then enjoyed with a flavorful dipping sauce comprising sesame paste, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili oil, sugar, as well as chopped coriander, and green onion.

47. Fried Crisp Thin Fritter Twist (Zha Paicha)

fried-snack-beijing-food

This iconic Beijing-style fried snack (Chinese: 炸排叉) is a unique delicacy in the region, made with a combination of flour, sesame, and egg.

To create this snack, the mixture of flour and egg is carefully kneaded into a smooth dough, which is then rolled out into thin pastry sheets and cut into individual pieces. Two pieces are then folded together and fried in a pan until they turn golden, resulting in a sweet and crispy treat.

It is a perfect accompaniment to beverages and serves as an essential appetizer during the Spring Festival dinner in traditional Beijing families.

48. Fried Pork Balls

Fried-Pork-Balls-beijng-food

Fried pork balls dish (Chinese: 干炸丸子) is a traditional dish that is often eaten during the Chinese Spring Festival in northern China.

The pork balls have a crispy exterior and a round shape, and are both fresh and fragrant in taste, symbolizing auspiciousness and happiness.

The main ingredient is pork, which is cubed, mixed with eggs and wet flour, and then shaped into large balls by hand before being fried until crispy and golden.

49. Pork Stew with Bread(Luzhu Huoshao)

Pork-Stew-with-Bread-beijng-food

Luzhu Huoshao (Chinese: 卤煮火烧) is a traditional local delicacy in Beijing, originating from Nanheng Street in the southern part of the city. With a history of over a hundred years, it is said that during the Qing Dynasty, pork belly was expensive, so people substituted pig head meat and offal instead. Over time, as cooking techniques were passed down among folk culinary experts, Luzhu Huoshao was created.

This dish primarily consists of pork, including pork lung, pork intestines, pork liver, and tofu. It is prepared with additional ingredients such as garlic juice, bean curd juice, and cilantro.

Many first-time visitors to Beijing may initially find the offal component of this dish to have a strong odor and might deem it inedible. However, upon tasting, one will discover the succulent pig lung, chewy pig intestines, and the combination of garlic sauce, bean curd, and coriander, which contribute to its unique and flavorful experience.

50. Fried Pork Livers & Intestines (Chao Gan)

Fried-Pork-Livers-beijing-food

Chao Gan (Chinese: 炒肝) is a renowned traditional breakfast dish among the people of Beijing. It features a rich red sauce with a robust flavor that isn’t heavy or greasy. Chao Gan primarily consists of pig liver and intestines, which are stewed in a thick broth and garnished with freshly crushed garlic.

Some individuals may not appreciate Chao Gan due to its inclusion of pig intestines or because they haven’t tasted an authentic version that has been prepared properly, resulting in a strong odor. However, it’s important to note that authentic Beijing-style Chao Gan carefully cleans the pork liver and intestines and eliminates any undesirable smells before cooking. Local residents often relish this dish along with steamed buns filled with pork and green onion.

51. Fried Filled Sausage (Guan Chang)

Fried-Filled-Sausage-beijing-food

Guan Chang (Chinese: 灌肠) is another renowned Beijing snack. It consists of intestines stuffed with starch, minced meat, and a blend of spices. The dish is skillfully cut into a diamond shape, featuring a thin middle and slightly thicker edges. To enhance its flavor and texture, it is deep-fried using pork lard, resulting in a delectable snack with a fragrant aroma and a satisfyingly crispy texture.

52. “Doornail”Meat Pie

Meat-Pie-beijng-food

When visiting Beijing, it is a must to try this traditional snack (Chinese: 门钉肉饼), which resembles the shape of doornails found on ancient city gates. This kind of pie is filled primarily with pork (or beef) and scallions, encased in a golden and crispy skin. When you gently press the patty with chopsticks, a flavorful and juicy soup oozes out, exuding a delightful aroma and richness.

53. Fried Rings (Jiao quan)

Fried-Rings-beijing-food

Jiaoquan (Chinese: 焦圈), commonly known as fried rings, is a snack characterized by its golden color and bracelet-like shape. With a crispy texture and distinctive flavor, it is adored by people of all age groups. In Beijing, it is commonly enjoyed alongside Shaobing(sesame cake) and Douzhi(mung bean milk).

54. Candied Hawthorn Stick (Bing Tang Hu Lu)

Candied-Hawthorn-Stick-beijing-food

The candied hawthorn stick (Chinese: 冰糖葫芦) is a snack that consists of Chinese hawthorn coated with a layer of candied sugar. Before enjoying the fruit itself, you can also savor the glutinous rice paper surrounding it. Each hawthorn is fresh and plump, offering a delightful combination of sweet and sour flavors.

Nowadays, various flavors incorporating different fruits are also being introduced alongside the traditional version.

55. Zucchini Pancake (Hu Ta Zi)

Zucchini-Pancake-beijing-food

Hu Ta Zi (Chinese: 糊塌子,) is a classic and uncomplicated homemade dish in Beijing, known for its nutritional value and delightful flavors. It is prepared using zucchini, flour, eggs, and green onions. The resulting pancake is soft, savory, and packed with goodness.

During the summertime when appetite is diminished, enjoying a bowl of rice porridge alongside Hu Ta Zi, with a side of mashed garlic for dipping, makes for a perfect breakfast option.

56. Yellow Pea Cake (Wan Dou Huang)

Yellow-Pea-Cake-beijng-food

Yellow Pea Cake (Chinese: 豌豆黄) is a delightful dessert in Beijing cuisine known for its tender consistency and sweet flavor. Unlike traditional fermentation methods using yeast, this cake incorporates white wine as a substitute. The dough is prepared by combining eggs, flour, and white wine, resulting in a subtle wine undertone. The cake is cherished for its soft texture and enjoyable sweetness.

57. Steamed Rice Cakes with Sweet Stuffing (Ai Wo Wo)

Ai-Wo-Wo-beijing-food

Ai Wo Wo (Chinese: 艾窝窝), ranks among the top 10 well-known snacks in Beijing. During the Chinese New Year, it is widely available in numerous snack shops. Ai Wo Wo consists of sticky rice filled with various ingredients like peach seeds, sesame kernels, melon seeds, apricots, plums, and Chinese hawthorn. Its texture is soft, smooth, and pleasantly sweet.

58. Fried Wheaten Pancake with Fillings (Da Lian Huo Shao)

Fried-Wheaten-Pancake-beijing-food

Da Lian Huo Shao (Chinese: 褡裢火烧) is a snack reminiscent of dumplings and has its origins in the era of Emperor Guangxu during the Qing Dynasty (1662-1722). It is a pan-fried rolled snack that is filled with a diverse range of ingredients and cooked until golden brown. The fillings can vary, including options like pork with cabbage, pork with fennel, lamb with green onion, and more. This snack is commonly savored by locals alongside vinegar or a bowl of tofu soup for added flavor.

59. Baked Sweet Wheaten Cake (Tang Huo Shao)

Tang Huoshao (Chinese: 糖火烧), a beloved breakfast item in Beijing for over 300 years, is widely enjoyed by locals. It features a crispy outer shell and a tender inside filled with brown sugar and sesame paste. The flavor is sweet, and the texture is soft, without being sticky.

60. Rolling Donkey (Lv Da Gun)

beijing-snack

The snack called “Lv Da Gun” (Chinese: 驴打滚) originated in Manchuria and gained popularity in Beijing. It consists of white glutinous rice filled with red bean paste, resulting in a sweet and soft treat with a strong soy flour flavor.

The pastry is garnished with yellow soybean flour, which resembles a donkey rolling on the loess, hence its Chinese name “Lv Da Gun” or rolling donkey.

61. Seasoned Millet Mush (Mian Cha)

Mian-Cha-beijing-food

It is one of the popular Chinese breakfasts in Beijing. Although the term “Mian Cha” (Chinese: 面茶) translates to “flour tea” in Chinese, this snack is not actually tea-related. Instead, it is a thick porridge prepared using millet flour and served with a topping of sesame paste and sesame kernels.

The flavor carries a subtle touch of salt, while the lack of distinct taste in the millet was somewhat discouraged by subtle salt undertones. Additionally, when combined with a spoonful of sesame paste, a delightful nutty sweetness is introduced.

62. Baked Roll with Sesame Paste(Shao Bing)

Shao-Bing-beijing-food

Beijing Shao Bing (Chinese: 烧饼), a popular street snack in Beijing, is a sesame-coated pastry enjoyed for breakfast with douzhi or tea. It can be filled with various sweet options like red bean or black sesame paste, as well as savory options such as stir-fried meat and vegetable fillings.

🥄What is Beijing Chinese food?

In a nutshell, Beijing Chinese food has some really cool stuff going on:

First, there’s a whole bunch of famous traditional dishes that you just can’t miss. If you’re in Beijing, you’ve got to try the iconic “Peking duck” – it’s a must for all the tourists. Then, there’s this famous restaurant called Shaguo Ju that’s been around forever, and they’re known for their famous dish called “Shaguo bairou.” And when winter hits, Beijingers go crazy for this traditional dish called instant-boiled mutton. If you want the best, check out “Donglaishun” or “Youyishun” restaurants.

Next up, there is a rich array of palace dishes due to Beijing’s history as the imperial capital. Many of these dishes originated from imperial kitchens and are known for their freshness and tenderness. Some restaurants in Beijing even boast a luxurious palace-style ambiance to enhance the dining experience.

And let’s not forget about the pastry and snacks scene! Beijing knows how to satisfy your sweet tooth. They’ve got these famous pastries like preserved fruit, Chinese walnut cookies, Ai Wo wo, poria cake, and flower rose cake. And those palace snacks? They’re like refined versions of dishes from the Qing Dynasty, passed down to regular folks. Yellow pea cake and shaobing are some of the representatives in this delicious category.

Now, when it comes to snacks preferred by the Han Chinese in Beijing, they’re all about pork. Whether it’s boiled, steamed, fried, or roasted, you’ll find some mouthwatering options like fried liver, pork stew with bread, fried filled sausage, and Da Lian Huo Shao. These snacks are a big hit among the Han people. And let’s not forget the famous Beijing Hui snacks, like the one and only Douzhi, quick-fried tripe, and bean curd jelly. They’re super popular too!

📍Where to find Beijing Chinese food?

Looking for a taste of Beijing food? I’ve got some great spots for you to check out:

  • Wangfujing Street is the place to be if you want to experience a wide range of famous snacks not only from Beijing but from all over China. With over 500 local snacks to choose from, you can sample the best bites China has to offer. Trust me, it’s a foodie paradise!
  • If you’re looking for that authentic Chinese food experience, head to Guijie. It’s a street surrounded by embassies, making it a hotspot for foreign tourists and expats to indulge in genuine Chinese cuisine. More than 90 percent of the shops here are Chinese restaurants, so you know you’re in for a treat. Just make sure to book ahead because it can get pretty busy.
  • Nan Luo Gu Xiang is not only one of Beijing’s oldest neighborhoods but also a protected area with a rich history. Many travelers consider it a must-see spot and for good reason. It’s been a thriving area since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, attracting dignitaries and celebrities. Explore the hutongs and discover hidden gems serving special palace food. You’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time.
  • Beijing Suzhou Street, located in the Zhongguancun area, is a food street with endless possibilities. The restaurants here have a touch of cultural heritage, offering a classy dining experience. From Sichuan cuisine to Guangdong cuisine, Hunan cuisine to Hangzhou cuisine, you’ll find a diverse range of options. They’ve even got international flavors like Japanese and Korean cuisine, along with tea houses and cozy cafes for a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Craving some spicy flavors? Head over to Guang’anmen Food Street. It’s a hub of restaurants dominated by fiery and flavorful dishes. You’ll also find some time-honored eateries here, ranging from seafood stalls to high-end restaurants. This street has got you covered, whether you’re into traditional Chinese cuisine or hala food.
  • For a popular snack food street, make your way to Shichahai. It used to be a quiet area, but not anymore. It’s buzzing with activity, especially the numerous Beijing old-brand snack shops. You can experience the essence of old Beijing here, and the street stays lively even after dark. You’ll find a mix of eateries, including Starbucks, barbecue joints, noodle shops, and more.

⭐️What is a typical Chinese breakfast in Beijing?

So, when it comes to a typical Chinese breakfast in Beijing, here’s what you gotta try:

First things first, you can’t go wrong with some steamed buns. But here’s the secret: pair them up with fried liver and make sure the fillings of the steamed buns are packed with juicy pork and fresh green onions.

Next up, we’ve got lamb offal soup. Now, this delicious bowl of goodness is best enjoyed with a hot sesame-paste pancake.

But wait, there’s more! You can’t miss out on Douzhi, which is a fermented mung bean drink. It’s usually served with fried rings (think crispy goodness) and shredded pickles.

And to wash it all down, take a sip of Mian Cha, which is a thick porridge. And don’t forget to munch on a big slice of crispy Pai Cha, a type of fried bread. It’s all about the crispy texture and satisfying crunch.

🌸Best Beijing Chinese Foods: Final Thoughts

After exploring the vibrant culinary scene of Beijing, I can confidently say that it’s a food lover’s paradise. From the iconic Peking duck to the mouthwatering instant-boiled mutton, this city has something to satisfy every craving. Whether you’re strolling through the bustling streets or dining in a hidden gem, you’ll be delighted by the flavors and aromas that surround you. Don’t forget to try the aromatic street snacks like Douzhi and Shaobing that add an extra layer of excitement to your culinary adventure. Beijing truly captivates your taste buds and leaves you longing for more. So, grab your chopsticks and dive into the diverse and delicious world of Beijing Chinese foods and snacks!

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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