Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts under ‘street treats & snacks’

Snack Snapshot: Sunflower Seed Cakes

sunflower seed cakes

These are one of my favorite snacks when wandering around the hutongs of Beijing. They are almost granola bar-like, and seem to contain nothing more than what you can see and taste: sunflower seeds, honey and a dash of salt. It’s crunchy and nutty, not too sweet, rather perfect for both you and your pet [...]

Pork- and spice-high in Chiang Mai

Northern-style sausage at Huen Phen

Thailand had never been very high on my list of places to visit: it’s taken me nearly five years of  living in China to make the relatively short trip. And now I see that I have been terribly wrong – as soon as my plane landed in Beijing and the last Kop khun ka of [...]

Taiwan Food Street, and the best Grass Jelly ever

Grass jelly with tapioca red bean balls 综合仙草粉心圆

Though the new Qianmen pedestrian street may be a travesty of historical preservation, the “Taiwan in Style” area on Dajiang Hutong has a surprisingly good food court, making simple renditions of Taiwan favorites. There’s plenty of rice noodles and oyster omelets, but the red bean cakes and grass jelly are particularly worth coming back for.

It’s yuanxiao season!

Black sesame yuanxiao from Huguosi Xiaochidian

Happy year of the rabbit, everyone! (In Vietnam, it’s the year of the cat, incidentally.) If you’re looking for special Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) treats, you can’t really do better than the niangao (年糕) from Mr Bai of Bai Ji Niangao. His glutinous rice cakes are perfectly textured, generously layered with red bean paste, [...]

The Spectral Mahua Truck

mahua 1

Have you seen the mahua truck? It appears only after dark, lurking on dimly lit street corners. You can recognize it by the large glass cabinet that sits in the flatbed, stacked high with deep-fried, braided dough twists. Mobile food is quite common in Beijing – think jianbing and candied hawberries – but they usually [...]

In which Fried Beer is consumed

view from our house

Hawberries & Kumquats takes a short vacation to north Texas, enjoys fresh air, and eats Tex-Mex and fried beer.

Mooncake Review: A little chickpea in your red bean?

xibei mooncakes (黑三宝 in foreground)

Like it or not, mooncake season is upon us: Wednesday, Sept. 22, is Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节), celebrating the roundest, most golden full moon of the year. Westerners may call it the harvest moon, but for China this moon is all about being together with one’s family. The word for being together, 团圆 tuanyuan, literally means [...]

A deep-fried trifecta: the “fried look-back” and more

tangmian zhagao, kylin pastry, and the fried huitou

It isn’t often that I’m surprised with a trio of Beijing snacks I’ve never tried before. But the Longfusi Snack Shop (隆福寺小吃店 Longfusi Xiaochi Dian) lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to sample traditional Beijing foods, with everything from flash-boiled tripe (baodu) to more kinds of fried treats than anyone can reasonably eat in a day. Here’s a very small sample:

All I want this summer: iTea 找茶

itea cup

Four or five years ago, you used to be able to count with one hand the number of icy-dessert shops in Beijing. And now, in just the past year, we have a number of respectable shops serving refreshing, fruity icy treats. The latest, and my current favorite, is iTea (找茶), which aggressively expanded into Beijing a few months ago with six new locations. iTea seems to have hit upon a rather winning combination of clean, bright aesthetics; high-quality teas, ices, and slushes; and low prices.

Fattie Wang’s Donkey Buns 王胖子驴肉火烧

_MG_4688 - wangpangzi

This may come as a blow to people who grew up on Eeyore, but no one would blink an eye at the thought of eating donkey in China. Donkey meat is said to be higher in water and proteins and lower in fat compared to beef, mutton, and pork, and Fattie Wang’s (Wang Pangzi) makes some of Beijing’s best braised donkey flatbread buns.

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