China is calling all foodies! China has a landscape of grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers, and coastline. The vast landscape allows this Asian country to offer many types of cuisine. Some are simple while others require some courage to try. Here are 5 things you should try while visiting China!
1. Hairy Crab
The Shanghai hairy crab is a medium-sized burrowing crab that is named for its furry claws. These crabs native to rivers, estuaries, and other coastal habitats of eastern Asia from Korea to China. You will find this delicacy in every market during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year. A Shanghainese person will tell you the best way to eat a hairy crab is steamed. Many believe that extra ingredients ruin the flavor. Eating a hairy crab also requires some skill! There are eight different tools needed to extract the meat. Some restaurants do the dirty work for you so that you can simply enjoy your meal! Prepare your pocketbook ahead of time as a hairy crab can cost more than a prime steak!
Szechuan is known for being spicy and flavorful. Garlic and chili peppers are incorporated in many recipes. There are different ways to cook this dish. You can sauté, stir-fry without steaming, dry-braising, soaking in water, or frying and then braising with corn flour sauce.
This traditional food is widely popular in Northern China. Dumplings are thin pieces of dough filled with minced meat and chopped vegetables. Some typical meats are minced pork, beef, chicken, and shrimp. There are a few different ways to cook dumplings, including baking, steaming, boiling, or frying. It is common for them to be eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
4. Hot Pot
Hot Pots are more of a social meal in China. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. It is comparable to fondue in the way that it is eaten. Common ingredients include meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, dumplings, and seafood.
5. Tofu Fried Rice
For all meat-free eaters out there do not fret! There is plenty of options when dining in China. One option is tofu fried rice. It is typically packed with vegetables, egg, rice, and tofu. Fried rice is cooked by stir-frying cooked rice in a wok with eggs and vegetables. If you would like to exercise caution ask about ingredients used for sauces, as some contain fish or eel. For vegans, simply ask to skip the egg.
If you’ve been to China, or this post has inspired you, leave us a comment below! What food should other travelers try?