As the end of 2016 fast approaches various types of list appear which includes the 1st List of Chinese Top Snacks. The only snack to have been included on the list that hails from the Hangzhou area is Zhi Wei Guan Pork Xiaolongbao. Zhiwei Xiaolongbao* is a famous traditional snack produced in the time-honored Zhi Wei Guan Restaurant. Almost every visitor that flocks to Hangzhou will come to savor a bite of the succulent Xiaolongbao.
* Xiaolongbao is a type of steamed bun from the Jiangnan region of China that gets its name for the fact that it is usually prepared in Xiaolong, small bamboo baskets used for steaming.
Recommended Place to Savor Xiaolongbao Zhi Wei Guan
Address: No. 83 Renhe Road (near Dongpo Road)
Apart from Zhiwei Xiaolongbao making the first list of Chinese snacks, the following traditional Hangzhou snacks should be at the top of anyone’s list…
Cong Bao Hui
Cong Bao Hui is more than just a famous traditional snack. It is a cultural symbol of the local people’s resentment towards the treacherous official, Qin Hui. According to historical documents, Qin Hui was responsible for framing the patriotic general – Yue Fei and leading to his wrongful execution. The people of Hangzhou were so angry with Qin Hui that they fried a substitute of Qin Hui – a dough enveloping shallots in hot oil which has gradually developed into a traditional Hangzhou snack.
Recommended Restaurant Congbaohui Stall
Address: Opposite No. 44 Houshi Street
Cong Bao Hui
You Dong Er
You Dong Er
You Dong Er, previously only consumed during Chinese New Year, is now eaten in all four seasons. Prepared out of turnip strips and paste, You Dong Er features a crispy coating with a soft center. A column-shaped funnel which is two to three centimeters high and five centimeters in diameter is used to prepare the snack. After it’s fried in hot oil, You Dong Er glows gold and exudes hot steam and an intoxicating fragrance, which is especially appealing during the cold winter days.
You Dong Er Stall
Address: No. 389, Zhongshan South Road, Wang Jiang Men vegetable market, snack street at north entrance of Zhejiang University of Technology, Zhaohui Campus, and Wushan Night Market
Mao Er Duo
Pian Er Chuan
Mao Er Duo (Cat’s Ear)
This snack, a noodle, is shaped like a cat’s ear and is usually cooked with a variety of colorful vegetables. According to folk legend, the noodle gained its fame when during a sudden downpour of rain Emperor Qiaolong of the Qing Dynasty became trapped inside a boat whilst touring the West Lake. Being trapped inside for hours he was tired and hungry and asked the old boatman for something to eat. Without a rolling pin, the old boatman could not make any noodles but the boatman’s granddaughter was very clever and she used her bare hands to mold the dough into shell-shaped noodles, cooked them in boiling water and served them with a sauce. Immediately Emperor Qianlong was attracted by the tasty noodles and inquired about its name. The girl answered, “They are like cat’s ears, so it is called Cat’s Ear”.
Address: 2nd to 3rd floor of Zhejiang Hotel, No. 447, Yan’an Road
Pian Er Chuan
Pian Er Chuan is a famous kind of noodle in Hangzhou that is cooked with pickled cabbage, bamboo shoots, and lean meat. The noodle has a history of over 100 hundred years and was first created by Hangzhou’s time-honored noodle restaurant, Kuiyuan Noodle Restaurant. The secret of the noodle lies in the fresh and tasty pickled cabbage and bamboo shoots, which leave a favorable aftertaste. With a reasonable price and tasty flavor, Pian Er Chuan is one of the most popular snacks among the Hangzhou People.
Kui Yuan Restaurant
Address: No. 154 Jiefang Road
Dingsheng Cake is a diamond-shaped, reddish colored fluffy cake which is prepared from rice powder that is mixed with fruit jam. The inside of the cake is stuffed with a red bean paste (a dark red, sweet bean paste), which contributes to its color and sweet and glutinous taste.
Address: No. 236, Hefang Street
Noodles with Quick-Fried Eel Shreds and Shelled Shrimp
Noodles with Quick-fried Eel Shreds and Shelled Shrimp
Legend has it that on its first appearance, Jingle Bells (Ganzha Xiangling) didn’t have the same look that it has now. There was a time when a traveler passing through Hangzhou ordered this dish in a local restaurant to go with his wine. Rather disappointedly the man found the restaurant had just run out of tofu skin, the crucial ingredient which was needed to cook the dish. However, he wouldn’t let it go, when he was told that tofu skin was made in Sixiang area he jumped onto his horse and rushed straight to Sixiang to get it. Moved by the man’s passion for the dish and inspired by his jingling horse bells, the chef elaborately shaped the food into horse bells to mark the occasion and that’s how Jingle Bells came into town.
Zhang Sheng Ji
Address: No. 77 Shuangling Road
Spring is here and so is the 2017 “Intoxicating Springtime” – Hangzhou Outdoor Leisure Season which, in the following three months, will provide the city with over 50 springtime outdoor experiences and tour itineraries. With six themes to choose from such as child-parent, flower viewing, games and sports, spring couldn’t be livelier.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.