China has many interesting, original and tasty snacks, many of which are more nutritious and natural than chocolate, sweets and chips. A broad selection are listed below with Chinese romanization, pronunciation and Chinese characters. Chinese snacks are often sold in small shops on the backstreets or at mobile roadside stalls.
Sweet Potatoes and Corn
Sweet potatoes are an important part of winter in China, especially the North of the country. If you visit Beijing, you'll see it is one of the many street snacks in the city or at Beijing's snack streets and snack shops . Many carts by the side of the road sell roast sweet potatoes throughout the country, or kao hongshu 烤红薯 /cow hong-shoe/, which are hot and extremely tasty. Another variation of a sweet potato snack are sweet potato chips, or hongshupian 红薯片 /hong-shoe pyen/. These can be bought either by the side of the road, or at supermarkets.
Another popular snack is corn on the cob, or yumi 玉米 /you-me/. Corn is boiled in hobs on the street, and are cheap and tasty. Definitely a more nutritional snack than chocolate or chips.
Nuts and Seeds
Then there are delicious the roasted chestnuts, lizi 栗子 /lee-dzuh/. These can be bought hot and are especially popular during autumn and winter. But perhaps even more popular are sunflower seeds (guazi 瓜子 /gwaa-dzrr/) the eating of which is somewhat of a national sport in China.
Everywhere people are waiting, whether it be sitting on a train or bus, waiting for a seat at a restaurant, or just hanging out on the street, you will see people eating sunflower seeds. Most people are able to eat them without the fumbling and opening, eating them at an incredible speed, throwing the empty husks on the floor. Empty sunflower seed husks are found everywhere as a result.
It doesn't end at sunflower seeds though, as pumpkin seeds, or nangua zi 南瓜子 /nan-gwaa dzrr/, are also a popular snack, especially in summer.
Chinese Snacks Menu
|Taiwanese Meatballs||ròu yuán||Roh ywen||肉圆|
|Rice and Meat Dumplings||ròu wán||Roh wann||肉丸|
|Smelly Tofu||chòu dòufu||Choh doh-foo||臭豆腐|
|Dried Tofu||dòufu gān||Doh-foo gan||豆腐干|
|Oily Bean Curd||yóu dòufu||Yoh doh-foo||油豆腐|
|Spicy Hot Bean Curd||málà dòufu||Maa laa doh-foo||麻辣豆腐|
|Fried Bread Stick||yóutiáo||Yoh-tyaoww||油条|
|Prawn Crackers||xiā piàn||Sshyaa pyen||虾片|
|Shrimp Balls||xiā qiú||Sshyaa chyoh||虾球|
|Spring Rolls||chūnjuǎn||Chwnn jwen||春卷|
|Egg Rolls||dàn juǎn||Dan jwen||蛋卷|
|Steamed Stuffed Buns||bāozi||Baoww-dzrr||包子|
|Clay Oven Rolls||shāobǐng||Shaoww-bing||烧饼|
|Salty Rice Pudding||wǎn gāo||Wan gaoww||碗糕|
|Rice Tube Pudding||tǒng zǐ mǐ gāo||Tong dzeye mee gaoww||筒仔米糕|
|Rolling Donkey (Fried Chopped Rice Cake)||lǘ dǎgǔn||Loo da-gwnn||驴打滚|
|Red Bean Cake||hóngdòu gāo||Hong-doh gaoww||红豆糕|
|Green Bean Paste Cake||lǜdòugāo||Lyoo-doh gaoww||绿豆糕|
|Glutinous Rice Cakes||nuòmǐ gāo||Nwor-mee gaoww||糯米糕|
|Fried White Radish Patty||luóbo gāo||Lwor-bor gaoww||萝卜糕|
|Taro Cake||yùtou gāo||Yoo-toh gaoww||芋头糕|
|Eight Treasures Ice Lolly||bābǎo bīng||Baa-baoww bing||八宝冰|
|Red Bean with Milk Ice Lolly||hóngdòu niúnǎi bīng||Hong-doh nyoh-neye bing||红豆牛奶冰|
|Candied Gourd on a Stick||bīngtánghúlu||Bing-tung hoo-loo||冰糖葫芦|
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