Two-day Tour of Chengdu Cuisine

Authors: Go Chengdu

2014-10-21

A stimulating 2-day experience of local snacks, dishes and culinary culture around Chengdu.

Day 1: Taste Local Snacks in Jinli

Destination: Jinli Ancient Street

Jinli, a Showcase of Old Chengdu
Jinli Street in the southern downtown, next to the Wuhou Shrine Museum, boasts a cluster of constructions remolded after the traditional architectural styles in western Sichuan, with narrow alleys, stone bridges, pavilions, courtyards and various waterside scenes. The whole area is dotted with restaurants, teahouses and cafes — some very good — and it is on the Snack Street (小吃一条街) that you can have the real taste of local tidbits, which are famous all over China.

Highlights:Top Eight Local Snacks in Jinli
1. Ye Er Ba

Ye Er Ba is a kind of glutinous rice cake, which is wrapped in plant leaves (pomelo leaves preferred) and usually stuffed with meat (salted) or sugar (sweet). It is one of the most popular snacks in western Sichuan for its color, flavor and smooth feel.

2. Sad Starch Jelly
The Sad Starch Jelly (伤心凉粉,Shang Xin Liang Fen) gets its name for the strong use of spicy sauce and other ingredients to create a mixed flavor that brings sweat and even tears on the face of the eater. Tender, spicy and very tasty, it may make people addicted despite the strong taste.

3.Fried Rice Ball

Fried Rice Ball (糖油果子, Tang You Guo Zi) is usually served four or five on a bamboo skewer. These glutinous rice balls are coated in a shiny red sugar glaze and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. They are masterfully deep-fried, and the best ones are indicated by a crunchy outer shell, chewy skin, and completely hollow center.

4. Zheng Zheng Gao

Zheng Zheng Gao (蒸蒸糕) is kind of steamed pastry that is usually made of rice (white) and corn (yellow), sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and topped with sweetmeats — quite lovely!

5. Baked Egg Pancake

The half-moon shaped egg pancake, called Dan Hong Gao in Chinese (蛋烘糕), is a very popular traditional snack. You can choose according to your taste from various stuffings, such as jams, pork floss and minced pork or root mustard. Delicious and with reasonable price.

6. Bobo Chicken 

Bobo Chicken (钵钵鸡, literally means “sliced chicken in large earthen bowl”) originated in southern Sichuan and now can be found everywhere in Chengdu. The name now evolves into a general term for all kinds of food, including chicken, beef, tofu, seaweed, gizzard, potato and other vegetables that are skewered and dipped into the spicy concoction before served.

7. San He Ni

San He Ni means “three-in-one paste” and is made from three main ingredients: the ground rice, glutinous rice and soybean. They are blended with lard, sugar, and vegetable oil and stir fried for a quite long time, and added with sesame and walnuts in the process. Uncomely look but sweet smell and taste.

8. San Da Pao

A famous local snack, San Da Pao is a bowl of glutinous rice balls served in soybean powder and black sugar. The snack gets this impressive and interesting name (San Da Pao, 三大炮 in Chinese means Three Big-gun Shots) because of its ostentatious making: the balls are thrown onto a board with soybean powder and tinsel saucers before they land at the basket, making loud sound in the process.
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Jinli Street

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