Beijing Local Snack
Beijing has a time-honored history of making various kinds of snacks in China. There are hundreds of snacks in Beijing, which can be categorized into three kinds: Han, Manchurian and Imperial snacks. They are generally prepared by steaming, deep frying, frying in shallow oil, and instant boiling. Some people regard snacks of Beijing as "living ancient culinary"
You can have steamed bread with bean filling; flour pancakes cooked with egg, pancakes stuffed with pork, egg and vegetable. These gems are available from little glass cabinets on the back of three-wheeled bicycles or from stands on street corners, hidden down leafy Hutongs.
There are also lots of famous restaurants selling snacks. Fangshan Restaurant sells Sticky Rice with Sweet Fillings and Pea-Flour Cake (Wan Dou Huang); Donglaishun Restaurant sells Cream Fried Cake (Nai You Zha Gao). In many restaurants you may find some other things special.
Typical Beijing snacks include Rolling Donkey (cake made with steamed glutinous millet), Dou Zhi (Root Bean Milk), Jiaoquan (crisply fried ring of dough), Aiwowo (steamed cone-shaped cake made of glutinous rice or millet with sweet filling), Chatang (paste or custard made of millet or sorghum flour), Ludagun (pastry made of steamed glutinous millet flour or soy bean flour mixed with sugar), sweet baked cakes, pea flour cakes, walnut cakes, small corn buns, eight-treasure rice, fried cakes made of glutinous rice flour, etc.
Youtiao (Deep-Fried Bread Twists)
People in Beijing love to eat this treat in the morning. It is often served with hot Doujiang (soy milk). Though it is not easy to find Youtiao and Doujiang on the streets these days, there are still many restaurants and food courts offering them in the early morning.
Aiwowo (Steamed Cone-shaped Cake)
Steamed cone-shaped cakes made of glutinous rice or millet with sweet filling first appeared in the Yuan Dynasty, and was well received by the imperial families in the Ming Dynasty. Now it is one of Beijings snacks loved by local people and visitors.
Pea-Flour Cake (Wan Dou Huang)
Pea-Flour Cake, which is made of white pea, is a snack people usually eat in spring. White-pea flour is first mixed with water, cooked over gentle heat and then fried with sugar. After it solidifies, it is cut into rhombohedra -shaped pieces. It has both nice look and great taste. The best point of it is its fine and smooth texture that melt at the same time when you put it in your mouth.
Shao Mai (Steamed Dumpling)
The wrappers of Shao Mai are made of flour, and it is rolled by a specially-made roller to form nice shape. Then it is put in different fillings in different seasons, usually young chives in spring, cucurbits together with mutton or vegetables in summer, crabs in autumn and pork with onion in winter. Steamed Shao Mai looks white and translucent, with beautiful pleats on the top making it look quite like sheaves of wheat heads or bunches of white flowers.
Dou Zhi (Mung Bean Milk)
As one of the most famous Beijing local snacks, root bean milk is actually the fluid remnants of the root bean noodle making process. It looks grayish-green, tastes mostly sour with a tinge of sweetness, and has a peculiar odor it's definitely an acquired taste. First-timers often drink root bean milk accompanied with a few Chinese-style pickle wedges, which locals say makes it easier to go down.
Lu Da Gun (Rolling Donkey)
As one famous Beijing snack with a Muslim origin, rolling donkey refers to a kind of cake made with steamed glutinous millet or steamed sticky rice, filled with red pea, and then drizzled over with fried bean flour. After being cut into blocks, the cake is rolled in soybean flour, looking like a donkey rolling on the ground raising dust, hence the name.
Bao Du (lamb tripe in sauce)
This seared and sliced delicate tripe is made from the washed stomach lining of the sheep, and, while introduced to Beijing from China's north-west, it has come to find its home in the capital. It is served with a special sesame sauce and a range of condiments, including cumin, pepper, chili and vinegar. It is often eaten with pancake.
Qie Gao (sliced glutinous rice cake)
Also called pen'rgao (glutinous cake on a plate), Qie Gao is made from huang nuomi (yellow glutinous rice) with an admixture of hongxiaodou (small red beans). To this basic mixture are added layers of paste made from xiaohongzao (small red haws). The dish is cooked in a large steamer, then placed on a board and sold as made to order slabs cut from the whole, hence the name Qie Gao (sliced cake). It can be served dusted with white sugar. In Houmen Avenue there was a stall run by a Muslim called Qiegao Wang (The Glutinous Cake King). Today Qie Gao is often no more than a generic name for a range of glutinous rice cakes.
Za Mian(green noodles)
These are noodles made from green bean flour, with yellow bean flour and white flour added. Those from Raoyang County in Hebei are particularly acclaimed, because in the early Republican period a certain Mr. Liu from Raoyang opened a stall in Yiliu Lane off Houmen Dajie, and he specialized in serving zamian soup.
Shao Bing (sesame seed buns)
This type of round bun, cooked on a griddle and coated with sesame seeds, comes in a number of varieties, and is often eaten cold. The variety called jiaoyanxiao shaobing, for example, have a salty, vinegary taste and are relatively crisp. This food originates in central Asia and its entry into China probably predates Islam. In the Tang dynasty, the poet Bai Juyi was reminded of his native Chang'an when he saw hubing, the early name for zhima shaobing, being sold in his place of exile in southern China. Sesame itself, originally called huma and later zhima, is believed to have been introduced to China from Persia in the late 5th century.
Zhimaqiu (Sesame Balls)
It is a kind of fried rice ball stuffed with a sweet filling, usually red bean paste or lotus paste and covered in sesame seeds. This is popular northeastern Chinese snack and still very popular in Beijing. Best served warm.
Niangao(glutinous rich cake)
Since the Liao Dynasty (916-1125), people have eaten niangao, made of sticky rice, on the first day of the year in the lunar calendar. It symbolizes that life in the following years will get better and
Guan Chang, sometimes cooked at home, is a snack made of flour, chopped meat and some species is served with garlic sauce. It can be easily found at temple fairs and snack stores.