Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in southwest China, has the fame of “leisure city”. As the saying goes, “once you have been there, you will be reluctant to leave.” It is an ideal place to fulfill your appetite for food.
Chengdu snacks enjoyed a great reputation both at home and abroad with their unique colors, aromas, shapes and taste. According to statistics, Chengdu has at least over 500 different kinds of established snacks and over 5,000 stores that serve snacks.
“Bobo Chicken” was originated in Leshan city but grew popular in Chengdu. Skewer cold slices of chicken are served in an earthenware vessel of chili sauce containing more than 20 different spices. Different from “Ma La Tan”, a spicy hot snack, this dish is enjoyed cold. The food on the sticks is cooked and steamed and then served in a spicy soup as it slowly cools down.
“Liangfen”, a kind of clear noodles, is a Chinese dish consisting of starch jelly that is usually served cold, with a savoury sauce. It is generally translucent and thick. Clear Noodles are usually made from mung bean starch, but may also be made from pea or potato starch. In Sichuan, this cold snack is usually served with a spicy-hot sauce.
“Ye’er Ba”, also known as “Ai Mo”, was originally a traditional snack for people in the western part of Sichuan, which is often served during the Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day). In 1940, the Tianzhai Snack Bar in Xindu District, Chengdu, improved Ai Mo elaborately and renamed it as “Ye’er Ba”. With fine color, unique shape and refreshing flavor, “Ye’er Ba” is listed among top Sichuan snacks. It is named as “Ye’er Ba” because it is a steamed glutinous rice cake filled with stuffing wrapped in leaves. The leaves used for it are normally tangerine leaves, plantain leaves, bamboo leaves and lotus leaves.
Noodles in Sichuan Style, also known as “Dandan Noodles” (noodles with spicy hot sauce), is a famous snack from Chengdu. It is prepared by rolling the dough into noodles, boiling and then frying them with minced pork. With thin noodles, a sweet-smelling sauce and spicy taste, this dish is delicious. It is widely known in Sichuan and often served as a snack during dinner.
“Dou Hua” is a Chinese dessert made with an extra soft form of tofu. It is also referred to as tofu pudding. “Dou Hua” in Sichuan is often made without any sugar at all, then served by pole-carrying or bicycle vendors with a number of condiments such as chili oil, soy sauce, Sichuan pepper, scallions, and nuts, and is sometimes eaten along with white rice as well.
“Zhong's Dumplings” are the representative Sichuan dumplings. They are named after the inventor Zhong Shaobai. The main difference between “Zhong’s Dumplings” and dumplings in other parts of north China is that the stuffing in “Zhong’s Dumplings” is purely pork without any vegetables. When being served on table, it is dressed with red chili oil, making the dumplings slightly sweet, salty and spicy.
“Chao Shou” is a unique way Sichuan people call wonton, which literally means making wontons in the shape of folded hands. In the 1940s, Zhang Guangwu, owner of the “Fragrant Teahouse”, founded a wonton restaurant named "Long Chao Shou." The dumplings offered by the restaurant feature thin skin, tender stuffing and delicious soup.
The former name of “Han Bao Zi” was “Yulong Yuan Pastry Restaurant” (Yulong Mian Shi Dian) run by the Hans, later the Hans changed its name to “Han Bao Zi”. Because of its nice and clear pleats, thin wrapping and rich fillings as well as soft and tender taste, “Han Bao Zi” has been a famous snack in Chengdu.