Wed 22 Mar 2006
Beijing Street Food Jiaozi Baozi
On A Street in Beijing near Chao Yang Gong Yuan Nan Menr
Yesterday I submitted a post about Hong Kong Street food so it’s appropriate that I submit a northern counterpart. Last January while visiting Beijing we stayed at my friend Elmar’s place and just outside of his building is a street with a few really great street food restaurants. The type of hole in the wall joints that really serve authentic style street food such as Jiaozi and Baozi. Everything is entirely hand made – including the jiaozi and baozi wrappers which are rolled from their own dough flour mixture. Coal is burned to heat the water that steams these dishes to perfection. We stayed for about a week in this neighborhood and ate at this guy’s stand almost every morning and we watched him patiently roll each dough, stuff each Jiaozi dumpling and happily serve them to his customers. For a basket or “lun” of Jiaozi and a “lun” of baozi it costs only 6 RMB which is about $.80 ! Not only are they really affordable but they’re also probably the best I’ve had. The jiaozi have this starchy texture that makes it a little chewier than you would get from most restaurants here in NY. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he hand rolls his wrappers vs. frozen or premade wrappers that are used in most commercial establishments in the USA. While at this restaurant, we also ordered their noodles which by the way are also hand pulled fresh as well. Next time you are in Beijing or another northern Chinese city, be sure to walk down some hutong alleyways in search of these delicious delicacies.
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