5 of the Strangest Snacks in South China

By Tristin Zhang, May 7, 2018

0 0

It’s widely known that folks in Guangdong rarely shy away from unusual bites. From pig guts to pupae, eating out in the Pearl River Delta can often feel like an exercise in one-upmanship. This month, we challenge our readers to take a walk on the 'culinary wild side' with these out-of-the-ordinary street snacks.

1. Fish Skins 鱼皮


Popular along the length of China’s coast from Shandong in the north down to Guangdong in the south, snacking on fish skins is a deep-rooted tradition. These piscine pelts can be found at back alley eateries throughout Guangzhou’s more historic quarters. The crispy, deep-fried version is considered more approachable, while the chewy, cold rendition – tossed with scallions, ginger, soy sauce and peanuts – can be a challenge to the palate for first-timers. 

2. Pig Blood Curd 猪血


In the 1990s, old women carrying wooden containers of homemade pig’s blood soup were a common sight on Guangzhou’s streets. Known in Guizhou as ‘blood tofu,’ the curdled treat can be eaten on its own or as flavor-boosting addition to hot pot and congee. Steeped in a peppery soup and seasoned with diced scallions, this is iron-rich Southern comfort food at its best. 

3. Cow’s Three-Star 牛三星


Don’t let the genteel name fool you – this time-tested dish is made up of less than glamorous ingredients. Composed of a cow’s heart, kidneys and liver, ‘cow’s three star’ is a soup for those who like their viscera with a side of scallion and pickled cabbage. It’s become so popular over the years that this medley of innards can be found at nearly any Cantonese restaurant in the Guangzhou, but to find the dish’s authentic roots one must make a gutsy pilgrimage to the historic Xiguan neighborhood of Liwan. 

4. Pig’s Trotter with Ginger 猪脚姜


This time-honored stew is said to have come into existence more than 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. Believed to be of great benefit to women after childbirth, it’s often given to relatives and neighbors as well as new mothers to celebrate the arrival of a newborn. The knuckles of a pig’s trotter are marinated with vinegar and ginger before being stewed with eggs and brown sugar until rubbery.

5. Water Cockroaches 水蟑螂 


There are some lines that, even in the name of journalism, we are not willing to cross. While we have not sampled this highly nutritious snack first hand, some Guangdong natives will swear by so-called ‘water cockroaches’ (in fact, a member of the beetle family) as a protein-packed, low-fat treat that is also eaten Mexico, Japan and Thailand. In Guangzhou, it’s usually found in seafood restaurants where it is fried with salt and pepper or cooked with wasabi. 

[Images via Tristin Zhang, Sohu]

more news

Durian Chicken Nuggets are a Thing and We Tried Them

It seems like every food product in the Middle Kingdom has – at some point or another – been infused with the spiny, pungent fruit.

Brew Review: Jing-A's Collaboration With Shanghai's Brewful Life

Together, these forces of craft combined to create a new beer that rings the bell for both Shanghai and Beijing, and lucky for us That's columnist Chris Foste gave the new brews a try.

This Chinese City Set to Open Pop-Up Eatery Inside a Rocket

Step aside, Pizza Planet... China has a restaurant that'll take you out of this world!

Here are 5 Adventurous Moon Cakes to Try in China

Here are five moon cake sets that caught our eyes and could make for a fun gift for your family, friends or, best of all, yourself.

Veggie Mama's Recipe for Quick & Healthy Vegan Asian Orange 'Chicken'

Another great recipe from China-based foodie and former Shanghai restaurateur Lindsey Fine (aka Veggie Mama).

Hops and Dreams: Great Leap’s Carl Setzer on Crafting a Beer Revolution

One small step for man, one Great Leap for the people.

3 Tropical Fruits You Can Order in Bulk Right Now

Can’t make it to the fruit stand? We’ve got you covered!

3 Delicious Drinks You Need to Try Right Now

Craving a refreshing beverage? We’ve got you covered!

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.