With a great variety, the snacks of Nanjing boast a long history and are famous around the country. You must try these yummy local snacks when traveling in Nanjing!
Nanjing Salted Duck
Salted duck is a famous local dish of Nanjing. The duck has white skin, crisp and tender meat. It is fat but not greasy, emitting a fragrant flavor. The salted duck made around the Mid-Autumn Festival, which usually falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, or in September, is deemed to be the best. As the 8th lunar month, or September, is the season when the sweet-scented osmanthus are in full bloom, the duck made in this season enjoys the reputation of being the “Osmanthus Duck”.
Nanjing Dried Salted Duck
Nanjing dried salted duck, brine salted and air-dried according to a 600 years’ old production method, has been famed both at home and abroad. It is famous for its tender meat and plate-like shape. In the Qing Dynasty, local officials would select the new dried salted duck with better quality as a tribute to the imperial houses, so it is also called “Tribute Duck”. Court officials would visit each other with dried salted duck as a gift, so it is also titled the “Official Rite Dried Salted Duck”.
Duck Blood and Vermicelli Soup
The duck blood and vermicelli soup is prepared with duck blood, duck gizzards, duck intestines, duck liver and vermicelli in a duck soup. With the tough and chewy vermicelli, this snack is tasty and refreshing. In addition, as the duck meat contains high protein and low fat, it is especially fit for elderly people. In Nanjing, duck blood and vermicelli soup is sold everywhere, and the soup sold at the junction of Matai Street on Hunan Road and that sold at the Confucius Temple are especially good choices.
Tang Bao (Steamed Dumpling Filled with Minced Meat and Gravy)
Tang Bao (steamed dumpling filled with minced meat and gravy) is a kind of well-known Nanjing snack. It is small with thin wrap and thick stuffing. With fresh minced meat and abundant gravy, it is tasty and fragrant. When tasting Tang Bao, you should first make sure to absorb the gravy, then, take a bite. It tastes fresh and sweet. You can find Tang Bao shops everywhere in Nanjing.
Assorted Bean Curd Jelly
With more than ten kinds of condiments, such as shrimp, mustard tuber, edible fungus, green onion, chili oil and sesame oil, Nanjing assorted bean curd jelly is fragrant, refreshing, and bright in color. It is full of flavor, and tastes just right – neither too salty or too flat, and reasonably spicy.
Nanjing Dried Bean Curd Shreds
Nanjing dried bean curd shreds are produced in a unique way with specially adopted dried bean curd shreds which are tender but not tough, dried but not fragmented. Cooked with a great variety of soup stock, mixed with sesame oil and high-quality soy sauce, this dish is fresh with a long aftertaste. Since the establishment of the Republic of China, a number of new varieties have been increasing, such as dried bean curd shreds with shrimps, dried bean curd shreds with bamboo shoots, dried bean curd shreds with mushrooms, and dried bean curd shreds with chicken, etc.
As one of the famous specialties of Nanjing, sausage was created in the period of Emperor Tongzhi of Qing Dynasty. The main ingredient of it is fresh pork with seventy percent of leanness and the seasonings include moderate salt, sugar, spice and the like. Its meat is solid in red and white check, which tastes fresh and delicious with sweet flavor. It is a famous banquet dish as well as an appetizer in daily life.
Sweetened Porridge with Lotus Roots
Sweetened porridge with lotus roots is made from sticky rice, with brown sugar and some lotus roots added. It is much loved both old and young in Nanjing. Besides, Sweetened Porridge with Lotus Roots is very fragrant and you can eat it cold or hot all year round.
Guotie (Fried Dumpling Stuffed with Minced Beef)
Guotie (fried dumpling stuffed with minced beef) is one of the most favorite snacks of Nanjingers. First, make the dumpling wrapped with minced beef. Then, fry the dumplings with oil in the pan till they turn golden color. Nanjing Guotie is crisp outside and tender inside with thick stuffing and abundant gravy. It is inexpensive, and suitable to be eaten with light vegetarian soup.
Clay Oven Roll with Duck Oil
Clay oven roll with duck oil is a characteristic Nanjing snack. It is strictly prepared in terms of ingredients, making process, baking skill and quality. The snack is fragrant and crisp with a lasting agreeable aftertaste. You might need to queue up if you want to buy it as it is such a popular snack.
Plum Blossom Cake
Plum Blossom Cake is a famous typical local snack in Nanjing. Originating in the Ming Dynasty, it was the most famous snack in the Qing Dynasty and is included among the “Four Humane Typical Street Snacks” together with Taro Seedlings with Osmanthus Sugar, Lotus Root with Honey Sauce and Brewed Dumplings of Glutinous Rice Flour with Osmanthus Wine. With its great color and luster as well as its agreeable sweetness, it tastes soft and crisp with an endless aftertaste. It is said that Emperor Qianlong entitled it the “Plum Blossom Cake”.