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Home Travel in China China Travel Guide Travel in Guangdong Beijing Snacks—Youtiao (油条), Ludagun (驴打滚) and Wandouhuang (豌豆黄)
Beijing Snacks—Youtiao (油条), Ludagun (驴打滚) and Wandouhuang (豌豆黄)
Travel in Beijing
Snacks of Beijing can fall into three varieties: Han, Hui and imperial snacks, which are generally prepared by steaming, deep frying, frying in shallow oil, and instant boiling. Some people regard snacks of Beijing as "living fossils." Now snack restaurants can be found all over Beijing, such as Longfusi and Huguosi snack counters. Quick boiled Tripe Man, Chatang Li and Wonton Hou.

Typical Beijing snacks: Douzhi (mung 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.
Beijing snacks, combining varied flavors from different nationalities like Han, Hui, Meng, Man and court snacks from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), include many kinds and form the characteristic of their own.
It is said that there are over two hundred kinds of snacks in Beijing, including dishes going with wine, such as Quick-Fried Tripe (Bao Du), Boiled Sheep's Head (Bai Shui Yang Tou), Flour-Pastry desserts, like Pancakes with Meat-Fillings (Rou Mo Shao Bing) and some other snacks for breakfast or as midnight snack, like Sticky Rice with Sweet Fillings (Ai Wo Wo) and Rolling Donkey (Lu Da Gun). What local Beijing people, especially elder ones like most are Mung Bean Milk (Dou Zhi), Fried Liver (Chao Gan) and Filled Sausage (Guan Chang).
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.
Youtiao (Sweetened Fried Bread Twists / 油条)
Youtiao, you char kway, or yau ja gwai , sometimes known in English as Chinese cruller or fried bread stick, is a long, golden-brown, deep fried strip of dough in Chinese cuisine and other East and Southeast Asian cuisines and is usually eaten for breakfast. Conventionally, youtiao are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. Youtiao are normally eaten as an accompaniment for rice congee or soy milk.
The Cantonese name yàuhjagwái literally means "oil-fried ghost" and, according to folklore, is an act of protest against Song Dynasty official Qin Hui, who is said to have orchestrated the plot to frame the general Yue Fei, an icon of patriotism in Chinese culture. It is said that the food, originally taking the form of two deep-fried human-shaped dough but later evolved two doughs joining in the middle, represents Qin Hui and his wife, both having a hand in collaborating with the enemy to bring about the great general's demise.
Thus the youtiao is deep fried and eaten as if done to the traitorous couple. In keeping with the legend, youtiao are often made as two foot-long rolls of dough joined along the middle, with one roll representing the husband and the other the wife.
People in Beijing love to eat this treat in the morning. It is often served with warm doujiang (soy milk). Though it is harder to find youtiao and doujiang these days there are still many restaurants and small shops that offer it in the early morning.

Ludagun (Rolling Donkey / Pastry Made of Soy Bean Flour/ 驴打滚)

Rolling Donkey is a kind of cake made of bean-flour and is a famous Islamic snack in Beijing. It is made from steamed glutinous millet or sticky rice, scattered with fried bean-flour and filled with red pea. After being cut into blocks, it is rolled in soya bean-flour, which is why this snack gets the name, Lu Da Gun. When you roll it in soya bean-flour, it looks like a donkey rolling on the ground, raising dusts.
As one of the ancient snacks of Beijing, Ludagun is mainly made of soybean flour mixed with sugar. It is a popular snack in Beijing.
Wandouhuang (Pea Flour Cake / 豌豆黄)
Prepared with white peas, pea flour cake is a typical snack in spring. Pea flour cakes, kidney bean cakes and small corn buns were well-known imperial snacks in ancient China.
It 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 nice 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.