Text by: Amanda Hong
What’s up dumpling lovers! If we left you hungry for more from our last write-up on Shanghai’s street food, well today…
We’re shining the spotlight on Guangzhou — the OG home of Cantonese cuisine (sorry, Hong Kong).
We’d like to assume that you’re well versed with food knowledge, but if that’s not the case, it’s okay — here’s a little break-down: Guangzhou (previously known as Canton) is the capital of the Guangdong province and Cantonese cuisine is its official cuisine. It’s well known to be among China’s top eight famous cuisines — and Guangzhou is the authentic home to Dim Sum, Wonton noodles, roasted pork, claypot rice, and more.
Now that you’ve had some bite-sized knowledge as your appetizer, it’s time to get your chopsticks ready cause we’re ‘bout to get down and food-y!
Dim sum, lose none.
For starters, if your travel food game is strong — perhaps you’d know that the Dim Sum served in Guangzhou has a much wider variety, including vegetarian options. Typically, Dim Sum in other Asian regions are usually served in carts, where you can pick what you fancy. But for most restaurants in Guangzhou, they are made fresh. There may be a communication barrier for travelers who don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese, as they rarely provide English menus — but, you can always join a food tour (yes, there is such a thing).
Sunflower… chicken. Not the song.
You’d be left in the dust if you don’t know of this. Basically, by sunflower chicken, they mean chicken fed with sunflower seeds. It’s somewhat similar to the steamed or poached chicken that you see in chicken rice restaurants, but sunflower seed-fed chickens are said to be of greater nutritional value and taste. It’s typically served with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, or with a few petals for decoration.
A little, goose a long way
You’ve had roast chicken, duck, but here we present to you — roast goose. Similar to roast chicken and duck, you know it’s good when its skin is crispy and its meat is tasty and succulent from its soy sauce, garlic, and honey marinade.
Drunken prawns, shrimply fascinating.
Caution: Not for the weak hearted
Shrimp stir-fry dishes are pretty common, but these “drunken prawns” are one-of-a-kind. This is how it goes — they soak the shrimps in alcohol (usually rice wine or liquor based sauce) prior to being cooked. Sounds normal, eh? But here’s the twist — it’s common to sort of eat them alive. You’ll get served a bowl of shrimp jumping and swimming in alcohol, and you’re supposed to eat them once their movements have ceased. Shrimps can’t get any fresher than that. Gruesome, but hey, if it’s your thing, go for it.
Porkin’ good: Sweet and sour pork
But the traditional Cantonese original incorporates preserved plums and hawthorn candy, making it all kinds of tangy and delicious.
Alright, we hope that made you hungry… for your next food venture! Time to book that trip to Guangzhou, y’all.