Although desserts are not my favorite, I can’t even resist such a bowl of sweet dumplings(collectively known as Tang Yuan or Yuan Xiao). There are different kinds of fillings filled in the sweet dumplings, such as mushed taros, mushed beans, etc.
Winter solstice is one of the very important solar terms and traditional festival in traditional Chinese calendar. In most part of Northern China, people eat sweet dumplings on lantern festival. But in most part of southern China, people eat sweet dumplings on Winter solstice (Dongzhi). The circular sweet dumplings stand for reunion. There is also a saying that after eating sweet dumplings on Winter solstice, you get 1 year older. This custom
is disappearing in some big city. However, the Chaozhou people still keep this traditional custom well. I so yearn those day when I was a kid helping my mom to make sweet dumplings on Winter solstice. I like making them to different shapes. Ha-ha, it was really funny:)
Of cause, if you wanna eat sweet dumplings, you could eat them on any day. There is Roadside food stall selling sweet dumplings in Chaozhou.
Moon cakes are usually eaten on Mid-Autumn Festival. Most people like Guangzhou moon cakes. But there are still some people liking Chaozhou moon cakes.the cover and the filling are different between Guangzhou moon cakes and Chaozhou moon cakes. I like both of them.
Talking about moon cakes, I would like to talk about Mid-Autumn Festival too. This festival is one of my favorite festivals.
Mid-Autumn Festival is a big Chinese traditional festival on which families will reunite to enjoy looking at the moon. You know, China is a very big country with 56 nationalities. The custom of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival varies in different areas in China. Here, I just talk about the custom of Mid-Autumn Festival in Chaozhou.
When the moon is rising up on the Mid-Autumn evening, people start sacrificing the moon because People believe there is a deity standing for the moon. The sacrifices include moon cakes, many kinds of fruits, sweet tea, etc. After the sacrifice, we drink the sweet tea and eat the moon cakes and fruits; meanwhile we enjoy looking at the moon. Many kids like celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, which means reunion, eating moon cakes and many fruits and having a lot fun^_^
The Chaozhou noodles are wide and very thin. The soup for these noodles is usually chosen the pig/chicken bone soup, which the soup will be very tasty and clear. In Chaozhou, a bowl of these noodle soups is only 2~3 RMB. And there are still some meet and vegetables in it.
These fried vegetable dumplings are one of the sacrificial offerings for the moon nymph on Mid-Autumn Day. All of the sacrificial offerings for the moon nymph must be vegetables or fruits. This is the local custom in Chaozhou. The only time I made fried vegetable dumplings with my families was a long time ago when I was still a kid. And I haven’t eaten these dumplings for a long time too. But the taste I will never forget.
China is a place which is rich in water chestnuts. It seems Chaozhou people like water chestnut a lot. In the season when water chestnuts are mature, there are many water chestnuts sold on the road side in Chaozhou. They can be eaten directly or cooked by some way. One of the ways is to make them into cakes. They taste sweet and a little cool with the light flavor of water chestnut. They would be nice snacks after you eat fried food.
I would like to recommend this very traditional Chaozhou snack. It’s also my favorite :) Oyster pancake (or you can call it Oyster Pisa) primarily consists of eggs, small oysters and starch. A special sauce which is made of fish is used to added taste.
There are oyster pancakes sold at the roadside food stalls. But I like eating oyster pancakes which my mom makes. I think oyster pancakes which my mom makes can compare to those made by the professional chef ^_^ Do you envy that I have a wonderful mother?
People from different areas have different diet customs. I know that western people don’t eat the internal organs of pig. However, if you come to Chaozhou one day, please don’t miss this snack “Intestine Filled with Glutinous Rice”. If you don’t try, how do you know whether it tastes good or not? Once you ate this snack, I’m sure you’ll love it!
So, how do the local people make this traditional snack? First all, Wash the intestine with salt or starch many times until there is no peculiar smell at all. And then the clean intestine will be filled with glutinous rice, dried mushroom, dried shrimp, lotus seed and some spices. Seal the two ends by thread. The next step is to boil the intestine filled with glutinous for about one hour. After it is cooked, cut it into pieces and add sweet soy sauce. Then the yummy snack “Intestine Filled with Glutinous Rice” is done!
Rice soup is almost in every day life for Chaozhou people. We usually have rice soup as breakfast. So called white rice soup means there is no other food and condiment in the rice soup. So, there are many kinds of food which are especially served for the white rice soup to add the taste.
The Chaozhou rice soup tastes totally different from the gruel in Guangzhou for the ways cooking the rice soup are different. The Chaozhou rice soup will not be cooked too long while the Guangzhou gruel will be cooked for a long time till you almost can’t taste the grain of rice. Once, I went back to my home town. For I hadn’t drunk Chaozhou rice soup for a long time, I could even taste the nice flavor of the white rice soup.
Besides white rice soup, there is another rice soup which we call spicy rice soup. Such as sea food, birds’ meat and so on are cooked with the rice soup to add the flavor. And the casserole is the best cooking utensil for rice soup. People here usually drink casserole rice soup as midnight snack. You will find some roadside stalls selling casserole rice soup at night in Chaozhou.
Sautéed glutinous rice being rolled by a thin piece of covers which is made of soybean becomes a kind of traditional Chaozhou snacks. The rolls are usually cut into pieces when are eating. Some special kind of sauces is used plus the taste.
So-called non-rice cakes are because of their covers made of starch. These covers will look transparent after being cooked. The common fillings are salty mushed green beans. Non-rice cakes will be usually pan-fried before being eaten. Spicy sauce is the best partner to non-rice cakes.
You know, Japanese like sashimi. Chaozhou people like sashimi too. They have their own way to make and eat the fish fillets. The fish fillets are made from grass carp. You know, the fillets themselves taste no flavor. So, the spices are very important. the spices are usually made of sesame oil, ground ginger, hot pepper and so on. And you’d better drink some white liquor when you eat fish fillets.
So, do you think the fish dumplings are all made of fish? Actually, only the cover of the fish dumpling is made of fish; the filling is made of pig meat. Fish dumplings are usually cooked into soup with a kind of seaweeds. This dish often appears in the daily meal in Chaozhou.
Although leek cakes look very simple, actually the tasty is inside the rice dough. These leek cakes can be eaten after being steamed or sauted. I guess anyone who likes eating leek will like these leek cakes.
There are many kinds of local cakes which are usually made in Chinese traditional holidays in Chaozhou. The fillings of these cakes can be sweet or salty. These cakes are used to serve the deities. In the past, women in the villages would be very busy in Chinese traditional holidays. They not only had to make those local cakes but also arranged the stuff of serving the deities.
Wheat pan cakes are usually made in sweet taste. These cakes can bought in roadside food stalls in Chaozhou. But I guess these cakes are not the traditional Chaozhou snacks. Maybe you can find it other places.