Recommended Guilin Dishes & Snacks
Oil tea of Guilin, a speciality of the ethnic minority of Guilin, is made of raw tea leaves, plus old ginger, garlic, green onions. First you have to fry them with oil and pound them with wood in the pan before boiling in the water. The flavor of oil tea is a little bit strange for those who sip it for the first time. Though it tastes bitter at first, you can appreciate its unique flavor gradually. As oil tea can help you get out of the cold, refresh yourself and fill your empty stomach. In fact, oil tea is not only the eating habit of the locals, but also a way of entertaining guests.
Stuffed Li River Snails (阳朔酿田螺)
As a traditional dish of Yangshuo, stuffed Li River snails does not only taste delicious but also help to digest. It is special because of its size and its flavor. First, it is as big as a ping pong ball; second, it tastes quite different, in that the meat in the snail is not snail meat only but a mixture of snail meat, pork, coriander and other seasonings after they are chopped and cooked together.
Lipu Taro looped Meat (荔浦芋头扣肉)
When it comes to wedding or other festivals, Lipu Taro looped Meat is an indispensable dish on the table of the residents in the north Guilin. The main ingredients include streaky pork and Lipu taro, plus such seasoning as refine salt, honey, sugar, soy sauce, ground pepper, fermented red beancurd, and garlic. First, you have to boil the streaky pork before poking the skin with a bamboo stick and smearing refine salt and honey on it. Then fry the meat until it turns gold, next, cut the meat 8-centimetre long and 6-centimetre wide before salted by those seasonings. With respect to the taro, you have to cut it the same size of the streaky pork and place a piece of them between the pork. When all preparation is done, you can add some seasonings to the dish and steam it in a bowl. The last procedure is to find a plate to cover the mouth of the bowl and upturn the bowl to make the dish in the plate.
Steamed Mandarin Fish from Li River (清蒸漓江鱼)
The main ingredient of this dish is the mandarin fish from the Li River, mother river of Guilin city; therefore, the fish tastes fresh, tender and smooth. There are many ways to make a dish with mandarin fish, and the best way is steam. Steaming the mandarin fish and shredded meat, adding some shredded ginger, green onions, sesame oil and other ingredients, and you will have a refreshing dish just before your eyes!
Gingko Stewed with Old Duck (白果炖老鸭)
It is a traditional dish in Guilin. Visitors who come to Guilin should not miss it. Made of gingko, the speciality of Guilin, chopped duck, and other seasoning, the dish is good to your health, say moistening your lungs. At the refreshing smell of the dish, you will hurry to have a try!
Yangshuo Beer Fish (阳朔啤酒鱼)
The beer fish can be counted as the local speciality of Yangshuo County. The fish is from the living carp in the Li River, which is tender and fresh, without the slightest fish-like smell. Fry the fish with the oil tea before adding the first-rate beer of Guilin to the dish and braising them together. The combined flavour of beer and fish can definitely stimulate your appetite! So when you are starved while touring around Yangshuo County, you can try this dish to fill your empty stomach!
Horse-Hoof-Shaped Cake (马蹄糕)
It is one of the popular snacks of Guilin and vendors along the street peddling it are in sight. The main ingredient of the water chestnut cake is rice powder. Put the powder in the horse-hoof-shaped wooden mould, and place some brown sugar, water chestnut powder, sesame powder in it, then steam the snack over heat. In a minute the hot water chestnut cake will be available!
Guilin Rice Noodle (桂林米粉)
Guilin is famed for its rice noodle. The way of making is by no means easy. First, ground the rice to thick liquid and filter it, then knead it and squeeze it into round or strip shape. The round ones are called "mi fen", while the strip ones are called “qie fen”, but both of them can be called "mi fen". The most important ingredient of the dish is the sauce, which makes the rice noodle unique. Though different shops produce different sauce, they make it in the basically same way – boiling the pork, ox bone, momordica grosvenori, and other sorts of seasoning. Difference of sauce makes the flavor of rice noodle different; therefore, you can try different types of rice noodle in Guilin, say, lettuce rice noodle, sirloin rice noodle, pot-stewed meat rice noodle, sour-and-spicy rice noodle, horse meat rice noodle and so forth.
Li River Shrimps (漓江虾)
It is a typical Guilin dish, with the main ingredient being shrimps in the Li River. After fried with a little Guilin distill alcoholic beverage, the shrimps look like a ruby, and taste authentic and tender; sometimes, the sweet taste of water of Li River will linger in your mouth.
Water Chestnut Fried with Chicken Meat (马蹄炒鸡球)
The dish is made of water chestnut, fine chicken meat, mushroom and other seasonings. The round and white water chestnuts look like pearls in the plate, stimulating your appetite the moment it is served. Water chestnut fried with chicken meat is good to your kidney and helps you digest.
The Meat of Dog of Lingchuan (灵川狗肉)
The traditional dish enjoys great popularity among Guilin dwellers. The best dog for making the dish is yellow dog, then white dog, then black dog. There are also many ways of cooking the dog, say stewing, braising. In summer, you can have cold dog meat; while in winter, you can try dog meat hotpot. Moreover, it can go with the wine! If you desire for the best dog meat, you are advised to go to Lingchuan county of Guilin, where the dish is well-reputed.
The Lotus Leaf Duck of Guilin (荷叶鸭)
The ingredients of this dish are many, including the duck, dry lotus leaf, diced pork, diced cured meat, diced winter bamboo shoots, diced fried taro, diced mushrooms, petits pois, shrimps, and some seasonings. When duck has been fried to golden, you can fry those meat and vegetables and place them in the stomach of the duck, then wrap the duck with lotus leaf and steam it over heat. The dish does not only taste delicious because of the rich stuff of the duck but also have a delicate smell because of the lotus leaf.
Water Chestnut Steamed with Pork (马蹄蒸肉饼)
Water chestnut steamed with pork is considered a famous nutritious dish of Guilin. The main ingredients include the speciality of Guilin – water chestnut, and lean meat. Tasting fresh and crisp, the dish is one of the favourites of the locals. In summer, you can try it to clear heat; in winter, it can warm your stomach.
Steamed Meat in Lotus Leaf (荷叶粉蒸肉)
The traditional dish in Guilin is made of streaky pork, mung bean, fermented bean curd, lotus leaf and seasonings. Fry the pork with sauce and cover it with mung bean before wrap it in the lotus leaf. Then after heating over the fire, you will smell the refreshing scent. At the sight of the greenish golden dish, you will try it at once.
The Sweet-Scented Osmanthus Fried the Dried Meat Floss (桂花炒肉松)
Frying the fresh sweet-scented osmanthus, lean meat, egg and sorts of seasonings, the dish is good to go with wine, helping you get out of the cold. Trying this dish, you can not only taste the delicate osmanthus, but also aromatic dried meat floss.
Roasted Suckling Pig (烤乳猪)
The dish tastes tender in that the suckling pig feed on glutinous rice or rice. Carefully roast the suckling pig until it looks golden before chopping it and adding sugar or sweet onion. As this traditional dish is conductive to skins and lungs and heart, many a resident prefer to the roasted suckling pig very much.
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