Xiamen sits in southern China in the Fujian province directly on the coast across from Taiwan. While not a large city by Chinese standards, it has become a recent hot spot for business travel thanks to the various mechanical companies that have made their headquarters at the former port city. The city is today known for it's mild climate, friendly people, colonial architecture and of course their amazing food, particularly seafood. Here is our list of the top 10 foods you must try when visiting Xiamen.
You can find all of these foods and restaurants on the Spoonhunt App.
10. Tusun Jelly 土笋冻
Tusun Jelly's main material is a kind of worm found in muddy seabed. It contains gelatin, after cooking the gelatin is mixed with the water, and form to jelly after getting cold. Eating with soy, vinegar, sugar sauce, pepper sauce, garlic sauce, mustard, radish etc, it's really good to taste and very high in protein.
9. Xiamen Fish Balls 厦门鱼丸
Fish balls are a famous traditional snack in southern Fujian, in the shape of a golf ball. It is made from fish paste mixed with flour flavored with special ingredients. Bright and snow white, such balls are soft, refined and delicious. The fish balls come in many sizes. Some are stuffed and others solid balls.
8. Peanut Soup 花生汤
One of the Xiamen famous deserts, the snack is prepared by cooking peanuts in water until soft. Only trained chefs know how to properly boil them, as overcooking them will make them oily. Then, sugar is added to sweeten the soup even further. The most famous peanut soup is in Huang Zehe at Zhongshan Lu, a famous snacks store in Xiamen.
7. Braised Duck with Ginger 姜母鸭
Traditionally, Jiangmu Duck is a must have winter dish at the family banquet dinner. It can dispel cold and dampness and is good for the stomach and spleen. Jiangmu duck is considered a good dish for diet therapy. The duck used in the dish should be the Zhengfan duck (a duck species which is only bred in Fujian). The duck is first preserved in the rice wine and then braised with old ginger and other Chinese herbs in a clay pot for 2 hours. It's an interesting use of duck, much different than the Beijing version.
6. Gluey Noodles 面线糊
Gluey Noodles, or Mianxianhu, are a Southern Fujian, Minnan people specialty. The name comes from how thick and glue-like the soup becomes after being cooked for so long. It's almost like porridge. The stock is prepared by boiling shrimps, oysters, razor clams and other seafood together, and finally add thread-like noodles to the soup. The soup is boiled again to thicken the stock until it can live up to its name.
5. Xiamen Glutinous Rice Wrap 厦门烧肉粽
Around Mid Autumn Festival, Chinese people go absolutely crazy for something called Zong Zi 粽子, which is glutinous rice wrapped in a bamboo leaf with pork or red bean paste on the inside. In Xiamen, a similar dish is eaten all year round that contains glutinous rice, mushrooms, shrimp, chestnuts and pork. The ingredients are wrapped in a bamboo leaf, shaped into a pyramid and boiled in water. When it's done, the leaves are unwrapped and the rice is dipped into satay sauce, garlic sauce, or pepper sauce, depending on your preference.
4. Chinese Chives Dumplings 韭菜盒
The Chive Box dumpling is made with wheat flour and hot water to keep the dough from expanding. While the dough is being rolled out, chives are stir-fried, eggs are scrambled, and rice vermicelli is cooked. Once the ingredients are ready, they are put in the dough, folded over and crimped. They can be small enough to fit in your hand or big enough to eat as a whole meal.
3. Oyster Omelette 海蛎煎
Continuing on with another seafood specialty from Xiamen, we have the Oyster Omelette. In many other Chinese cuisines, such as Kunming and Northern China, the omelette is a popular dish that is made signature by adding local ingredients. In Xiamen, the freshest oyster is mixed with egg, sweet potato starch and garlic powder before being cooked in oil. It is eaten by being ripped from the round omelette, dipped in satay sauce and savored.
2. Satay Noodles 沙茶面
The signature breakfast of locals in Xiamen, Fujian is called Satay Noodles 沙茶面 Shā chá miàn. Featuring fresh seafood ingredients like shrimp and cuttlefish, Fujian breakfast is savory and spicy. The noodles are cooked in a pork of chicken bone stock and you can add you own ingredients. Most places have their own homemade satay sauce, making every place unique.
1. Spring Rolls 春卷
Spring Rolls are one of the few authentic Chinese foods that have made their way over to Western countries, as well as other Asian countries like Vietnam. In Xiamen, Spring Rolls are a specialty, since they can add many seafood ingredients to make it unique. Spring Rolls is also called Bobin in Xiamen. It contains many food stuffs like bamboo shoots, peas, bean sprouts, dried tofu, fish, shrimp diced meat, oyster and carrot etc, and all these food ingredients are wrapped with a piece of thin flour skin.
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