Thursday, November 06, 2014

Chaozhou traditional snacks @ Ancient City Wall (Part I)

chwee kueh
Chwee kway 咸水粿

On my second day in Shantou, we took a bus ride for a day trip in Chaozhou. It was an hour's ride away. Within Chaozhou's Ancient City wall was a 2.6 km old town where some of it is really run down. Parts of it have been renovated and we found some lovely cafes, tea houses where we stopped for refreshments.

To see the town at your own pace, visitors can hire a family bike (for 2 or up to 6 people). For added adventure, you could also hire a trishaw to ride round the city.

The first stall on the streets of the old town I found was chwee kueh (steam rice cakes). Compared to those sold in Singapore, they are smaller, taste coarse and hard. They are served cold with a warm radish side.

soon kueh
Soon Kueh

Teochew Soon Kueh 潮州笋粿 (bamboo shoot dumplings)
Unlike those sold in Singapore, bamboo shoot is used as the filling. For people who like bamboo shoot, this is yummy.

Handmade beef balls

Hammering away at the beef on a huge chopping board in front of his eatery, this was an amusing sight. From afar, I thought he was hitting a drum.

Hand hammered beef balls ()手锤牛肉丸 are the most common and popular of Teochew snacks. Beef mixed with some tendon is turned into a meat paste as he hammered the mixture using a pair of special wooden round sticks that resemble drumsticks.

The meat paste is then shaped into beef balls and cooked in beef bone soup. I didn't get to taste these beef balls as we were being herded to our next destination .... the downside of a guided group tour. :P

Teochew kway chap
Kway Chap rice sheets

The kway chap noodles (粿汁) sold on the streets of Chaozhou old town is the dried version. The flat rice sheets was thick and hard like biscuits.

I couldn't find a kway chap stall here, hope to taste it before my trip ended.

Teochew popiah

Spring rolls 潮州春卷

Chaozhou Spring Rolls (popia)
Several tour members and I couldn't resist the aroma of freshly fried spring rolls sold at a stall. We bought some to taste .... were surprised that they added green beans to the filling. One member was so disappointed with the taste that he threw the remainder away.

Noticed how the snacks were made in unsanitary kitchens and have been sitting out in the open air all day, I was constantly reminding myself not to overindulge. I didn't want to get sick on my second day.


  1. my boss would say "big germs eat small germs" . But I do agree with you. getting sick during vacation is a bummer

    1. I try not to fall sick when I am abroad, very troublesome.
      There are lots of food I want to try but have to stop myself. haha...

  2. Errr... unsanitary street food.

    But sometimes, we hantam and still eat them. Why ah? Hahaha

  3. Sounds like a fun trip, but yeah I'm not sure I'd be trusting snacks left out all day either :)

    1. It was fun and enjoyable .... my first time to my ancestral homeland :)

  4. Handmade beef balls look delicious. It must be delicious. :D