6 Delicious Traditional Dishes from Tianjin

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/santangelo-jon/4527815120">Taste of Tianjin  | © Jon Santangelo/Flickr</a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/santangelo-jon/4527815120">Taste of Tianjin | © Jon Santangelo/Flickr</a>
Photo of Jon Santangelo
4 June 2017
View

A seaside town with an incredibly diverse history, Tianjin has produced some of your favorite Chinese foods. Make sure you sample at least some of these six tasty, traditional dishes on your next visit to Tianjin.

Goubuli Baozi

Goubuli Baozi is Tianjin’s premier homegrown snack. Baked to perfection, these steamed buns can be stuffed with meat or vegetables and are a cleaner, succulent version of dumplings, with less oil and more filling. Goubuli was created during the Qing Dynasty by a small town native named Dogy, who came to Tianjin and apprenticed in a restaurant that specialized in baking stuffed buns. He ended up opening his own shop, where he improved the stuffed buns so much that eventually he and his recipe became famous nationwide.

Dogy was given the nickname Goubuli by his customers. It means “Dogy doesn’t talk” because he was too occupied making buns to talk to them in the restaurant. The Goubuli Bun Shop stands today as a corporation; with nearly 90 branches in Tianjin and more throughout China. Try as many buns as you can, there are over 90 varieties and over 200 dishes in Goubuli’s restaurants.

Tangdui

This sweet snack is a traditional dessert on Chinese New Year Eve. Tangdui is made of hawthorn berries. First the hawthorn berries are hollowed out and filled with red bean pastes, nuts, or seeds, and then grilled on a short bamboo stick. Once out of the fire, they’re drenched in syrup and left to cool, while being coated in crystal sugar. Nowadays it’s not just hawthorn berries that make Tangdui; apples, pears, and other fruits are prepared in the same way.

Ear-hole Fried Cake

Ear-hole Fried Cake actually has nothing to do with ear holes, nor does it look like one. Introduced over 80 years ago by peddler, Liu Wanchun who walked with a wheelbarrow full of these cakes along Tianjin’s Bei Da Guan, a narrow street that resembled an ear-hole. The cakes started gaining notoriety on the streets and Liu opened his own shop. Made with rice dough and red bean filling, when finished, this pastry has a golden color and is crunchy on the outside while sweet and tender within.

Fried Dough Twists

Fried Dough Twists look a little complicated to make, and they are. These knotty shaped pastries are made with flour and peanut oil and are pumped with a waxy paste made of beans. This crispy specialty snack stays fresh for a few months so you can take some home and share a taste of Tianjin.

Chatang

Chatang is one of Tianjin’s most revered liquid dishes. Grain is poured into boiling water and mixed with brown sugar. Real Chatang is prepared in a large, old-fashioned copper tea kettle and has its own distinct method of being served to customers. The Chatang chef serves the brew from a spout that resembles a dragon head, it is poured from afar in a streaming fashion, into multiple bowls each held in a customer’s hand. Check out a Chatang stall on your next outing.

Guobacai

This snack favorite is made of a kaleidoscope of specific local ingredients. Guobacai starts out as pancakes made of grain and bean flour before being sliced into linguine-like noodles. Then they are cooked in a sauce made up of sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, and bean curd. They are best served alongside other Tianjin snacks and make an excellent breakfast.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"