Savoring the Authentic Flavors of Tianjin: A Culinary Journey

One of the greatest joys of living in Tianjin, one of the most vibrant and bustling cities in China, is the chance to indulge in its rich, delightful, and unique culinary scene. A blend of traditional Chinese recipes and innovative culinary techniques, the city’s cuisine won’t fail to impress any food lover, be they from the east or the west. So, my dear friends, let’s embark on this delectable journey to discover Tianjin’s famous food.

First on our list is the king of Tianjin street food: ‘Goubuli Baozi’. Often called “Dog-Ignoring Buns” in English, this dish is the city’s claim to fame. Contrary to its quirky name, the buns are irresistible, packed with pork and a flavorful broth that bursts in your mouth with every bite. The name comes from the creator of the bun, whose successful business led to a reputation of being too busy to engage in idle chat, even seemingly ‘ignoring dogs’ in the street!

Next comes ‘Shuijiao’, or boiled dumplings. Despite being common across China, Tianjin-style Shuijiao are unique with their multiple layers of flavorsome and juicy fillings, most commonly minced pork, complemented by an array of local sauces. Enjoy these dumplings family-style, steamy hot from bamboo steamers, for an authentic Tianjin experience.

No culinary journey in Tianjin would be complete without savoring ‘Jianbing Guozi’. Known as Chinese crepes in the western world, it’s essentially thin crepes loaded with egg, green onions, cilantro, and crunchy deep-fried dough (You Tiao). This ramped-up breakfast item has a wonderful balance of flavors and textures that will start your day on a happy note.

Fourth, delight your taste buds with ‘Shibajie Mahua’, a traditional fried dough twist that’s sweet, crispy, and incredibly satisfying. Tianjin’s Mahua is known all over China, with ’18th Street Mahua’ being the most famed, dating back to the late 1800s.
Lastly, ‘Erduoyan Fried Rice Cake’ is a must-try snack for anyone visiting Tianjin. Named after the street in Old Tianjin where it was first created, this deep-fried rice cake boasts a crisp outer skin and is filled with red bean paste providing a light sweetness that is utterly divine.