5 Top Dishes To Order At Dongbei Restaurants

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dongbei food

Dōngběi 东北 refers to the north-eastern part of China which covers 3 provinces: Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning. It used to be known as Manchuria.

东北菜
Dōngběi cài
Dongbei-style food

Dongbei-style food is perhaps one of the most underrated Chinese cuisines compared to Sichuan, Cantonese or even Xinjiang food. Dongbei cuisine consists of different types of pickled ingredients and mainly wheat and maize, instead of rice. So you will see more dishes with noodles, steamed buns or cornbread.

The best part about Dongbei food is they tend to be relatively cheap and come in big portions. Similarly, they also tend to have a big, extensive menu. We’re talking about 50-70 dishes at least! It could be quite overwhelming to look at the menu and try to decide what to order.

To simplify your next visit to a dongbei restaurant, we’ve prepared a list of must-try food that we absolutely enjoy.

1.)  地三鲜 Di sān xiān

Loosely translated as “three delights from the earth”, this dish is made of 3 main ingredients: fried potatoes, peppers and eggplants stir-fried together with garlic and doused in vinegary, sweet brown sauce.

di san xian 地三鲜

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We give this: 8/10

Reason: “Potatoes – what’s there not to like?” said our intern.

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2.) 拔丝地瓜 Básī dìguā

拔丝地瓜 is candied sweet potatoes. The potatoes are first deep fried, then doused with caramel. Bite into the crunchy/sticky shell to reveal the soft potato flesh. This dish is more of a dessert, and a rather heavy one.

拔丝地瓜

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We give this: 7/10

Reason: “Potatoes – again, what’s there not to like?” said our potato-lover intern.

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3.) 粗粮拉皮 Cū liáng lā pí

This dish is centered around the wide, flat and translucent noodles that are made of mung bean. It’s served with julienned cucumber (sometimes with radish too), pork slivers and topped with Chinese parsley and a secret brown sauce.

dongbeilapi 东北拉皮

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We give this: 7/10

Reason: “The flat noodles have a “Q” texture, which makes you want to keep biting and eating,” said one of our Chinese teachers.

“Q” refers to the slightly firm, but springy texture.

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4.) 手工水饺 Shǒugōng shuǐjiǎo

手工水饺 literally means handmade dumplings. What makes the dongbei version slightly different from the others is the filling. It usually has pickled veggies and meat. The skin is also thicker. Dip it in vinegar and chilli oil for that extra kick.

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We give this: 8/10

Reason: “Nothing beats cheap, handmade dumplings,” said our web developer who could eat nothing but dumplings all day.

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5.) 京酱肉丝 Jīng jiàng ròu sī

This dish is hard not to love. It’s basically pork tenderloin shredded into thin pieces and sautéed with “Beijing sauce” (made of sweet bean sauce, oyster, ketchup and garlic). To fully enjoy it, take a piece of tofu skin, add some pork and top it with slices of spring onions. You can also simply add the pork to rice and eat it.

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We give it: 9/10

Reason: “Such a simple dish, but so delicious!”

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Do you have a favourite Dongbei dish?

Share with us in the comment below and we’ll pick one person to win a free entry to our cultural event.

 

 

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