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Chaozhou, the Birth Place of Asian Street Food

[2013.07.14] Posted By

chazhou street food
I have been staying in Chaozhou city and surrounding town for a few days for purchasing Phoenix dan cong oolong tea.

The Introduction of Chaozhou

Chaozhou (潮州), or alternatively called Chiuchow by Cantonese, also known as Teochew, is a city located in eastern Guangdong Province of China. Chaozhou is part of Chaoshan region, which another two nearby cities are Jieyang (揭阳)at its southwest and Shantou (汕头)at its south. It borders the Fujian Province to the east and the South China Sea to the southeast.
The two main rivers that provide abundant water resource for Chaozhou is the Han River (韩江) and Huang Gang River (黄岗河).

The mountain in Chaozhou

The Chaozhou terrain is low-lying at North and high elevation at South. The mountainous areas accounted for 65% of the total area. The Phoenix Mountain peak in the northern bun is the highest peak in the eastern elevation, 1497m above sea level. Here is the hometown of Chinese Oolong teas, and the birthplace of the She ethnic minority (畲族).

Montain view from Wudong mountain

View from the Wu Dong Mountain

Chaozhou is a sub-tropical marine monsoon climate, characterized by a mild climate, abundant sunshine and rainfall. The annual average temperature is about 21.4 degree C.

The street food cultures of Malaysia and Singapore are originated from Chaozhou

There are a large number of Chaozhou people in Singapore and Penang of Malaysia. Back in the history, many Chaozhou immigrants settled in these places. As they migrated, the food culture was carried over. I used to think that many Malaysian (Penang) hawker foods were originated from Fujian Province as there are many people speaking Hokkien dialect in Penang. Till I visited Chaozhou, I realized that most of the hawker food or street food is actually originated from Chaozhou. For example, the Kway Teow T’ng, Char Kway Teow, Zhu Chang Fen, clay pot rice, porridge and etc.
The Kway Teow T’ng is a very common street food in Chaozhou; you can easily run into the stall selling Kway Teow T’ng in less than a few munites of walking distance, and there are different stalls operating at different hours. Apparently, you can have Kway Teow T’ng 24 hours in a day.

Kway Teow T’ng shop

chaozhou stall

deep fried tofu

Street Food in Chaozhou

Zhu Chang Fen

stall

The secret of Chaozhou food

One of the uniqueness of the Chaozhou’s food is not the variety of flavours, but the refined taste in cooking. Usually, the stock soup is boiled for long hours with chicken and/or cow bones in order to get thick taste with full body. As far as I have tasted, people in Chaozhou are seldom using MSG (Ajinomoto) for cooking. Thanks to the deep after taste and full body of soup, the taste is simply unforgettable.

The sprit of Chaozhou people are not only reflected in the cooking, but also the way how they work and not to mention in making tea. The Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong is being made with very complex and time consuming process. However they never want to modernize the process as they wish to maintain their standard.

Kway Teow T'ng

Kway Teow T’ng

beef ball soup

porridge

soup in chaozhou

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