Taste test for the adventurous

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 10:20am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 10:22am

One of the best parts of travelling around China is trying regional delicacies, and Wuhan's got them in spades. Here are a few to try when you're in Hubei's capital city.

Jingwu Duck Neck. One for adventurous eaters, this is one of Wuhan's most popular duck parts and is served steamed in a pot. Originated from a small shop on Jingwu Road, hence its name, it's extremely spicy and best accompanied by beer.

Steamed Wuchang Fish. This is a 700-year-old dish. Soft-boned, with flaky white meat, the fish is served steamed with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and chicken soup, and is available at most restaurants.

Bean Skin (doupi). This filling, on-the-go dish consists of two large soybean skins stuffed with egg, mushrooms, beans, beef and sticky rice; coming out a bit like a grilled sandwich. These are popular but messy; napkins are essential.

Hongshan Kale (hongshan cai tai). This earthy vegetable takes its name from its colour (hong means red), a beautiful deep red bordering on purple. Grown in the city's Hongshan district kale is regularly served with smoked pork (cai tai chao la rou). The best hongshan kale is believed to be those that grow near Baotong Temple; locals say they are the most crisp and tender.

Lotus Root Soup. A deceptively simple soup, this pot's packed with its namesake lotus root, cuttlefish, pork ribs, chicken bones, peanuts, and occasionally red dates and tangerine peel.

Morning Snacks. Wuhan is famous for these. They include re gan mian (hot dry noodles), cooked in sesame oil and served with peanut or sesame sauce, dry peeled shrimp, and pickled vegetables; mianwo, a thin, salty doughnut often accompanied by congee or soymilk; tang bao, steamed pork and soup filled buns whose skin is thick and made of flour; mibaba, a slightly sweet rice flour pancake; and mijiu tangyuan, a sweet rice wine soup with sesame paste-stuffed rice flour dumplings.