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Guizhou Cuisine Recommendation

by Live in Guizhou

PUBLISHED August 17, 2021 • 12 MIN READ


To make sour fish soup, an indispensable natural condiment would be the litsea. The plants are usually found in the mountains and have a strong fragrance. It is a unique spice in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, as well as the “best partner” of zhe’ergen.


Zhe’ergen, also called houttuynia cordata, is a medicinal herb that can be consumed directly. It looks lovely, yet the taste is unbearable for many. However, residents in Guizhou are really fond of it. For Guizhou people, zhe’ergen is something on which their sense of taste depends. More than 200,000 tons of zhe’ergen are reportedly consumed yearly in Guizhou, and Guiyang turns out to be the city that consumes more zhe’ergen in all China, with a daily average of 15 tons.

Silk Doll

Silk doll is the snack most commonly eaten on the streets of Guiyang. At first glance, it looks like a newborn baby wrapped in “swaddling clothes”, hence the name “silk doll”. The so-called “swaddling clothe” is a pancake baked with rice flour. It is as big as a palm frond. When preparing it, wrap inside the pancake carrot strips, zhe’ergen, seaweed, fried soy beans, crisp meat, pepper and so on. After wrapping everything, add hot and sour soup into it.
Silian Hongtang Silk Doll is a local catering trademark focusing on serving Guiyang snacks. The brand was founded in 2010 and now has opened branches in Guiyang, Zunyi, Renhuai, Kaili and Chongqing. Although there are already many outlets operating in Guiyang, people still need to wait a long time for a table. In addition to silk dolls, other snacks are available and also very delicious.

Zhenning Bobo Candy

Zhenning bobo candy is called bobo crunchy candy or popo candy in rural areas. Made from sticky rice, it is sweet, crunchy and delicious and its colour is as golden as the ripe wheat. Bobo candy is a special traditional ethnic snack from Zhenning Buyi and Miao Autonomous County.

Changwang Noodle

Changwang noodle is one of the most famous cooked wheaten foods in Guizhou. “Chang” refers to pig’s intestine, “Wang” means pig blood, together with egg noodles, the three major ingredients make up the Changwang noodle. Supplemented with cracklings, diced tofu, chili oil and other condiments, the
noodles are absolutely delicious. In Chinese, “Changwang” is the synonym for “everlasting prosperity”.

Eight Great Bowls in Zunyi

“Eight bowls of delicacy shall be shared by eight people; then each one of them will enjoy peace everywhere he or she goes and fulfill everything that he or she wishes for the whole year long.” The Eight Great Bowls that represent good luck can be found at many occasions in China, especially at weddings and funerals.
While the Eight Great Bowls in Zunyi are distinctive compared with the others, it is a representative dish for the cuisine in the north of Guizhou. It can be classified as superior bowls, common bowls or lower bowls. Different “bowls” correspond to different ingredients for different occasions. It is the traditional dish for the local banquet in Zunyi.
Pickled pork steamed with ground glutinous rice, fish with fermented chilies, cherry pork shank, hot pot with chrysanthemum, duck soup with a little garlic, eight-ingredient steamed rice, stewed assorted delicacies, mixed vegetables, etc. All these dishes are local delicacies quite familiar to people in Zunyi.

“Shrimp Chili” in Zunyi

The “shrimp chili” produced in Zunyi has nothing to do with shrimp, rather, it’s named after its origin — the Xiazi Town (which means shrimp in Chinese mandarin). The shrimp chilies, bright red in color and spicy in taste, have integrated all the good qualities of other chili varieties in Guizhou. There is one popular saying in Zunyi, “shrimp chili is the ‘Maotai liquor’ of all chili varieties”.

Roasted Tofu

Roasted tofu is a common dish in Guizhou, and even a major dish at dinner or a midnight snack. It is said that there
are around 300 restaurants specializing in roasted tofu in downtown Zunyi. The citizens consume around 360,000 pieces of tofu every day, contributing to sales revenue of nearly 300,000 yuans.
Zunyi roasted tofu uses the locally produced soybeans as the main ingredient. First, cut the tofu into small pieces, brush them with cooking oil and then bake them on the charcoal fire. The roasted tofu is crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside. Just with a bite, the aroma would immediately fill your mouth. You can also try it together with dry dipping sauces. The taste is really good!

Bean Curd Pudding Noodle

Bean curd pudding noodle is an original specialty of Guizhou. A bowl of alkaline noodles soaked in soybean milk or clear soup, covered by bean curd jelly, can be consumed along with chili dipping sauces of fried minced meat, peanuts, coriander, mint and dried shrimps. When eating, you just need to mix the noodles and the bean curd jelly in the sauces. The delicious and spicy taste will make you want to keep on eating.

Cold Water Fish

An amazing dish in Zunyi’s Loushanguan Town is the cold water fish. The water in Dalou Mountain Range is of excellent quality, and the local temperature is always between 8-16 °C, which is perfect for artificial breeding of salmon and trout. The cold water fish here can be used to make “sashimi” after cleaning and slicing. It tastes delicious and velvety. Another option is to boil it in a hot pot, just for a few seconds, yum-yum!

Cuishao (Crisp Minced Meat)

“Without cuishao (crisp minced meat), the glutinous rice would not be so delicious, the spring rolls and mashed potatoes would be tasteless, and the Changwang Noodle would not even be considered for qualification”.
So what is crisp minced meat? It is fried minced pork and it is indispensable to the Guiyang people. The pork neck meat can be matured with salt, refined sugar, vinegar and cooking wine and can be stirred with a ladle. Following this recipe, you can make it as crispy and delicious as it should be.

Sour Salted Pork

Sour salted pork is one of the most famous specialties in the north of Guizhou Province. In the past, people used to celebrate the Chinese New Year by killing a pig, and the pork could be consumed over a long period. Making it “sour and salted” is one way to better preserve it. Put the streaky meat in salt, mix it with rice flour, and keep it in a jar for fermentation. When the salting is done, take it out and steam it before eating.

Rose Ice Jelly

Rose ice jelly is a delicious dessert which is very well received during the summer on the streets of Guiyang City. Different from those made in other places, the ice jelly here is prepared with brown sugar, and the specially made rose jam is what this dessert is all about. Then top it with sesame, your sweet, refreshing rose ice jelly will be done! When you come in summer, don’t forget to try it!

Bean Curd Pudding with Fruit

This is a local dessert from Guiyang – the bean curd pudding with fruit. The bean curd serves as the base, added with some common fruit such as banana, water melon, pear, Hami melon, and coconut milk, red beans… The dessert tastes smooth, fresh and cool and is the best option for summer. If you come to Guiyang in summer, I recommend you Wang Family Desserts in Qingyun Road, and you will not be disappointed!

Qingyan: An Ancient Town Famous

Located in the southern suburbs of Guiyang City, Qingyan Ancient Town is the most famous scenic spot around Guiyang.
Qingyan Ancient Town is one of the four major ancient towns in Guizhou. It has a history of more than 600 years. It was originally built because of the Ming soldiers and is named after the blue flagstone. It is a military town built in the mountains for defense purpose, and is known as the “south gate” of Guiyang.
In the ancient town of Qingyan, what is best renowned is not the buildings, but the braised pig trotters, also known as the “Zhuangyuan Trotters” (or Trotters for Champion). They select one-year old local pigs bred in Qingyan local villages, and more than ten kinds of precious Chinese medicines are used for flavouring. After simmering and careful braising, the trotters should be served with a dipping sauce made with Shuanghua vinegar, a Qingyan specialty. The taste is not greasy, but smooth and savoury. Nowadays, “having Qingyan pig trotters while travelling in the ancient town” has become a local tourism trend.

The Dong Cuisine That You Must Not Miss

The Dong people rely on the mountains for food, and they are good at blending the wild ingredients found in the mountains with their home-grown fruits and vegetables. The most common dishes for guests are: bloody red (xuehong), niubie, salted fish, cured meats, grilled fish and seasonal snacks. In addition, youcha has an important position in the diet of the Dong people. In some places, you may have youcha both for breakfast and for dinner. Youcha is known as the “philosophy of the Dong”, which is widely used for social and festive activities.

Dong Cuisine: Glutinous Rice and Red Eggs

Among the Dong customs, glutinous rice and red eggs represent long-lasting friendship and the best wishes of family and friends. Whenever relatives or friends travel afar, the family will send them glutinous rice and red eggs. This kind of glutinous rice is coloured. You need to pick fresh leaves from the forest, crush them, and soak them in water. Then soak the glutinous rice in this coloured water for over two hours before steaming the rice. When cooked, the rice will be wrapped first in banana leaves and the
in glutinous rice leaves. The eggs are boiled, then dyed with local berries and put into small woolen knitted slings, which makes the eggs look pretty and also easy to carry.

NO.1 My Recommendation: Best Café in Guiyang

Nectar One Café, aka “N1”, is one of the earliest coffee boutiques in Guiyang City.
It has developed from a little street shop, a dozen years ago, into a renowned coffee brand in the country and in 2013 it established its own coffee bean roasting workshop.
The owner of N1, Hu Ying, is the WBC China champion, the best record a Chinese contestant has ever made in the history of this event. Many coffee lovers make special visits to this café every time they come to Guiyang.
Address: No.25, Yonglie Road.

Coloured Glutinous Rice

In Buyi villages of Wudangxiaba Town in Guiyang, the local people cook with local ingredients. They collect natural plants such as purple sweet potato vines, day lilies and maple leaves, stew them to get various kinds of juice and then, mix them with high-quality glutinous rice separately and leave them for the next day. So the final step is to get the rice steamed for an hour. The glutinous rice cooked in this way is not only colourful, but also soft and delicious with the fresh fragrance of plants.

Symbolic Dish of the Shui People, a Sandwich-like “Fish and Chives”

Fish and chives is a typical Shui dish. The main ingredients are wild-growing crucian carp and chives. Then, how to cook this? First, remove the guts of the crucian carp or grass carp and clean it; stuff ginger, garlic, chives, taro leaves, pepper powder, peppercorns and dried chilies into the fish through this cut; then, tie up the fish with straw ropes and sprinkle a little salt on it. Stew the fish in a large pot over a slow fire for no less than five hours, together with 2.5 liters of glutinous rice liquor. What a delicious dish!