saokao

Eating some late night Chinese Barbecue in Shenzhen

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One of the coolest things about China is how vibrant things can be late at night. Of course, it depends what part of the city you’re in but in most parts, there is usually a late night area with street barbecue that runs into the late hours of the night, sometimes as late as 3-5 AM! It was about midnight last night when we developed some strong barbecue cravings, so we decided to head down to one of our local barbecue spots at Dafen here in the city of Shenzhen. Chinese saokao (烧烤, or barbecue) is absolutely delicious, and I intend to show you just how delicious! First, have a peek at some of the things we had to eat that night:

 

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A picture of our barbecue selections

We went to our local barbecue spot (In truth, it was our first time going there since we moved to this new part of town) and checked out what they were offering. We stacked up everything in the basket and gave it to the laoban, and watched them cook it.

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My mouth was watering as I watched them cook over the hot grill

The first thing to sample was an appetizer. We had ordered some dried squid with wasabi and soy sauce, known as youyu (鱿鱼). This had the consistency of something like  beef jerky, but with a seafood flavor. When you dip it in the wasabi and soy sauce together, it has a real kick to your nostrils!

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Dried squid – delicious and with the wasabi, painful in the nasal area!

The first two things I had tried were the enoki mushrooms (金针菇) and shiitake mushrooms (香菇). I love all shrooms, as they help you to see life clearly! Barbecued mushrooms are no exception, especially when they are topped with special lajiao. After that came tofu (豆腐)that is covered in some kind of spicy orange sauce and also barbecued. Very delicious – much tastier than plain old tofu, that’s for sure!  Following the tofu was some spring onions (韭菜) that were delightfully tasty and flavorful. Of course they were covered in oil and barbecued, so they tasted much better than raw!

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Enoki and shiitake mushrooms, with tofu and spring onions.

Next up was some koi fish (开心鱼). Now I really had no idea what exactly this skewer was when I saw it. I thought it might be dried shrimp that was barbecued. When we got home and looked it up, I was surprised to find out that it was in fact koi fish.

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Trying koi fish for the first time.

Upon trying this dish, it reminded me a lot more of fish jerky than anything. Overall a nice fishy flavor with that dried chewiness that we so love in jerky.

The last couple dishes were chicken and fish. The chicken (鸡腿) was fantastic. The meat was nice and juicy and tender, some of the skin was crispy, and the lajiao had my mouth on fire at the same time. The fish, which we found out was actually called Ribbonfish (I had thought it was just mackerel) was the best dish of the night, however. The skin was very crispy, the fish meat was pleasant and soft, and the best part is they took out the bones. I rarely eat fish in China because of the strong presence of bones – which I hate! Any Chinese fish dish where the bones are removed is worth 5 stars to me!

Above are the chicken and fish dishes – click the pictures for a bigger view! That was all we ate that night, and my was it good! The total for the bill came out to 62 RMB, or $9.48 USD! What a steal! Check out the video of this Chinese barbecue adventure on my YouTube channel, below! Please subscribe if you enjoy the content! What do you think of Chinese barbecue? Do you enjoy it? Please let me know in the comments!

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Walking around Laojie’s (Dongmen) food street in Shenzhen

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Last night was epic! We took the MTR train from Dafen to Laojie (8 stops, about a 15 minute ride) which is home to some of the best shopping and food in Shenzhen. For my YouTube video channel I made a video sampling a few foods, and touring around the area.

Laojie is a beautiful place. Lots of beautiful women, amazing street barbecue and other foods, what could be sweeter? After getting off at exit D with a couple friends I met up with my girlfriend and we started walking around. I apologize for the low quality pictures, I was filming most of the time and I completely spaced out on taking some high res photos! These are all video grabs from this week’s video:

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Some barbecue we found before getting to the food street!
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The view outside Exit D at Laojie station

 

I hadn’t  been to the food street that many times so we got lost for a couple minutes, but we found it pretty quickly. While walking there, we ran into an outside barbecue that was serving up youyu ( 鱿鱼 , squid), and yangrou (羊肉, lamb). We couldn’t resist the temptation and we all got a few skewers. The barbecue is well priced, too. You can get 4 skewers of squid for 10RMB ($1.50 USD) or 2 skewers of lamb for the same price. The squid was nice and chewy not overcooked, with lots of spices added. The lamb was delicious and fatty, and for me that’s great because I love animal fat. (Not in excess, of course!)

 

 

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Some beautiful yangrou (Lamb skewers)

 

After devouring our skewers, we headed off to the food street. We got there around 9:45 which is pretty late for laojie. Although it is very easy to find street barbecue going until 3-4 in the morning in Shenzhen, Laojie is a bit of a different case. Around 10:00 it appeared that lots of vendors were starting to close down, but lots of people were still serving until we left (Around 10:45) I bought some lotus root (藕片) and some potatoes. There isn’t much to say about the potatoes except that these ones were actually a little bit overcooked (These were leftover at the end of the night) but still pretty tasty. However, they were a bit too salty. The lotus however was very good. Lotus has a really interesting texture and it is probably the crunchiest vegetable I have ever eaten. It’s somewhat comparable to the crunchiness of an apple.

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Some crunchy lotus root!

After walking around a bit more and having some delicious leng mian (Cold noodles, 冷面 ) we decided to take the train home since it was early enough (The train stops around 11:30 and it was only around 10:45) and called it a night. Please check out the video of the food crawl below, and if you like it please feel free to subscribe to my channel 🙂