Rou Chuanr – Meat sticks and other snacks

Every evening right outside of our block, several stands selling food are mysteriously appearing at early evening. Most of them are on the back of a bicycle, there is all kinds of food and other stuff sold. This evening there were people selling clothes, but the main items were for food: Besides fruit, noodles and baozi (my favorites are the xiaolongbao) there were some pancakes and meat sticks. On other day there sometimes is other food, including boiled eggs or “maodan” (毛蛋) that I had once. Actually when I had it, I wasn’t aware of what I was eating, but I think it did not taste too bad.

This evening I had a jianbing (煎饼), a pancake that is similar to the French crêpe and is filled with an egg, spring onions and other herbs. Jianbings are very common in the streets of Beijing and for just 2 yuan (0,20 Euro) you can get one.

Mantou and meat sticks
Mantou and meat sticks.

I also enjoy the meat sticks – the person who is roasting the meat stick is usually very nice and welcomes you with “朋友 – 吃什么?” – “My friend, what do you want to eat?” One can choose between various kinds of meat sticks: mutton, beef, pork, sometimes also cuttlefish and all parts from chicken like wings, waist, skin and heart. They are also selling mantou (馒头) a bun that is grilled as well. Some of the grills are using coal leaving a dense cloud of smoke around them, others prefer using gas for the barbecue.

Meat sticks are grilled in the streets of Beijing
Meat sticks are grilled in the streets of Beijing.

In Chinese the meat sticks are called rou-chuan (肉串), but in the Beijing dialect there is added an -r added at the end, turning the last character into something that more sounds one is trying to suppress coughing. Anyhow, I get the feeling the more one is mumbling, the better one is understood. By the way, the Chinese character for that stick is “串”, doesn’t it look like two peaces of meat are stuck onto a stick?


2 Responses to “Rou Chuanr – Meat sticks and other snacks”

  1. Yan Xishan Says:

    Yikes, that should be jianbing (煎饼)….

  2. beijing07 Says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, I corrected it.
    Just this evening when I went along the little stands to go to the supermarket, there were two policemen causing some trouble, forcing all stands to be removed. Although this situation does not happen there often (according to the jianbing seller whom I asked about it), nonetheless it reminded me to a similar situation

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