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Kunming Food

The Top 10 Kunming Foods You Must Try

Traveling in Kunming, not only the natural beauty feasts your eyes, but also the variety of local cuisine satisfies your appetite. As the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming gathers the finest foods from all over Yunnan, which combine cooking styles of cities and nationalities in Yunnan Province. Thanks to the high humidity and mild temperatures, fruits and vegetables in Kunming are abundant all year round. Whenever you come here, you will enjoy all kinds of delicious local foods.

1. Steaming-Pot Chicken (Qiguo Ji)

The dish is so called because the chicken is placed in a pot with a hollow tube in the center, and the chicken is only cooked by the steam. To place chopped chicken, ginger, salt, shallot and other ingredients into the pot which is circled by a larger pot filled with boiling water. Then the steam will come out from the central tube to warm the chicken soup. After steaming for about three to four hours, the chicken is cooked well, which preserves its original flavor.

The history of the steam pot can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796), the sixth emperor of the Qing (CE 1644-1911) Dynasty. At that time, the royal family used the steam pot to steam cook chicken and wild fowl. In the hands of the latter, it became popular among the common people and widely used to cook.

2. Braised Jizong (mushroom) in Soy Sauce (Hongshao Jizong)

With pleasant climate, Kunming is the home to over 200 varieties of wild mushrooms. Among the huge mushroom family, Jizong should be one of the most prized mushrooms. Owe to present chicken-like taste, Jizong is popular with gourmands. To make Braised Jizong in Soy Sauce as the following steps: Wash Jizong thoroughly; dry by airing; cut into pieces. Next chop chili and tenderloin pieces. Wrap tenderloin and Jizong pieces in egg white, starch and salt mixture; fry in hot oil. Finally, braise the Jizong and tenderloin pieces with garlic, ginger and shallot. Drizzle sesame oil on a plate, place braised pieces on oil.

3. Bittern Duck (Lu Ya)

Kunming Bittern Duck is famous for it looks golden and bright, tastes crispy and fat but not greasy. To choose 1.5-kilogram fresh ducks from Dianchi Lake and prepare with some ten steps. It is proved that the Bittern Duck is rich in protein, fat, inorganic salt, vitamin A and vitamin C, making it a healthy food. It is a top choice in the festival and celebration.

4. Across Bridge Rice Noodle (Yunnan Guoqiao Mixian)

The most famous snack in Yunnan is Guoqiao Mixian, literally Across Bridge Rice Noodle. The process for cooking and eating it is quite special. It is interesting that you will be served with semi-finished dish, including three main parts: a bowl of extremely hot chicken broth; various meat pieces, which might be pork, chicken, fish (typically the local specialty, carp) and seafood (typically squid, from the sea), and various seasonings; rice noodles, which are made by soaking, steaming and grinding. Before eating the typical local dish, you should add meat and seasonings to the hot soup first, and then the rice noodles. If you want, you can add some sauces for even more flavor.

You can eat Across Bridge Rice Noodle in many restaurants on big streets or old lanes, among which the Qiao Xiangyuan Restaurant is the most famous one. The restaurant chain specializes in serving featured Kunming and Yunnan dishes, especially Across Bridge Rice Noodle.

5. Xuanwei Ham (Xuanwei Huotui)

It gains its name because it is produced in Xuanwei County in northeast Yunan. Xuanwei Ham, also called 'Yuntui' or 'Yunnan Ham', has been ranked as one of the three most famous types of hams in China. It features small bones, thin skins, rich flesh, tender meat, fragrant aroma, and brilliant color. The delicious hams are made by following the process of baking, salting, pestle, warming, and freezing. After this processing, the Yunnan Ham retains its unique flavor and can be kept for a long time.

6. Rice Cake

Rice Cake is one of the most featured Yunan snacks, which plays an important role during the Lunar New Year. It is a typical food made of high quality flour, corn powder, sticky rice, lard, ham slices, sesame and pickled vegetables. After being fried with pig fat and seasoned with sugar and sauce, the rice cakes are a traditional delicacy with a crisp exterior and a soft interior. The cakes also can be gently roasted over a charcoal fire, and served with marmalade and jam.

7. Roasted Bean Curd

Wandering around the night market of Yunan, you will find one of the most popular evening and late-night snacks - Roasted Bean Curd. As its name implies, it is tofu that has been roasted on a steel net by a charcoal fire. Made from high quality soybeans and seasoned with spiced salt water, hot pepper powder, and Chinese ash oil, the Roasted Bean Curd is quite tasty!

Besides, other Kunming snacks include Shao Mai (steamed dumpling with the dough gathered at the top), Wandou Fen (bean jelly), and Jicai Jiao (shepherd's-purse dumpling).

Best Dining Areas

Bei Da Men Food Street

Bei Da Men Food Street is one of the most popular food streets in Kunming. It features many themed provincial restaurants serving taste food and beverages from all over China. Here, you can find all kinds of restaurants in different sizes and atmospheres, serving various flavors food.

Xingyuan Road Food Street

Xingyuan Road Food Street is a cluster of famous Dian cuisine restaurants. Apart from eating the local cuisine, you also can enjoy all the southern Chinese food in the Yunnan and minority restaurants. It is a perfect place for those who want to get as much of Kunming cuisine as they can in a limited stay.

Dianchi Road Food Street

Once known only for its proliferation of high-end seafood joints, Dianchi Road Food Street has now given birth to a couple of ethnic restaurants that have done pretty well and attracted a lot of diners.

Guanshang Wild Mushroom Street

As its name suggests, this is a food street lined up a variety of restaurants featuring serving all kinds of dishes made from wild mushrooms and rare fungi. These dishes are considered to have many helpful medicinal properties.

Cuihu (Green Lake) Area

This thriving hotel, dining, and entertainment district is brimming with restaurants from every corner of the globe. Standing nearby the aquamarine lake, the international eateries specialize in pizza, salads, burgers, pasta, wine, and coffee. This is definitely the place to go for those who want the familiar taste of home.

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