Nanning, a big city, has delicious food of local and exotic flavors. Nanning is a inland city, but close to South China sea, people love to eat dishes made from chicken, duck, cattle, and mutton, and also love to eat seafood. Nanning is in the south of Guangxi which borders on Vietnam, and its food somewhat has Vietnam flavor.
Nanning has a delicious dish of local flavor, Lemon duck(柠檬鸭). It is first made in a place, Jiepai in Nanning in the 1980s. The duck is cooked with special pickled sour seasoning, like Suanye(酸野), picled vegetable and fruit, sour pepper, sour ginder, and pickled lemon, and those seasoning are used to remove the unfavorable smell of duck and enrich its flavor. Lemon duck is very delicious, and it tastes a bit sour and has the fragrance of lemon. There is a chain restaurant which is specialized in cooking the lemon duck, and it is the Gan’s Jiepai lemon duck(甘家界牌柠檬鸭店). You may go to this restaurant and have a taste.
Lingma catfish(灵马鲶鱼) is a dish originated from Lingma county of Nanning. This dish uses catfish and tofu as its cooking material, and it is added with many seasoning, like soy sauce, edible starch, monosodium glutamate, anise powder, huangjiu, bean paste and chilli sauce. This dish has the original flavor of catfish, which is enriched by the seasoning. The meat of the fish and tofu is tender after cooking.
Hengxian sashimi(横县鱼生) is a traditional dish of local flavor in Hengxian county of Nanning. This dish has a long history of several hundred years, and it represents the eating culture of Hengxian, and it is the highest standard of reception. Its main material is sashimi, and seasoning are houttuynia cordata, lemon, basil, mint leaves, sea weed, raw shredded ginger, sour orange, garlic, shredded carrot and so on. The fish may be snakehead fish, mandarin fish, grass carp and so on, and the fresh fish meat is sliced into thin pieces. There are several features about this dish: the sashimi should be very thin and white, and fish meat should solid and bouncy, and the seasoning should be dense to cover the unfavorable flavor of fish.
Laoyoufen(老友粉) is a dish of rice noodles having Nanning flavor. It is a snack, and also a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rice noodles are popular in the south of China, because rice is the main grain crop in the southern. Rice noodles are made from rice, and they are the material of Laoyou fen. Except rice noodles, it is added with vegetable, meat and seasoning like sour bamboo shoot, fermented soya beans, pepper, minced garlic and shredded ginger. Sour bamboo shoot is a special and popular seasoning in Guangxi, and it is used in lots of dishes, like duck and fish. All those materials give it a flavor of sour, spicy, and salt. Laoyoufen is sold in shops everywhere in Nanning. Baxianfen(八仙粉) is another kind of rice noodles, which has a literal meaning of “eight immortals rice noodles”. Its materials are rice noodles, vegetable, seafood, and meat, like sliced meat, fish dumping, quail egg, mushroom, and squid. The name of this snack comes from over eight ingredients, which work together and enrich the flavor of this snacks. It has the meaning of a Chinese idiom: eight immortals cross the sea, each shows its divine powers.
Suanye (酸野) is common in the whole Guangxi, and Nanning suanye is one of the best, and well-known suanyes to people. This snack has a long history in Guangxi, but there isn't clearly-stated records about it. Its materials are fruit and vegetable, like mango, psidium guajava, pineapple, peach, pear, cucumber, carrot, and lotus root. The fruit are pickled by vinegar and salt for about one hour, and the vegetable may be pickled for 1-3 days. Some suanye may be added with white sugar and chili powder. It has the flavors of sour, sweet, salt, and crisp.
Nanning has a variety of delicious snacks. Nanning tangshui(糖水) is tong sui, which is sweet soup served as desert. It has many kinds of soups like ching bo leung(清补凉), and double skin milk(双皮奶). Fenjiao(粉饺) is a kind of dumpling, and its wrapper is made from rice, and its stuffing is made from the mincing of roast port, fresh pork, mushroom, and water chestnut. Fenchong(粉虫) is made from rice, and it has a shape of worm grass. It may be cooked by steaming or by frying, or it may be made to soup. Juantongfen(卷筒粉) is made from rice milk, and first rice milk is spread out to a thin and big slice, then minced meat and chopped green onion and seasoning like soy sauce and sesame oil are put on the slice. It has other snacks, like sticky rice of five colors(五色糯米饭), Lundungao(伦敦糕) and Han'oufen (旱藕粉).
Those tasty dishes and snacks are waiting for your taste, but where should you go to eat them? In Nanning, there are many food streets which gather those food and snacks together, like Zhongshan road(中山路), Nongyuan road(农院路), and Shui road(水街), and Zhongshan road is close to Chaoyan square,in a business district. Still, you may go to a shopping mall or shopping center, which has one or two floors special for food and snack.