After improvements of over three hundred years, Tianjin food has quickly developed into one of Northern China's major cuisines. Like its northern counterparts, it is characterized by its strongly salty taste. In Tianjin, you will have the opportunity to experience all kinds of cooking styles, including deep-frying, stewing, braising and steaming.
Also, much emphasis is laid upon the look and seasoning of respective dishes so that what you end up with is strongly flavored and well varied meals including such specialties as braised cuttlefish, braised shark's fin and shredded shrimp.
As the capital city in this area, you may also sample all the other major cuisines from around China, including Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian and Anhui styles.
In addition, you may come across varieties of specialties in the city, among which Goubuli steamed stuffed bun (Goubuli baozi) and Fried Dough-Twist (Tianjin mahua) should be tried.
Fried Dough Twist
Although plain in look, this queue-shaped fried dough is by no means easy to make. Each bar of dough is made with quality flour and then fried in peanut oil.
The bars are usually stuffed with a variety of fillings, most often the waxy tasting beanpaste (Dou sha) - a taste for only the hardy.
Since it can be preserved for several months, you can take some of this crispy specialty back home to share with family.
Goubuli Steamed Stuffed Bun
Although you can find these steamed stuffed buns (Bao zi) almost everywhere in China, Goubuli is still the hardest to make (involving eight steps) and is consequently the most favored one among its peers.
It is characterized by its unusual flavor and because it is void of the fatty liquid that is commonly found in other buns. In recent years, buns made with stuffing other than pork meat have caught on, including some interesting vegetarian options.