Top 10 Foods In Shenzhen To Try

Top 10 Foods In Shenzhen To Try
| 4 min read

Shenzhen was not always the tech hub we all know now. It’s hard to believe that China’s Silicon Valley started off as a fishing village. Located on the Pearl River in Guangdong, Shenzhen has easy access to Hong Kong. However, this city is not only known for its tech companies but its food as well. Over the years, there has been an increase in ex-pats working in Shenzhen. Because of this, there are a number of fusion foods all over the city. But, of course, you can’t forget to try the local food in this city. To learn more, check out the top foods in Shenzhen to try.

1. Coconut chicken hotpot

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

When taking a trip to Shenzhen one of the most popular dishes to try is coconut chicken hotpot. This dish is popular amongst the locals and foreigners. What makes it different from a normal hotpot is the broth, which is made up of a whole chicken simmered in fresh coconut water. It is said to be best paired with claypot rice, which Shenzhen is also known for.

The hotpot restaurant in Shenzhen called “Season Coconut Chicken” is said to have introduced the coconut chicken hotpot to the city. If you’re looking for a place to eat, it’s best to try this dish from the original restaurant.

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2. Dim sum

Dim sum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ProjectManhattan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Of course, since you are in Canton Province, you must take the opportunity to go for some dim sum or yum cha. For those who don’t know what dim sum is, it refers to various foods with small portions often served in a bamboo steamer, and it is usually shared among a group of people. Foods such as siu mai, chicken feet, and custard buns are served as dim sum.

A nice refreshment to accompany this meal is a cup of fragrant tea, like jasmine. A great restaurant suggestion would be Jin Xue Yuan, a popular restaurant among foreigners. Aside from dim sum, they also serve seafood.

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3. Sea bass

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you like seafood but prefer something with a less fishy taste, then the sea bass in Shenzhen is the ideal delicacy for you. The sea bass you find in Shenzhen aren’t plainly served on a plate. Usually, it is served in a sour soup base and mixed with pickled vegetables, Sichuan peppercorns, and other spicy ingredients. Try this dish at the Luk Show restaurant, which serves their sea bass on top of vermicelli noodles.

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4. Seafood hotpot

seafood hot pot
Source: Photo by Flickr user stu_spivack used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hotpot is always such a great meal to have with a large group of people. This way of eating has been around since the dynasties. Hotpots vary depending on the region. Mongolian hotpot places specialize in lamb meat, whereas hotpot from the Sichuan region is known for their numbing spices in the broth. Meanwhile, Shenzhen is known for its seafood hotpot. Some ingredients used are crab, shrimp, lobster, and numerous shellfish. Fish balls and fish cakes also make a nice addition. A popular restaurant to get this meal would be Long Teng Seafood Hot Pot.

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5. Claypot rice

Claypot chicken rice
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lilblackdog29 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Guangdong region is known for its claypot rice and Shenzhen is no exception. Aside from rice cooked in a clay pot, this dish has other ingredients, including Chinese sausage, greens, and pork. All of these put together make the dish fragrant. Plus, the rice, which is at the bottom of the other ingredients, absorbs the different flavors, giving those who eat it a pleasant surprise at the first bite.

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6. Shajing oysters

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

It is said that Shenzhen is known for its seafood. One seafood you must try here are oysters, which are bred in Shajing in the Baoan District. These oysters are big, with tender meat and high nutritional value. Because of their tender and smooth meaty textures, these oysters are often called “Milk of the Sea.” You can eat these fried or steamed. Raw oysters may not be for everyone, but be open-minded and try them just once.

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7. Congee

Cantonese Sampan Congee (Boat Congee)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ZhengZhou used under CC BY-SA 4.0

For a warm meal, try out congee. Congee is a rice porridge that comes with many different toppings. There is a variety of toppings, depending on the region, which means there is a congee flavor for everyone. Toppings like shredded pork, 100-year-old egg, and shrimp are pretty common. Meanwhile, lobster and partridge are for those who are adventurous to try new things. A restaurant called Yinxing Porridge Shop is known for its congee, so you should definitely check it out.

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8. Cantonese sausage

Chinese Sausage and Cured Pork Hotpot Rice - First Taste
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking for something a little different, then this Cantonese-style sausage is for you. When traveling to Shenzhen, you will have the opportunity to try these. They are made from pork and seasoned with sugar, wine, salt, and soybean sauce. People add these sausages to many dishes including, claypot rice, or you can eat them as a snack.

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9. Grilled lamb on a stick

Source: Pixabay

This food is something you can get while on the run. While in Shenzhen, you will definitely come across food stalls throughout the city, and it’s likely that some of them sell lamb skewers. Lamb meat is cut into smaller and different sizes before being marinated with salt, Sichuan peppercorns, and other spices. To make it juicier, lamb fat is placed between the chopped meat. Then, finally, it is grilled. If you want a quick but heavy snack, this food is for you.

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10. Cantonese pudding

Mango pudding
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Terence used under CC BY 2.5

After trying out savory dishes, save room in your stomach for something sweet. One of Shenzhen’s specialties is pudding. This dessert is made out of rice flour and flavored with a variety of different fruits, such as strawberry, mango, and coconut. These puddings are usually very affordable, so you can try multiple flavors at once. You can easily find these puddings at bakeries or dessert shops.

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Try these delicious food in Shenzhen

When visiting Shenzhen, don’t be afraid to try new things and taste unique flavors. There are many selections of different dishes in this bustling city, but the ones listed above should be your priority. Have a fulfilling and satisfying trip to Shenzhen, and try out its top foods.

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Kaitlin Mills is a Toronto-based freelance travel writer, luxury travel coordinator, and former ESL teacher. She enjoys traveling and immersing herself in local cultures. She loves to experience...Read more

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