Street Barbecue in China

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herr tulpe

Fire Starter
Original poster
May 21, 2007
Tianjin, China
We had a party over the weekend celebrating 10 years of the factory that I work for, and we had a barbecue.

Thought I would share some photos of what street barbecue is like in China.. They tend to grill everything on a stick over charcoal. As a result the barbecues tend to be long and thin, and have a chimney at the end for starting the charcoal (also helps contain the heat if business is slow for a little while!!)

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In terms of what they cook, the favourite is called "Yang rou Chaur" which literaly translates to "lamb on a stick". It tends to be 2 or 3 pieces of lamb and 1 piece of fat meat on a stick, then coated with a spice mixture of chili, cumin and something else.. These are great with vast quantities of beer, and you can find many stands selling these early in the morning when the bars are closing!!

Attachment 2831

They also grill just about anything you can imagine, Potato slices, small fish, chicken wings, legs, feet...

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When I find a good recipe for the lamb skewers I will post it!


Absolutely!! The bars close in China when the last customer ROLLS out the door! Then considering the bbq crew work the late shift and they setup in the back alleys, you sit down there on the sidewalk with another bottle of beer, and a few lamb skewers!!

I will tell my wife that in the name of research I need to go an investigate such that I can take a few photos for a future post!!

Recipe for the spice mix:

Mix together
1tbs grounds or course chopped cumin seeds
1/4tsp ground red chili(not paprika)
1/4tsp salt
You can either marinate your lamb with some of this spice to create a dry rub, or simply sprinkle it on the meat as it is cooking, that way you toast the spices to bring out the best flavor!!

The meat is normally about 1/2" square, by about 1" long, and you would thread onto your skewer 1 piece of meat, then 1 piece of fat, then 2 more pieces of meat. Grill, generously coating in the spice, grill some more, and then enjoy!!
They have one shaker full of the spice mix, and they put it on everything.. Beef, fish, chicken wings, vegetables, bread, tofu, boiled eggs, just about anything you can imagine! Some local favourites include, tendons, cartiledge, and tripe!!
I bet they would fall over if they were to see how we BBQ over here. I'd like to see the look on their face when some one over here opens their smoker and theres like 8 racks of ribs, 5 shoulders, and 10 briskets, throw in a couple of fatty's and a few handfulls of ABT's. I bet they'll be throwing them little sticks away, or they'l just be using them to eat all that GREAT BBQ!!! LOL:)
to each his own.....but I sure do like living in the BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. And today I thank all those that made it that way, and protect me and mine.
I think that if a Chinese Person were to see one of the smoking devices that are regularly pictured on this forum most of them would remark, "It is bigger than my kitchen!!" Most houses/apartments here are quite small, with the kitchens being the smallest! In particular most kitchens don't have ovens, and normally only 1 or maybe 2 gas hobs. Most food here is either stirfried in a wok, or steamed. They eat a lot of vegetables and cut meat into small pieces so it cooks quickly, and gets nice and tender. My Chinese friends are astonished when I spend 3 hours making a stew, or 2 hours cooking lasagna, or an overnight bacon smoke!!

If you are feeling adventurous, try the spice mix on some beef, pork or chicken skewers, it goes great with cold beer on a hot day! I don't blame you for not diving into the cartlidge, tendons etc right away!! They are not my favourite, but have tried them, and they are not so different from eating say ribs of the bone or a chicken wing..

Hersh - I am originally from the Netherlands, but grew up in Taiwan, and England, and have now been working in China for the last 4 years.

If anyone wants any chinese food recipes let me know!!
Thanks for the recipe Herr,I'm going to try it one of these days.
If not with lamb,maybe beef or chicken or............?
Sounds yummy.
Like we Chefs say at times,"KISS"[Keep It Simple Stupid]
Just a couple spices can go a long way as far as flavour goes.
Keep the posts and pics coming!
Herr Tulpe...It sounds wonderful to me hearing about all the places and cultures where you have lived. If you care to share some Chinese recipes we would be grateful, especially those made with beef or pork. There isn't a whole lot of lamb or mutton eaten here in East Texas. Good to hear from you..........Harold
I was stationed in Okinawa for a year and they used to have yakitori stands where mamasan would grill small skewers of chicken in a kind of teriyaki sauce...I think it was like $3 for 12 of them. After coming out of the bars they would be the best snack in the world...The grill was just a real small square thing and she would just keep flipping the skewers around.
Hmm Chicken with teriyaki sounds good!! They do something similar here but with squid on a stick then cooked on a steel plate..

As for recipes, I am going to suggest one, but as I only have a cold smoker i haven't tried it smokingwise, but have made it plenty of times in the oven. It will need some of the groups smoking wisdom to adapt the cooking times, but I think this will be nice!!

Char Sui (or Honey Roasted Pork)
1 lb pork fillet (I use pork loins)
1/4 pint boiling water
1 tbsp honey dissolved in a little hot water

1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoi-sin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp brandy
1 tsp sesame oil

Cut meat into strips about 1 inch thick and 7-8 inches long. Mix all marinade ingredients, and cover the pork, turning to ensure all sides are covered. Leave to marinade for 3-4 hours.

Here are tradional cooking instructions:

Remove pork from dish reserving marinade. Arrange on a rack in a baking tin, pouring hot water into the balking tin. (ensure meat doesn't touch the water!) Place in a preheated oven at 425 F Roast for about 10-15 minutes

Lower temp to 350 F baste with marinade, and roast for further 10 minutes.

Finally remove pork from oven, and baste with honey mixture and lightly brown under the grill for 3-4 minutes turning once or twice.

Make a sauce by boiling the marinade and drippings in roasting tin for a few minutes.

** Alternative cooking instructions for hot smoking:

I am no expert but would guess something along the lines of smoke at 225-250 F for 2 - 3 hours, basting with marinade every so often, and finish under the grill with the honey glaze??

Any ideas??

thanks for the recipe. Just out of curiosity, what are you engineering/making over there? What's life like for a foreigner in China?

I work for a company that makes Beer coolers & softdrinks dispensers, and we have a factory in here in northern China about 2 hrs outside Beijing. Most of our coolers sell into Asia, so it seems the right place to have a factory!

Life here for a foreigner is getting easier. This is one of the biggest industrial estates in China, and is a city in its own right with about 1 million people living here. The international community must be somewhere in the thousands now, with many general managers, and some other key staff for foreign enterprises being foreign. As a result we have a good selection of foreign bars, and several western restaurants!

It is always a challenge to communicate because it is difficult to speak Chinese, but it s not so different from my experiences in western factories, when you speak the same language!! The pace of growth in China is so high you never know whats coming round the corner. They are building new structures for the 2008 Beijing olympics, that will turn the city into the marvel of 2008, and a potential movie set for the next Bladerunner or Matrix film!! At the same time the countryside is still as it was 40 years ago, during the winter they grow crops in mud structures with a plastic screen over the top as opposed to a glass greenhouse!!

I have a huge photo collection of the many strange things I have seen here, I will try and put together a 'best of' summary and find somewhere appropriate to post it!
Your english is impeccable.. Especially for growing up in some non-english speaking countries. Thanks for the recipes..

And there ain't NOTHING wrong with tripe! Nice big bowl of Menudo does wonders for those times when you wake up the next morning from being at the bar the night before...
Thanks for sharing your experiences here on SMF, you have added a whole new dimension to this forum.
We can all benefit from learning about other cultures and gives us a better appreciation of what we have in our own backyards.
It is my hope that lurkers from other countries join in after seeing your contribution here....
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