One of China’s most popular street foods - Chinese lamb skewers

One of China’s most popular street foods – Chinese lamb skewers

Travel around the world and you’ll find a different kind of skewered, fire-roasted meat wherever you go. As one of China’s most popular street foods, lamb skewers, or chuar (串儿)/ chuàn, “kebab“, are similar to Middle Eastern style lamb kebabs, but vary in the size of the cut and the way they’re seasoned.

The recipe for the lamb chuan’r is rather simple as this dish contains small pieces of meat with pieces of fat between them which is covered with grind cumin, chili flakes, and mix with salt and pepper. The small pieces of meat roasted on skewers over charcoal or sometimes, electric heat and then served right off the grill.

In addition to lamb, people enjoy grabbing skewers filled with beef, chicken, fish, or vegetables from street vendors in China. I was not prepared to see the meat being prepared out in the open where people walk by and can touch it and breathe on it…I am just glad I did not see any flies on the carcass. I will definitely be opting for a vegetable skewer.


      • Oh, because everything I have seen and read describes wet markets as open air stalls.

        From The Guardian:

        “At the crack of dawn every day, ‘wet markets’ in China and across Asia come to life, with stall owners touting their wares such as fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices in an open-air setting.”

        What differentiates them is that they sell exotic meats in addition to fish, poultry and vegetables.

        The 2003 SARS epidemic was linked to the sale of civet cats in Guangdong province just as Covid is linked to the sale of bats or anteaters in the Wuhan province.


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