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Mahua is a common snack/street food in China.

Mahua or Fried dough twist is a delicious traditional Chinese snack that is renowned for its unique and crisp taste. Mahua is made of two or three strands of dough twisted together and Fried with peanut oil. The surface of mahua is shiny and golden brown. And the flavors vary from sweet to spicy.

Legend has it that long time ago, lots of scorpions ran wild. The locals, attempting to curse them, stretched wheat dough into strips, twisted them like scorpion tails, fried and ate them. And this was called “biting the scorpion tail”.

As time passes, these “scorpion tails” evolved into today’s mahua. It can be found in street stalls, shops and supermarkets.

It is usually considered a specialty in the northern city of Tianjin. But here in Chongqing, Mahua has found another home. The most famous mahua in Chongqing is Chen-Mahua, or Chen’s Mahua, in Ciqikou Ancient Town.

Chen-mahua is a famous traditional snack in Chongqing. At the end of the Qing dynasty(in 1636 to 1912 AD), Chen mahua spread its unique taste in Chongqing because of its excellent materials and all manual production.

There are 10 varieties of chen-mahua: original taste, black sesame, pepper salt, black rice, corn, rock sugar glutinous rice, spicy, seaweed, chocolate, honey.

The original taste is sweet and delicious and appropriate for all ages. And the spiced salt mahua taste pure, crisp and break with a snap. The flavor of spicy one, which is Chongqing taste, set sweet, salty, spicy in one, endless aftertaste. The new product honey mahua is pure in taste and rich in mineral elements.

How to make a mahua?

Chen-mahua Exclusive secret recipe:

Ingredients: flour, Baking powder, egg, salt, white sugar, Sesame oil (or vegetable oil), water

Step 1: dough kneading

Mix all the flour, Baking powder, egg together. Start mixing lightly with chopsticks, then knead with your hands. When it is no longer floury and the dough is smooth and cohesive, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for more than 30 minutes.

Step 2: Divide the dough.

Divide the dough into 8 grams pieces and rest for 10 minutes.

Step 3: shape the dough

Roll a portion of dough into small vertical strips, about 40 cm long.

Step 4: twist the dough

Start to twist the dough and fold three times.

Fold in half and twist into a mahua

Step 5: fried the mahua

Deep fry the sticks slowly in fairly cool oil, for about 5 minutes. Cook them through thoroughly to harden them.

Fry mahua until it becomes golden brown, remove and place it on oil-absorbent paper to remove excess oil.

 Once they are totally cool, they’ll become hard and break with a snap, almost like a biscuit.


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