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Here are Taobao's most-ordered snacks during the coronavirus outbreak

Luosifen, Samyang Spicy Ramen, self-heating hotpot and more

Photograph: @zihaiguo via Weibo
While cities across China are still taking measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and something simple like a trip to the grocery store can get complicated, people across the country have turned to food delivery to keep their stomachs satisfied.

Through its Weibo, Taobao recently released the top 20 food and snacks users purchased between February 3 and 17. You might that instant noodles in every flavour made the list, but there are also surprises. We're talking about luosifen, Samyang 2X Spicy Ramen, a self-heating instant hotpot, latiao and more.
Luosifen

Luosifen

You either love it or hate it – there’s no middle ground. The notoriously smelly rice noodles deter many who haven’t already tried them but the Liuzhou delicacy suddenly became famous all over China. Luosifen consists of rice noodles in a stock made from river snail and pork bones, stewed with spices like cardamom and fennel seed. Usually served with sour bamboo shoot, pickled green beans, bean curd, black fungus and fried peanuts, this dish will surprise your taste buds... if you can bear the smell of it.  

Samyang 2X Spicy Ramen

Samyang 2X Spicy Ramen

‘2X extreme spicy noodle’, ‘nuclear fire noodle’ or ‘fire chicken noodle’, this chicken-flavoured spicy instant ramen has become a somewhat adequate substitute for the homebound who are craving that lip-burning, tear-inducing and sweat-dripping sensation. These are dry instant noodles with an unreasonable amount of chilli powder but are addictively delicious, mouth-numbingly satisfying and halal. A note of warning: do keep a substantial amount of milk or soy milk handy because you are going to need it. 

Self-heating instant rice and hotpot

Self-heating instant rice and hotpot

Whoever discovered that quicklime reacts with water to release heat and thought to use it in the food industry is a genius. The ex-military food packaging practice is now so omnipresent in China that you have already a lot of options to choose from, like self-heating rice, self-heating chuan'r and self-heating hotpot. It's pretty much like the bento box you get from FamilyMart that comes with a heater pad, though the portion is smaller. Pour cold water on the pad and let the magic happen. 

Latiao

Latiao

Latiao was an instant hit ever since it was invented in Hunan province in the late '90s and somehow kept its popularity among young crowds throughout 2000s. The ingredients are simple: wheat flour dough chopped into finger-length strips, deep-fried in cooking oil, showered with hot chilli powder and other seasonings – including some food additives and colouring that may make you raise your eyebrow but hey the stuff is chewy, spicy and most importantly seductively delicious. It is also cheap; a half-kilo package costs about 20RMB. 

Suanlafen

Suanlafen

Hot and sour noodles tastes exactly as its name suggests – it is mouth-numbingly hot thanks to a mix of fried garlic, Sichuan pepper and a lot of chilli oil but it is also surprisingly refreshing because of a generous dose of vinegar and the thick, chewy potato noodles. This humble dish is served with coriander leaves, fried peanuts and pickled vegetables. Happy slurping! 

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