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Short Orders

Chinatown tour demystifies the foods, shops, and restaurants

Chef and guide Jim Becker leads the Boston Chinatown Market Tour, with stops in restaurants like Great Barbecue  on Hudson Street.

MATTHEW J. LEE/GLOBE STAFF

Chef and guide Jim Becker leads the Boston Chinatown Market Tour, with stops in restaurants like Great Barbecue on Hudson Street.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Patrick Soo at the herb shop Nam Bac Hong, another stop on the Chinatown tour.

If you ever stroll around Chinatown hunting for something to eat and find yourself overwhelmed by the number of restaurants and take-out shops, you probably need a Boston Chinatown Market Tour, offered on Thursdays and Saturdays ($69, 9:30 a.m.-
1 p.m.). Your guide is chef Jim Becker, who studied in China and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese. Becker takes you to his favorite places for bubble tea, niangao (sticky rice cake), and gokjai (fried pastry pocket with a sweet peanut filling), all confections thought to bring good luck during the Chinese New Year. You will wander in and out of food markets, learning where to buy the best ingredients, then finish with a dim sum lunch. Becker also leads a special Lunar New Year Culinary Tour on Feb. 17 ($130, 12:30 to about 5 p.m.), which focuses on holiday foods and rituals during this 15-day celebration. The event starts with dim sum and ends with an eight-course banquet to usher in the Year of the Snake.  Chinatown Market Tour and Lunar New Year Culinary Tour, offered by Michele Topor’s Boston Food Tours, 617-523-6032, www.bostonfood
tours.com
.
 ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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