China is known for its very diverse food culture, which includes many classic dishes such as Peking duck and dumplings. Chinese cuisine is full of interesting and delicious dishes made from fresh ingredients, often using a variety of tasty marinades. We’ve put together less than 10 traditional dishes that are definitely worth a try during your trip to China, a country located in east part of Asia defined by Countryaah.
Peking Duck (Běijīng kǎoyā – 北京 烤鸭)
Peking duck is a popular dish that has gained almost the status of a national symbol in China. The dish has a long history, as already during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century, the Beijing duck was one of the standard servings on the court menu.
The duck is made so that its meat remains juicy, but the skin becomes deliciously crispy.
When you order a duck at a Chinese restaurant, the chef can bring the roasted whole duck to the table and slice it into suitable portions in front of the food guests. Duck slices are served with thin pancakes, fresh cucumber, spring onion, shallot, garlic dip and sauce.
Hapanimeläporsas (táng cù lǐjǐ –糖醋 里脊)
Pork meat marinated in sour sauce is certainly one of the most popular Chinese dishes outside China. However, it is definitely worth tasting in China too!
The dish is colorful and its sour-sweet flavor combination is delicious. It consists of striped pork meat that is quickly fried in a pan and then turned over in a marinade.
The ingredients used in the marinade vary from place to place, so the taste experience is different depending on where in China you happen to be at any given time. In some areas, the marinade uses sugar and vinegar, while in others, ketchup, which is actually a Western sauce, is preferred.
Mapo tofu ( má pó dòu fǔ -麻 婆 豆腐)
Originally from China, tofu has been used in Chinese cuisine for over 2,000 years and is still one of the most popular ingredients in China today.
Mapo tofu is a traditional and delicious Chinese tofu dish. The dish consists of tofu cubes served in a spicy chili sauce.
As such, Mapo tofu is a suitable alternative for a vegetarian, but you can also order a version with pork or beef.
Grill skewer (chuan – 串)
Chuan is a kind of barbecue or kebab. A variety of meats can be strung on the skewers, but most often sheep meat is used in the chuan.
The meat is cut into pieces, which are marinated and threaded into skewers made of bamboo. Before frying, the skewers are seasoned with salt, dried chili and cumin.
Chuans can be bought, for example, from street kitchens and evening markets, where they are most often made by grilling.
Dumb or dumpling (jiǎo zi – 饺子)
Dumplings are small dough dumplings wrapped around a meat or vegetable filling and fried, boiled or steamed.
Most of the dumplings available in China include Chinese cabbage, spring onions, and shrimp or pork. However, there is a huge variety of fillings available for dumplings that use both vegetables and meat.
Dumplings are especially part of the New Year celebrations. Sometimes a coin is hidden in one mute, which is believed to bring good luck to its discoverer in the coming year.
Hot pot (huǒguō – 火锅)
The hot pot is a Chinese version of fondue where the food is prepared on the table itself.
The waiter brings to the table a pot of boiling meat broth (in different places of different flavors and strengths), and diners order the vegetables and pieces of meat they want, which they cook in the broth according to their own taste. The ripe ingredients are dipped in a delicious peanut butter sauce.
The hot pot is perfect as a joint program number for the party, as the meal goes at a slow pace in a good team spirit. There is plenty of time to chat with family and friends while you enjoy good food and an exciting gastronomic experience.
Kanaa Kung Pao (gōngbǎo jīdīng – 宫保鸡丁)
One of China’s most popular dishes is chicken like Kung Pao. The dish consists of chicken strips seasoned with dried chili, spring onion, garlic, ginger and sichuan pepper. In addition, the portion includes fresh vegetables and roasted peanuts.
Although chili is used in the food, it is one of the mildest in Chinese cuisine. However, Kung Pao chicken is made in slightly different ways around the country, so in some parts of the country spices can be used with a freer hand.
The dish is originally from Sichuan Province.
Bubble tea (bōbà nǎichá – 波霸 奶茶)
If you crave a refreshing drink while strolling the streets of China’s fascinating cities, Bubble tea is a great option.
Bubble tea, or Boba tea, is a unique tea beverage that became particularly popular in Asia in the 1980s.
The base of the drink is black or green tea, for example matcha. The tea is mixed with milk and fruit juice, which gives the drink its fresh fruity taste.
Finally, jellies made of cassava with a jelly-like composition are added. These cassava balls are the “bubblet” of Bubble tea, and are usually present in a reasonably large number in glass. That’s why make it more reminiscent of a snack than a drink.
Bubble tea can be served ice cold or hot, and is drunk with a wide whistle through which cassava balls can fit.
Muslim Noodles (Lami)
There are about 23 million Muslims living in China who have had a significant impact on Chinese food culture. Handmade Muslim noodles are just one example of the dishes that Muslims brought to China.
Thick and slightly tough Muslim noodles are stretched into shape by hand. Noodles are available from restaurants at quite affordable prices. They are part of many dishes and are served as a side dish to various meats or eggs, for example.
Fried egg and tomato (xī hong shì chǎo dàn – 西红柿 炒 鸡蛋)
This dish suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians is simple yet tasty; as the name implies, it consists of an egg and tomatoes. And while the ingredients sound simple, their combination tastes quite different in China compared to the version made in the home kitchen.
Eggs are often fried into a coke, and chopped tomatoes are also fried in a pan.
The finished dish is served with vinegar and spring onions, but you can also order noodles or rice as a side dish.