Get ready to embark on a mouth-watering adventure as we delve into the incredible world of Chinese cuisine!
With centuries of history, cultural exchange, and geographical influences, resulting in a rich and varied cuisine with a wide range of flavors, textures, and ingredients, Chinese food is a diverse and tantalizing feast for the senses.
From the comforting warmth of noodle dishes to the zesty zing of savory stir-fries and the delicate delights of dim sum, Chinese cuisine has something for every taste bud.
Join us as we explore the rich history, exotic tastes, and diverse types of Chinese food, and discover the best Chinese dishes to try and how to savor them like a pro.
Chinese food offers a world of delicious possibilities, so get ready for an unforgettable culinary journey that will leave you craving more!
Chinese Meat Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
1. Peking Duck
Peking Duck is one of the most iconic and beloved dishes in Chinese cuisine. This mouthwatering dish originated in Beijing and has since become popular all over the world.
Traditionally, Peking Duck is made by roasting a whole duck until the skin is crispy and golden brown. The skin is the star of the show, and it’s what gives the dish its signature crunch and flavor. The meat is usually sliced into thin pieces and served with thin pancakes, along with scallions, cucumber, and a sweet bean sauce.
Preparing Peking Duck is a lengthy and involved process that requires great skill and attention to detail.
The duck is first cleaned and seasoned with a mixture of spices, then inflated with air to separate the skin from the meat. The duck is then hung to dry for several hours before being roasted in a wood-fired oven until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender.
When served, the crispy duck skin is carefully separated from the meat and placed on a pancake along with the other accompaniments. The combination of tender meat, crispy skin, and sweet and savory sauce creates a flavor explosion that is hard to resist.
Peking Duck is not only a delicious dish but it is also steeped in tradition and culture. It has been served in China for centuries, and it has even been mentioned in Chinese literature dating back to the 14th century.
Today, Peking Duck remains a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and it continues to be a symbol of Chinese cuisine and culture around the world.
2. General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken is a popular dish in Chinese-American cuisine that has become a favorite in many parts of the world. It consists of bite-sized pieces of chicken that are first coated in a crispy batter and then deep-fried until golden brown.
The chicken is then tossed in a sweet and savory sauce made from a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger. The sauce is thick and sticky, with just the right balance of tangy and sweet flavors.
One of the things that makes General Tso’s Chicken so popular is its bold and satisfying flavor profile. The crispy chicken pairs perfectly with the flavorful sauce, creating a dish that is both crunchy and tender, sweet and savory, and packed with umami-rich flavors.
General Tso’s Chicken is a classic dish that’s perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a delicious meal to share with friends and family.
With its delicious flavors and satisfying texture, it’s easy to see why this dish has become a favorite all around the world.
3. Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork is a classic Chinese dish that has become popular all around the world. It consists of deep-fried pieces of pork that are coated in a sweet and tangy sauce made from vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and other seasonings.
The dish is known for its delicious combination of sweet and sour flavors, as well as its tender and juicy pork. The crispy exterior of the pork provides a satisfying crunch, while the tangy sauce adds a burst of flavor with each bite.
Sweet and Sour Pork is a versatile dish that can be served with rice or noodles, making it a perfect option for a quick and satisfying meal. It’s also a popular choice for special occasions and celebrations.
Overall, Sweet and Sour Pork is a delicious and flavorful dish that showcases the best of Chinese cuisine. Its bold and complex flavors make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
4. Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken is a popular Sichuan dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world. This dish is known for its spicy and savory flavors, with tender chunks of chicken, crunchy peanuts, and crisp vegetables, all tossed together in a deliciously tangy sauce.
Legend has it that the dish was named after a Sichuan governor, Ding Baozhen, who loved the spicy flavor of the dish so much that he asked his chef to make it for him regularly. The name “Kung Pao” comes from his title, Gongbao, which translates to “palace guardian”.
The dish is typically made with marinated chicken breast, although other meats can be used as well. The chicken is first stir-fried in a wok along with Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies, garlic, and ginger, giving it a mouthwatering aroma and flavor.
Then, vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and onions are added, along with roasted peanuts, and a sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. The result is a perfect blend of savory, spicy, and slightly sweet flavors, with a satisfying crunch from the peanuts.
Kung Pao Chicken is often served over steamed rice or noodles, making it a filling and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger feast.
With its bold flavors and unique blend of ingredients, Kung Pao Chicken is a dish that is sure to impress and delight anyone who loves spicy and flavorful Chinese cuisine.
5. Cantonese Roast Pork
Cantonese roast pork, also known as char siu, is a popular dish in Cantonese cuisine. It is a type of marinated and roasted pork that is often eaten as a main course or used as a filling in sandwiches, noodles, or rice dishes.
To make Cantonese roast pork, pork is typically marinated for several hours in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder, and sometimes fermented bean curd or red food coloring.
The marinated pork is then roasted until the skin becomes crispy and caramelized, while the meat remains juicy and tender.
Cantonese roast pork is known for its sweet and savory flavor, and the contrast between the crispy skin and tender meat. It is often served sliced or chopped, and can be enjoyed on its own or as a component of other dishes.
Cantonese roast pork is a beloved dish in many parts of the world, and can be found in Cantonese restaurants, Chinese delis, and street food stalls. It is a must-try for anyone who loves pork and enjoys the rich flavors of Cantonese cuisine.
6. Dongpo Pork
Dongpo pork is a traditional Chinese dish that originated in the Song Dynasty. It is named after the famous poet and scholar Su Dongpo, who was known for his love of good food.
The dish is made by slow-cooking a large, fatty cut of pork belly in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices. The pork is then braised for several hours until it becomes tender and richly flavored.
The resulting dish is a melt-in-your-mouth combination of sweet, savory, and rich flavors, with a tender texture that falls apart with each bite. It is typically served in small portions, with the pork belly cut into cubes and served in a small bowl with a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid.
Dongpo pork is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, and is often served at formal banquets and special occasions. It is also a popular dish in restaurants throughout China and other parts of the world, and is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the rich flavors and culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine.
7. Orange Chicken
Orange chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish that has become a favorite among food lovers worldwide. It consists of crispy and juicy chicken pieces that are coated in a sweet and tangy orange sauce.
The dish is known for its irresistible flavor and texture, with the crispy chicken complementing the bold and zesty orange sauce. The sauce is typically made with orange juice, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and various spices, which gives it a unique and flavorful taste.
Orange chicken is often served as a main dish in Chinese-American cuisine, and is a staple in many Chinese restaurants around the world. It’s a popular choice for those looking for a sweet and savory flavor profile.
Overall, orange chicken is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the creativity and ingenuity of Chinese-American cuisine. Its unique blend of flavors and textures make it a favorite among food lovers everywhere.
8. Mei Cai Kou Rou
Mei Cai Kou Rou is a classic Chinese dish made with sliced pork belly and preserved mustard greens.
The pork belly is typically sliced thinly and stir-fried until it is lightly browned and crispy.
The preserved mustard greens, which have been salted and fermented to develop their unique flavor, are then added to the wok and stir-fried with the pork until they are fully incorporated and the flavors have melded together.
The dish is usually served hot over rice or noodles and is a popular comfort food in China, particularly in the northern and central regions.
Mei Cai Kou Rou has a savory and slightly sour flavor that is both satisfying and comforting, making it a favorite dish for many Chinese families.
9. Braised Pork Belly with Taro
Braised pork belly with taro also known as Yu Tou Kou Rou, is a traditional Hakka Chinese dish made by slow-cooking fatty pork belly and starchy taro in a savory broth until both the meat and the root vegetable are tender and infused with the flavors of the seasonings and spices used in the cooking process.
It is a popular comfort food in many regions of China and is often served with steamed rice or noodles.
10. Tea-smoked Duck
Tea-smoked duck is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that is famous for its unique smoky flavor. This dish is made by marinating duck meat in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and other spices and then smoking it over a tea and rice mixture until it is fully cooked.
The smoking process imparts a distinct flavor and aroma to the duck, making it a flavorful and delicious dish.
Tea-smoked duck is often served with steamed rice and vegetables, and it can also be used as a filling for sandwiches or wraps. This dish is a favorite among both locals and tourists in China and is considered a must-try for those who want to experience the full range of Chinese cuisine.
11. Sesame Chicken
Sesame Chicken is a popular Chinese dish that is beloved by many food lovers around the world. It consists of crispy chunks of chicken that are deep-fried and then coated in a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, honey, garlic, and sesame seeds.
The dish is known for its bold and complex flavors, with the crispy chicken providing a satisfying crunch that contrasts with the soft and tender meat. The sauce, which is rich and flavorful, is the perfect complement to the chicken, adding a sweet and slightly nutty flavor to the dish.
Sesame Chicken is a versatile dish that can be eaten as a main course, or as part of a larger meal with other Chinese dishes. It’s also a great option for those looking for a healthier Chinese food option, as the chicken is not heavily breaded and is coated in a relatively light sauce.
Overall, Sesame Chicken is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the diversity and complexity of Chinese cuisine. Its combination of crispy chicken, sweet and savory sauce, and sesame seeds make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
12. Moo Shu Pork
Moo Shu Pork is a traditional Chinese dish that is popular in many Chinese restaurants around the world. It consists of stir-fried pork, scrambled eggs, and various vegetables such as cabbage, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, all wrapped in a thin pancake-like wrapper made from flour and egg.
The dish is typically served with hoisin sauce, which adds a sweet and salty flavor to the savory filling. Moo Shu Pork is a versatile dish that can be eaten as a main course, or as part of a larger meal with other Chinese dishes.
One of the unique characteristics of Moo Shu Pork is the way in which it is eaten.
The thin pancakes are served alongside the filling, allowing diners to wrap the filling inside the pancake, similar to a burrito. This adds an element of fun and interactivity to the meal, making it a popular choice for family dinners and gatherings.
Overall, Moo Shu Pork is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the versatility and complexity of Chinese cuisine. Its combination of savory pork, fresh vegetables, and flavorful sauce make it a must-try for anyone looking to explore the world of Chinese food.
13. Wuxi Spare Ribs
Wuxi spare ribs are a popular Chinese dish made with pork ribs that are first marinated in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, and sugar. They are then braised until tender in a mixture of dark soy sauce, rock sugar, and water, and finished off with a final glaze of sweet soy sauce.
The resulting dish is sticky, tender, and bursting with flavor. The caramelized marinade and glaze give the ribs a rich, savory flavor, while the meat remains tender and juicy.
Wuxi spare ribs are named after the city of Wuxi in China’s Jiangsu province, where they originated. They are a popular dish in Chinese cuisine and can be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world.
14. Three Cup Chicken
Three Cup Chicken, also known as San Bei Ji, is a classic Taiwanese dish that has become popular throughout China and beyond. It is a savory and flavorful dish that is typically made with chicken, ginger, garlic, basil, and a trio of sauces: soy sauce, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine.
The dish gets its name from the three cups of the sauce ingredients that are used to cook the chicken, creating a rich and flavorful sauce that infuses every bite.
The chicken is typically cut into small pieces and stir-fried in a wok with the other ingredients until the sauce has thickened and coated the chicken.
The combination of the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine creates a sweet and savory flavor profile, while the ginger, garlic, and basil add depth and complexity to the dish. Three Cup Chicken is often served with steamed rice, and the sauce is perfect for drizzling over the rice to soak up all the delicious flavors.
This dish has gained a devoted following due to its irresistible taste, and it can be found in Taiwanese and Chinese restaurants around the world. It is a must-try for anyone who loves bold, flavorful chicken dishes.
15. Lion’s Head Meatballs
Lion’s Head Meatballs, also known as “Shizi Tou” in Mandarin, is a classic dish from the Jiangsu province in China. The dish is named after the large size of the meatballs, which are said to resemble the head of a lion.
The meatballs are typically made with a combination of ground pork and fat, which is then mixed with water chestnut flour, ginger, scallions, and other seasonings. The mixture is shaped into large balls, which are then steamed or braised with vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.
The dish is known for its tender, juicy meatballs and flavorful broth, which is often made from chicken or pork stock and seasoned with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and other aromatics.
Lion’s Head Meatballs are often served as a main course alongside rice or noodles, and are a popular dish during Chinese New Year celebrations.
16. Peking-style Spare Ribs
Peking-style Spare Ribs, also known as Beijing-style pork ribs, is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine. The dish originated in Beijing and is now a favorite in many Chinese restaurants around the world.
Peking-style Spare Ribs are made by marinating pork ribs in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, rice wine, and Chinese five-spice powder. The ribs are then roasted until they are tender and caramelized.
The dish is known for its sweet and savory flavor, and the tender meat falls right off the bone. The caramelized sauce gives the dish a beautiful glaze, and the aroma of the Chinese five-spice powder adds depth to the flavor.
Peking-style Spare Ribs can be served as a main dish with steamed rice or as an appetizer. The dish is perfect for sharing with friends and family, and it is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
17. Beef and Broccoli
Beef and Broccoli is a popular Chinese dish that has become a staple in many Chinese restaurants around the world. It consists of tender strips of beef, stir-fried with fresh broccoli and other vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, and onions.
The dish is known for its savory, slightly sweet and nutty flavor, with the tender beef complementing the fresh and crunchy broccoli. The dish is typically served with a flavorful sauce made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other seasonings, which brings all the flavors together.
Beef and Broccoli is a simple yet satisfying dish that can be eaten as a main course or as part of a larger Chinese meal. It’s also a great option for those looking for a healthier Chinese food option, as it’s packed with protein and vegetables.
Overall, Beef and Broccoli is a delicious and easy-to-prepare dish that showcases the best of Chinese cuisine. Its combination of fresh ingredients, tender beef, and flavorful sauce make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
18. Szechuan Beef
Szechuan beef is a spicy and flavorful Chinese dish that originates from the Szechuan province in southwestern China. It consists of tender strips of beef that are stir-fried with Szechuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and a variety of other spices and seasonings.
The dish is known for its bold and spicy flavor, with the Szechuan peppercorns providing a unique and numbing sensation on the tongue. The dish is typically served with steamed rice or noodles and garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.
Szechuan beef is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, and is often found on menus in Chinese restaurants around the world. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy spicy and bold flavors.
Overall, Szechuan beef is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the complex and spicy flavors of Szechuan cuisine. Its tender beef and bold seasoning make it a favorite among food lovers everywhere.
19. Moo Goo Gai Pan
Moo Goo Gai Pan is a classic Chinese dish that is known for its simplicity and delicious taste. The name of the dish literally means “button mushrooms with sliced chicken” in Cantonese, and it typically includes other vegetables like snow peas, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts.
To make Moo Goo Gai Pan, the chicken is first marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch, which helps to tenderize the meat and give it flavor.
The vegetables are then stir-fried with garlic and ginger, and the chicken is added back in along with a sauce made from chicken broth, oyster sauce, and cornstarch.
The result is a dish that is savory, slightly sweet, and full of flavor. It is often served with steamed rice and is a popular choice for those who are looking for a healthier Chinese dish that is not too spicy or greasy.
Chinese Rice Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
20. Shanghai Fried Rice
Shanghai Fried Rice is a delicious and flavorful dish that originated in the city of Shanghai in China. It’s a stir-fried rice dish that’s typically made with cooked rice, eggs, vegetables, and meat or seafood, all seasoned with a blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other savory spices.
The dish is known for its rich and complex flavor profile, with each bite bursting with a variety of textures and flavors. The rice is soft and fluffy, while the eggs provide a creamy and rich texture. The vegetables add a satisfying crunch, and the meat or seafood provides a savory and satisfying flavor.
One of the things that makes Shanghai Fried Rice so popular is its versatility. It can be customized to suit different tastes by adding or omitting certain ingredients, such as shrimp, chicken, or beef.
It’s also a great way to use up leftover rice and other ingredients, making it an economical and delicious option for any meal.
Overall, Shanghai Fried Rice is a classic Chinese dish that’s perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a flavorful meal to share with family and friends. Its satisfying flavors and textures make it a popular choice all around the world.
21. Shrimp Fried Rice
Shrimp fried rice is a delicious and popular Chinese dish that combines tender, succulent shrimp with fluffy rice and an array of flavorful vegetables and seasonings.
The dish typically includes diced onion, green onion, carrots, peas, and scrambled eggs, along with soy sauce and sesame oil for a savory taste. The shrimp adds a sweet, delicate flavor and a nice crunch to the dish.
Shrimp fried rice is a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish with other Chinese favorites like General Tso’s Chicken or Kung Pao Beef. It is a popular take-out option but can also be easily made at home.
With its combination of flavors and textures, shrimp fried rice is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a delicious and satisfying Chinese meal.
22. Lotus Leaf Rice
Lotus Leaf Rice, also known as Hor Yip Fan, is a popular Chinese dish that is typically made by wrapping seasoned glutinous rice and various ingredients in a lotus leaf and steaming the packet until the rice is cooked and fragrant.
The filling of Hor Yip Fan can vary depending on the recipe and the region of China where it is made, but common ingredients include Chinese sausage, mushrooms, chicken, shrimp, and salted egg yolk.
The lotus leaf adds a distinct aroma and flavor to the rice, and also helps to keep the ingredients moist and flavorful during the cooking process.
To enjoy Hor Yip Fan, the lotus leaf packet is usually opened at the table and the rice and filling are served family-style.
It is a popular dish for special occasions and festivals in China, and can be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world.
23. Fried Rice
Fried rice is a Chinese dish made with rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and typically mixed with eggs, vegetables, and some protein such as shrimp, chicken, or beef.
It is a popular dish in many countries, not only in China, and is known for its savory, slightly smoky flavor and delicious aroma.
The key to making a great fried rice is to use cold cooked rice, as fresh, hot rice tends to become sticky and clump together when stir-fried. Other important ingredients are soy sauce, which adds saltiness and umami flavor, and sesame oil, which imparts a nutty aroma and richness to the dish.
Fried rice is a versatile dish that can be customized to one’s taste and preference. Some common variations include Yangzhou fried rice, which includes ham, shrimp, and peas, and pineapple fried rice, which features chunks of pineapple and raisins.
It can also be made vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding more vegetables such as carrots, peas, and corn.
Fried rice is a great dish to make at home as it is quick, easy, and satisfying. It can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish and is perfect for using up leftover rice and vegetables in the fridge.
24. Yangzhou Fried Rice
Yangzhou fried rice, also known as Yeung Chow fried rice, is a popular Chinese fried rice dish that originated in the city of Yangzhou in the Jiangsu province of China.
The dish is typically made by stir-frying cooked rice with eggs, diced vegetables (such as carrots, peas, and corn), diced ham, and shrimp or other protein, and seasoning it with soy sauce and other spices.
The result is a flavorful and colorful fried rice dish that is both filling and satisfying, and is often served as a main course or side dish in Chinese cuisine.
Yangzhou fried rice is known for its balance of flavors and textures, with the slightly sweet and savory flavors of the rice complemented by the crunchy vegetables and tender pieces of meat or seafood.
25. Egg Fried Rice
Egg Fried Rice is a popular Chinese dish made by stir-frying cooked rice with scrambled eggs, vegetables, and seasonings such as soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions.
It can be served as a main dish or as a side dish and is a common staple in Chinese takeout and restaurants.
The dish is simple, delicious, and can be easily customized by adding meat, seafood, or more vegetables. It’s a great way to use leftover rice and make a quick and satisfying meal at home.
Chinese Noodle Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
26. Chow Mein (Stir-fried Noodles)
Chow Mein is a classic dish in Chinese cuisine that has become popular all over the world. This dish consists of stir-fried noodles that are combined with a variety of vegetables and meat, such as chicken, pork, or beef.
The noodles used in Chow Mein are typically made with wheat flour and can be either thin or thick, depending on the region where the dish is being prepared.
The vegetables commonly used in Chow Mein include cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, and onions, while the meat is usually thinly sliced and seasoned with a blend of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
One of the things that makes Chow Mein so popular is its versatility. It can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences by adding or omitting certain ingredients, adjusting the level of seasoning, or using different types of noodles.
Chow Mein is also known for its hearty and satisfying flavor, which comes from the combination of tender meat, fresh vegetables, and savory seasoning. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a flavorful and filling lunch, Chow Mein is a delicious and satisfying option.
27. Lo Mein
Lo Mein is a popular Chinese dish that is loved by many food lovers around the world. It consists of wheat flour noodles that are stir-fried with a variety of vegetables, meats, and sauces.
The dish is known for its deliciously savory and umami flavor, with the noodles providing a satisfying chewy texture. The vegetables and meats add a variety of flavors and textures, making each bite a unique and delicious experience.
Lo Mein is a versatile dish that can be customized with a variety of ingredients, making it a great option for vegetarians, meat-lovers, and anyone looking for a satisfying and filling meal. It’s also a great way to introduce children to Chinese cuisine, as the noodles and vegetables are often familiar to them.
Overall, Lo Mein is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the creativity and diversity of Chinese cuisine. Its combination of flavorful noodles, vegetables, and meats make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
28. Dan Dan Noodles
Dan Dan noodles, also known as dandanmian, is a popular spicy noodle dish from the Sichuan province of China.
The dish typically consists of noodles served in a spicy sauce made from chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, soy sauce, and vinegar, topped with ground pork or beef, and often garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.
The name “Dan Dan” comes from the street vendors who used to carry the noodles and the sauce in baskets suspended from a bamboo pole (dan dan) over their shoulders. They would sell the noodles by shouting “dan dan mian” to attract customers.
Dan Dan noodles are known for their complex and bold flavors, with a spicy, numbing, and savory taste that can be addictive. The dish can be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world, and has gained popularity among foodies and spice lovers.
29. Beef Noodle Soup
Beef Noodle Soup is a popular Chinese dish that originated from the city of Lanzhou in the northwest of China.
It is a hearty and flavorful soup that features tender beef, chewy noodles, and an array of herbs and spices. The broth is made by simmering beef bones, spices, and herbs for hours, resulting in a rich and flavorful base.
The dish can be customized with a variety of toppings such as green onions, cilantro, chili oil, and pickled vegetables. It is a comforting and satisfying meal that is enjoyed by many in China and around the world.
30. Sichuan Cold Noodles
Sichuan Cold Noodles, also known as Liangpi, is a popular Chinese dish that originated in the Sichuan province of China. This dish is typically served as a cold appetizer or snack, especially during the hot summer months.
The dish consists of wide, flat, translucent noodles made from wheat or rice flour that are boiled and then chilled in cold water. The noodles are then topped with a spicy sauce made from Sichuan peppercorns, chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and other seasonings.
Additional toppings may include shredded chicken, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts. The dish is known for its numbing and spicy flavors, which are characteristic of Sichuan cuisine.
Sichuan Cold Noodles are not only delicious, but they also offer a refreshing and cooling sensation during hot weather. They can be found in many Chinese restaurants and are definitely worth trying for those who enjoy spicy and flavorful dishes.
31. Ants Climbing a Tree
Ants Climbing a Tree, also known as Ma Yi Shang Shu, is a popular Sichuan dish that is enjoyed for its unique combination of spicy, savory, and umami flavors.
Despite its name, the dish does not contain actual ants, but instead refers to the way that the small pieces of ground pork cling to the noodles like ants climbing up a tree.
The dish is made by stir-frying ground pork with garlic, ginger, and a mixture of spicy bean paste, soy sauce, and other seasonings.
The mixture is then combined with cooked glass noodles, which are also known as bean thread noodles or cellophane noodles. The noodles absorb the rich and flavorful sauce, and the ground pork provides a hearty and satisfying texture.
The dish is known for its fiery heat, which comes from the use of Sichuan peppercorns and dried chili peppers in the seasoning mix. The combination of heat and savory flavors makes this dish a favorite among spice lovers, and it is a great example of the bold and exciting flavors of Sichuan cuisine.
Ants Climbing a Tree is a classic Sichuan dish that can be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world, and it is a must-try for anyone looking to explore the diverse and exciting flavors of Chinese cuisine.
Chinese Street Foods & Snacks: Best Chinese Foods
Dumplings, also known as Jiaozi in Chinese, are a beloved and iconic dish in Chinese cuisine. These little pockets of goodness are made by wrapping a filling of seasoned meat or vegetables in a thin layer of dough, which is then boiled, steamed, or fried until cooked to perfection.
Dumplings have a rich history in China, with records of their existence dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). They are a staple food during Chinese New Year and other special occasions, as they symbolize wealth and prosperity.
Dumplings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with fillings ranging from pork and cabbage to shrimp and mushrooms. They can be boiled and served with a dipping sauce, steamed and served as dim sum, or fried for a crispy and crunchy texture.
One of the most popular types of dumplings is the soup dumpling, or xiao long bao, which originated in Shanghai. These little bundles of goodness are filled with a savory broth and meat, and they burst with flavor when you take a bite.
Dumplings are a versatile and comforting food that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. They are perfect for a quick snack, a satisfying meal, or as a way to bring family and friends together for a shared culinary experience.
So, if you’re looking for a tasty and comforting Chinese dish, you can’t go wrong with a plate of delicious dumplings.
Xiaolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, is a type of steamed bun that originated in China’s Jiangnan region.
These delicate dumplings are typically filled with minced pork, ginger, and seasonings, as well as a savory soup broth that is created by adding a gelatinous stock to the filling mixture.
To eat xiaolongbao, diners typically use chopsticks to pick up the dumpling by the topknot and place it in a spoon. They then puncture the dumpling with their chopsticks to release the hot soup inside and allow it to cool slightly before eating.
The filling is usually eaten with the dumpling wrapper, which is thin and delicate.
Xiaolongbao has become increasingly popular worldwide, and can now be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world, as well as in specialty dumpling shops and food markets.
34. Fried Wontons
Fried wontons are a popular appetizer in Chinese cuisine that are loved for their crispy exterior and savory filling. The wonton wrappers are typically filled with a mixture of ground pork, shrimp, or a combination of both, along with scallions, garlic, and other seasonings.
The filled wontons are then deep-fried until golden brown and served hot with a dipping sauce. Fried wontons can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or as a starter to a larger meal. They are a crowd-pleasing favorite that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.
35. Chicken Feet
Chicken Feet, also known as “phoenix claws,” is a popular dim sum dish in Chinese cuisine. While it may sound unusual to some, chicken feet are a delicacy in many parts of the world, especially in China.
The dish is made by marinating and then steaming or deep-frying chicken feet until they are tender and flavorful.
While the skin and cartilage of chicken feet may seem unappetizing to some, many people enjoy their unique texture and flavor. The dish is often served with a flavorful sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Chicken feet are also believed to have health benefits, as they contain collagen, which is good for skin, hair, and nails.
Chicken feet may not be for everyone, but for those who are willing to try new and adventurous foods, they can be a tasty and unique addition to any Chinese meal.
36. Scallion Pancakes
Scallion pancakes, also known as green onion pancakes, are a popular Chinese snack made from unleavened dough and finely chopped scallions.
The dough is rolled out flat and the scallions are folded in before being pan-fried until crispy and golden brown. They are often served with a savory soy-based dipping sauce and are a staple in many Chinese restaurants and street food stalls.
Scallion pancakes are a delicious and easy-to-eat snack that is enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike in China and around the world.
37. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are a popular Chinese appetizer that is enjoyed all over the world. They are a type of deep-fried or fresh rolled pastry that is filled with vegetables, meat, or seafood. The ingredients are often diced or shredded and are seasoned with spices and sauces such as soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic.
The filling is then wrapped in a thin, translucent pastry wrapper made of flour and water. The pastry is then fried or steamed to perfection, resulting in a crispy outer layer and a soft, flavorful filling.
Spring rolls are often served with dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, or soy sauce with ginger and scallions. They are a popular party food and appetizer, but can also be enjoyed as a light meal or snack.
Jianbing is a popular Chinese street food that originated in northern China.
It is a type of savory crepe made with a batter of wheat and mung bean flour, and is typically filled with scrambled eggs, crispy wonton strips, scallions, cilantro, and a variety of sauces such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chili sauce.
The crepe is cooked on a large griddle and then folded up and served in a paper wrapper, making it an easy and convenient food to eat on the go.
Jianbing is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack, and is enjoyed for its crispy texture, flavorful fillings, and satisfying taste.
Roujiamo is a popular Chinese street food that originated in Shaanxi province.
It is a type of Chinese sandwich made with grilled meat, typically pork or lamb, stuffed inside a flatbread that is toasted until crispy and chewy.
The flatbread is made with wheat flour and yeast, and is often seasoned with sesame seeds and other spices to add flavor.
The meat is seasoned with a variety of spices and herbs, and is often slow-cooked until tender and flavorful.
Roujiamo is typically served hot and is enjoyed for its crispy and chewy texture, savory and flavorful meat filling, and satisfying taste.
Malatang is a popular Chinese street food that originated in Sichuan province. It is a spicy hot pot soup made with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables, which are cooked in a flavorful broth and served with noodles or rice.
The soup gets its heat and spiciness from Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers, and can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences.
Malatang is typically served in small bowls or to-go containers, making it a convenient and easy-to-eat street food. It is enjoyed for its spicy and flavorful broth, tender meats and vegetables, and satisfying texture.
Chinese Seafood Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
41. Steamed Fish
Steamed fish is a popular Chinese dish that is loved for its simple yet flavorful preparation. It consists of fresh fish that is steamed with a variety of seasonings and garnishes.
The dish is known for its delicate and tender texture, with the steaming process ensuring that the fish remains moist and flavorful. The seasonings and garnishes add a variety of flavors and textures, making each bite a unique and delicious experience.
Steamed fish is often served as a main dish in Chinese cuisine, and is commonly enjoyed during special occasions or family gatherings. It’s also a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants around the world.
Overall, steamed fish is a delicious and healthy dish that showcases the simplicity and elegance of Chinese cuisine. Its delicate and tender texture, combined with its flavorful seasonings and garnishes, make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
42. Salt and Pepper Prawn
Salt and pepper prawn is a popular Chinese seafood dish that is beloved by many for its crispy exterior and flavorful seasoning.
The dish is typically made by deep-frying prawn that has been coated in a mixture of cornstarch and seasoning, such as salt, black pepper, and Chinese five-spice powder. The result is a dish that is crispy, salty, and spicy all at once.
Salt and pepper prawn can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish, and is often accompanied by steamed rice or vegetables. It is a popular dish in many Chinese restaurants and is often seen as a symbol of high-quality seafood.
The dish originated in Guangdong Province in southern China, where seafood is a staple of the local diet.
43. Gong Bao Shrimp
Gong Bao Shrimp, also known as Kung Pao Shrimp, is a classic Sichuan dish that features succulent, juicy shrimp stir-fried with Sichuan peppercorns, peanuts, and vegetables in a spicy and savory sauce.
The dish is named after a famous Sichuan governor, Ding Baozhen, who loved to eat spicy food. Gong Bao Shrimp is a favorite among seafood lovers and spice enthusiasts, and its unique flavor profile and texture make it a must-try Chinese dish.
44. Salt and Pepper Squid
Salt and Pepper Squid is a popular Chinese seafood dish that consists of deep-fried squid that has been seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, and other spices. The squid is typically coated in a seasoned flour mixture and then fried until crispy and golden brown.
The dish originated from coastal regions in China, where squid is a common ingredient in seafood cuisine. It is often served as an appetizer or as a main course dish and can be found in many Chinese restaurants worldwide.
Salt and Pepper Squid has a unique flavor profile that is both savory and spicy. The combination of the crispy fried squid and the bold seasoning make for a delicious and satisfying dish.
It is often served with a side of vegetables, such as sliced green onions, and a dipping sauce such as sweet chili sauce or soy sauce.
Chinese Tofu Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
45. Ma Po Tofu
Ma Po Tofu is a spicy and flavorful dish in Chinese cuisine that originated from the Sichuan province. This dish is made with soft tofu that is cooked in a spicy and savory sauce, which is typically made with chili bean paste, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and ground pork.
The dish is known for its bold flavors, which are a combination of spicy, savory, and numbing sensations from the Sichuan peppercorns. Ma Po Tofu is traditionally served with steamed rice, which helps to balance out the heat and richness of the dish.
One of the unique features of Ma Po Tofu is its versatility. It can be adjusted to suit a variety of tastes and dietary preferences by changing the level of spiciness, adding or omitting meat, or using different types of tofu.
Ma Po Tofu is a popular dish both in China and around the world, and its unique blend of flavors and textures has made it a favorite among food lovers everywhere. If you’re a fan of spicy and flavorful dishes, Ma Po Tofu is definitely worth a try!
46. Stinky Tofu
Stinky tofu, also known as “chou doufu” in Chinese, is a fermented tofu that is commonly found in many parts of China and other Asian countries.
The tofu is made by soaking it in a brine made of fermented milk, vegetables, and sometimes even seafood.
The tofu is then left to ferment for several days or weeks, during which time it develops a pungent and strong odor that many people find off-putting.
Despite its strong smell, stinky tofu is a popular street food in China and is enjoyed by many locals and tourists alike.
Stinky tofu can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as deep-fried or pan-fried, and is often served with spicy and savory sauces.
The texture of stinky tofu is soft and creamy on the inside, with a crispy and chewy outer layer.
While stinky tofu may not be for everyone, it is a unique and flavorful dish that is worth trying for those who are adventurous and curious about different types of Chinese cuisine.
47. Chilled Tofu
Chilled Tofu is a popular Chinese dish that is made by serving chilled tofu slices that are marinated in a savory sauce. The tofu used in this dish is usually soft or silken tofu, which has a delicate texture and a mild flavor that is easily enhanced by the sauce.
Chilled Tofu is often served as an appetizer or a side dish and is a common dish in Chinese restaurants and households, especially during the hot summer months. It is a refreshing and light dish that is perfect for a hot day.
The sauce used to marinate the tofu can vary depending on personal preference and regional differences, but it typically includes soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.
Some recipes may also include chili oil, green onions, cilantro, or other ingredients for added flavor and texture.
To prepare Chilled Tofu, the tofu is first sliced into thin pieces and arranged on a plate. The sauce is then poured over the tofu slices, and the dish is refrigerated for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the tofu to absorb the sauce.
The dish is then served cold, often garnished with sliced green onions or cilantro.
Chinese Soup Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
48. Hot and Sour Soup
Hot and Sour Soup is a classic and beloved dish in Chinese cuisine, known for its complex and bold flavors.
This soup is typically made with a savory broth that is flavored with a combination of spices, including ginger and garlic, and finished off with a tangy kick from vinegar and heat from chili pepper.
The main ingredients of Hot and Sour Soup typically include wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and pork or chicken. These ingredients are combined with the flavorful broth to create a rich and satisfying soup that is both hearty and comforting.
One of the most notable things about Hot and Sour Soup is its ability to balance a variety of flavors in one bowl. It’s both hot and sour, sweet and savory, and has a unique texture that comes from the combination of soft tofu and crunchy wood ear mushrooms.
Hot and Sour Soup is also known for its health benefits, as many of the ingredients used are believed to have medicinal properties in Chinese culture.
For example, wood ear mushrooms are thought to help improve circulation and boost the immune system, while ginger and garlic are known for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Whether you’re looking for a comforting soup on a cold day or a flavorful and healthy dish, Hot and Sour Soup is a must-try in Chinese cuisine.
49. Wonton Soup
Wonton Soup is a classic Chinese soup that is made with wonton dumplings and a clear broth. The dumplings are typically filled with ground pork, shrimp, or a combination of both, along with a variety of seasonings, such as soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
The dumplings are wrapped in a thin layer of dough and boiled until they are tender and fully cooked. They are then served in a clear broth that is made from simmering chicken or pork bones with vegetables and seasonings, such as ginger and green onions.
One of the things that makes Wonton Soup so popular is its comforting and soothing qualities. The clear broth is light and flavorful, while the dumplings provide a hearty and satisfying texture.
The dish is also very versatile and can be customized to suit different tastes by adding or omitting certain ingredients or adjusting the level of seasoning.
Wonton Soup is a beloved dish in China and all around the world, and it’s a great choice for anyone looking for a delicious and comforting soup that’s easy to make and perfect for any occasion.
50. Winter Melon Soup
Winter melon soup is a traditional Chinese soup that is typically served during the summer months, as it is believed to have cooling and refreshing properties.
The soup is made with chunks of winter melon, which has a delicate and slightly sweet flavor, as well as pork bones or chicken, dried seafood such as shrimp or scallops, and various herbs and seasonings.
The ingredients are simmered together until the broth is flavorful and fragrant, and the soup is often served hot or warm, garnished with fresh herbs or chopped scallions.
Winter melon soup is prized for its ability to quench thirst and promote digestion, making it a popular choice during hot weather or after a heavy meal.
51. Lotus Root Soup
Lotus root soup is a traditional Chinese soup that is known for its sweet and earthy flavor and its nourishing properties.
The soup is made with slices of lotus root, which have a crisp texture and a subtle sweetness, as well as pork bones, peanuts, and various herbs and seasonings. The ingredients are simmered together until the broth is thick and creamy, and the soup is often served hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or chopped scallions.
Lotus root soup is believed to have many health benefits, including improving digestion, strengthening the immune system, and promoting healthy skin and hair.
It is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, particularly in the southern regions of China.
52. Chicken Corn Soup
Chicken corn soup is a creamy and savory soup that is popular in Chinese cuisine. The soup is made with chicken broth, sweet corn, and beaten eggs, which are stirred together to create a thick and velvety texture.
The soup is often flavored with garlic, ginger, and scallions, and thickened with a cornstarch slurry. Some variations of chicken corn soup also include shredded chicken or ham, and are garnished with chopped scallions or cilantro.
Chicken corn soup is known for its nourishing properties and is believed to help boost the immune system and promote healthy digestion. It is a popular choice in Chinese restaurants and is often served as a starter or side dish.
53. Egg Drop Soup
Egg drop soup is a simple and comforting soup that is a staple in Chinese cuisine. The soup is made with chicken or vegetable broth, which is seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, and thickened with beaten eggs that are stirred into the broth in a steady stream.
The eggs create thin, delicate strands in the soup, giving it a unique texture and flavor. Egg drop soup is often garnished with chopped scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil, and is served hot as a starter or side dish.
The soup is popular for its simplicity and ease of preparation, and is a comforting and nourishing dish that is enjoyed by many.
Chinese Appetizers: Best Chinese Foods
54. Egg Rolls
Egg rolls are a popular Chinese-American appetizer that is enjoyed by many food lovers around the world. They consist of a crispy deep-fried wrapper that is filled with a mixture of shredded vegetables, meats, and various seasonings.
The dish is known for its deliciously crunchy exterior, with the savory and flavorful filling providing a satisfying contrast. The vegetables and meats in the filling add a variety of textures and flavors, making each bite a unique and delicious experience.
Egg rolls are a great appetizer option for those looking to explore the world of Chinese-American cuisine.
They’re also a fun dish to make at home, as the filling can be customized with various ingredients and seasonings.
Egg rolls are a tasty and satisfying dish that showcases the creativity and ingenuity of Chinese-American cuisine. Its combination of crispy exterior and flavorful filling make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
55. Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon is a popular Chinese-American appetizer that is enjoyed by many food lovers around the world. The dish consists of a crispy deep-fried wonton wrapper that is filled with a creamy mixture of cream cheese, crab meat, and various seasonings.
The dish is known for its deliciously creamy and savory flavor, with the crispy wonton wrapper adding a satisfying crunch. The cream cheese filling, which is rich and flavorful, is complemented by the sweet and tangy dipping sauce that is often served with the dish.
Crab Rangoon is a great appetizer option for those looking to explore the world of Chinese-American cuisine. It’s also a fun dish to make at home, as it’s relatively easy to prepare and can be customized with various fillings and seasonings.
Crab Rangoon is a tasty and satisfying dish that showcases the creativity and ingenuity of Chinese-American cuisine. Its combination of crispy wonton wrapper, creamy filling, and tangy dipping sauce make it a favorite among food lovers all over the world.
Chinese Vegetable Dishes: Best Chinese Foods
56. Buddha’s Delight
Buddha’s Delight, also known as Luohan Zhai or Lo Han Jai, is a vegetarian dish that originated in Buddhist temples in China. It is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year, as a way of purifying the body and mind after the rich, meat-heavy foods of the holiday season.
The dish is made with a variety of vegetables, including mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, carrots, and bok choy, as well as ingredients like tofu, dried lily buds, and black fungus. It is often flavored with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other spices, and can be served over rice or noodles.
Buddha’s Delight is not only a delicious and healthy dish, but also has symbolic significance in Buddhist culture. The dish is said to represent the simple, humble lifestyle of Buddhist monks, and the importance of vegetarianism and non-violence in their philosophy.
Today, Buddha’s Delight has become a popular vegetarian dish in Chinese cuisine, enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and religions. It can be found in many Chinese restaurants, and is a great option for vegetarians or anyone looking for a healthy, flavorful meal.
57. Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce is a popular and delicious vegetable dish in Chinese cuisine. The dish features leafy Chinese broccoli, also known as gai lan, which is cooked until tender and then dressed in a savory sauce made from oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings.
The dish is typically served as a side dish or accompaniment to a main course, such as steamed fish or fried rice. Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce is known for its balance of flavors and textures, with the tender and slightly bitter broccoli complemented by the umami-rich oyster sauce and aromatic garlic and ginger.
Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce is also a nutritious dish, as Chinese broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium. The dish is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed at home or at a Chinese restaurant.
58. Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
Eggplant with garlic sauce is a popular Chinese dish that originated in the Sichuan province.
It is made with stir-fried eggplant that is first deep-fried until crispy, then tossed in a flavorful sauce made with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, and other seasonings.
The dish is typically garnished with scallions and cilantro and served hot, and is enjoyed for its savory and spicy flavors, crispy and tender texture, and versatility as a vegetarian or vegan main dish.
Chinese Breakfast Foods: Best Chinese Foods
Baozi, also known as steamed buns or bao, is a type of Chinese food that is made by steaming dough with various fillings inside. The fillings can range from meat to vegetables to sweet bean paste, and the dough is made from a combination of wheat flour, yeast, and water.
Baozi are a popular breakfast food in China, and can be found in street markets, restaurants, and even convenience stores. They are often eaten on the go, and are a convenient and tasty way to start the day. Baozi can be served plain or with dipping sauces, and are a must-try for anyone interested in Chinese cuisine.
60. Dim Sum
Dim sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine consisting of small, bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on small plates.
The dishes served as dim sum can include a wide variety of sweet and savory items, such as steamed buns filled with pork or custard, shrimp dumplings, turnip cakes, chicken feet, and egg tarts, among others.
Dim sum is typically served in the morning or early afternoon in restaurants or teahouses, and is often enjoyed with Chinese tea. It is a popular social activity for families and friends to gather and share a variety of dishes together.
Dim sum has its origins in the Cantonese region of China, but has since become a popular cuisine worldwide, with many different regional variations and styles of preparation.
Also Read: Best Dim Sum in New York City
61. Congee (Rice Porridge)
Congee, also known as rice porridge, is a popular Chinese breakfast dish made by boiling rice with water or broth until it becomes a creamy, thick and comforting soup.
Congee can be flavored with a variety of savory or sweet ingredients, such as ginger, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, preserved eggs, mushrooms, seafood, or meat, depending on the region and personal preference.
Congee is also known for its health benefits, as it is easy to digest and provides a good source of carbohydrates and nutrients, making it a popular dish for those who are sick or recovering from an illness.
62. Dan Bing
Dan Bing, also known as Chinese eggs pancake, is a popular Chinese breakfast food that consists of a thin and crispy pancake made from a mixture of wheat flour and egg, and stuffed with savory fillings such as scallions, cheese, ham or bacon.
The pancake is made by mixing a batter of flour and egg, spreading it thin on a hot griddle, adding the fillings, and then folding the pancake into a roll or a half-moon shape.
Dan Bing is typically served hot and can be enjoyed as a handheld snack or paired with a hot cup of soy milk or tea for a satisfying breakfast.
It is a popular street food in Taiwan and is also commonly found in Chinese breakfast restaurants around the world.
63. Shao Bing
Shao Bing, also known as Chinese sesame bread, is a popular Chinese breakfast food that is a type of flatbread made from wheat flour, yeast, salt and sesame oil.
The bread is rolled out, brushed with sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds before being baked until it becomes golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Shao Bing can be eaten plain or with a variety of fillings, such as eggs, ham, or vegetables, and is often served as a breakfast sandwich or a snack.
It is a popular street food in many Chinese cities and is commonly found in Chinese bakeries and breakfast shops.
Everyday Chinese Foods: Best Chinese Foods
64. Sichuan Hot Pot
Sichuan Hot Pot is a popular Chinese dish that is perfect for those who love spicy and flavorful food. It is a communal meal that involves cooking a variety of meats, vegetables, and seafood in a boiling pot of broth, which is flavored with Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, and other aromatic spices.
The ingredients are typically served raw and the diners cook them themselves at the table, adding them to the broth as they go along. This allows each person to customize their own hot pot experience and also encourages socializing and sharing.
Some of the most popular ingredients for hot pot include thinly sliced meats such as beef, lamb, and pork, as well as seafood like shrimp and fish balls. Vegetables such as mushrooms, tofu, and leafy greens are also commonly added to the mix.
Sichuan Hot Pot is a delicious and spicy way to enjoy a meal with friends and family, and is a must-try for anyone who loves Chinese cuisine.
65. Yong Tau Foo
Yong Tau Foo is a popular Chinese dish that originated in the Hakka-speaking regions of China, and is now commonly found throughout Southeast Asia.
The dish typically consists of tofu cubes or vegetables that have been stuffed with a mixture of ground meat or fish paste, and then boiled or deep-fried.
The stuffed tofu and vegetables are then served in a soup or broth, or stir-fried with vegetables and noodles.
The dish is often served with a spicy chili sauce or a sweet and savory hoisin-based sauce for dipping.
Yong Tau Foo is known for its healthy and nutritious ingredients, and is a popular choice for those following a vegetarian or low-fat diet, as well as meat-lovers. It is also a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual tastes and preferences.
Chinese Festival Foods: Best Chinese Foods
Zongzi, also known as Chinese sticky rice dumpling, is a traditional Chinese food that is commonly eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. The dish consists of glutinous rice that is wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with various ingredients, such as pork belly, mushrooms, chestnuts, and salted duck egg yolks.
The bamboo leave not only adds flavor to the rice, but also helps to keep it moist and fragrant. The rice is usually steamed for several hours to allow the flavors of the filling to blend together and infuse into the rice.
Zongzi is a popular dish in many parts of China and is enjoyed not only during the Dragon Boat Festival, but also as a snack or meal throughout the year. It is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for those who enjoy savory and filling foods.
67. Nian Gao
Nian Gao is a traditional Chinese New Year’s cake made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water.
The cake is typically steamed until it becomes sticky and chewy, and can be served either sweet or savory.
In sweet versions, the cake is often made with brown sugar and may include ingredients like red dates, lotus seeds, or chestnuts.
Savory versions can include ingredients like Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms.
Nian Gao is a popular food during Chinese New Year celebrations, and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year due to its name, which sounds like the Chinese word for “higher year”.
What to Drink Along With Chinese Food?
There are several types of beverages that can complement Chinese food, depending on the dish and your personal preferences. Here are some popular options:
Tea is a staple and traditional Chinese beverage and and has been an important part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. Tea is often served with meals. Green tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, black tea, white tea, and jasmine tea are common choices that pair well with a variety of dishes.
Herbal teas, made from a ingredients like dried flowers, leaves, roots, or seeds, are believed to have medicinal properties and are consumed for their health benefits. Herbal teas also pair well with Chinese foods.
Dou Jiang (Soy Milk)
Dou Jiang, also known as soy milk, is a popular Chinese breakfast beverage made by soaking and grinding soybeans, and then boiling the resulting mixture with water or milk.
The liquid is then sweetened with sugar or flavored with other ingredients, such as ginger or sesame, depending on the region and personal preference.
Dou Jiang is a good source of protein and is often served alongside other breakfast foods, such as steamed buns or fried dough sticks, for a filling and satisfying morning meal.
It is a popular street food in many Chinese cities and is also commonly found in Chinese breakfast shops and restaurants.
Many Chinese dishes pair well with beer, especially those that are spicy or savory. Some popular Chinese beer brands include Tsingtao, Yanjing, and Snow.
White wine can pair well with lighter dishes, such as seafood or vegetables. A dry or semi-dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio can complement the flavors of the dish without overpowering them.
Red wine can pair well with heartier dishes, such as meat or spicy stir-fry. A light-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais, can complement the flavors without being too heavy.
Some Chinese dishes, such as dim sum or fried rice, can pair well with cocktails. Some popular options include a Bloody Mary, a Mai Tai, or a Margarita.
Soft drinks, such as soda or lemonade, can be a good choice to help balance out the flavors of spicy or salty dishes.
Ultimately, the best beverage to pair with Chinese food depends on the dish and your personal taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to try different options to find the perfect pairing.
Overview of Chinese Food (Chinese Cuisines)
Chinese cuisine is one of the most popular and diverse cuisines in the world, with a rich history dating back thousands of years. It is known for its unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques, which vary by region and reflect the diverse cultural and geographic influences of China.
Some of the key ingredients in Chinese cuisine include rice, noodles, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions, sesame oil, and various spices and herbs. Meats like pork, beef, chicken, and duck are commonly used, as well as seafood like fish, shrimp, and squid.
Chinese cuisine can be broadly classified into eight regional cuisines, each with its own distinctive flavors and cooking styles. These are: Cantonese, Sichuanese, Hunanese, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Anhui.
The 8 Regional Chinese Cuisines
Cantonese foods, which originates from the southern region of Guangdong, is known for its mild and sweet flavors, and for its emphasis on fresh ingredients and delicate cooking techniques.
Cantonese cuisine is one of the most popular styles of Chinese food worldwide. Some of its most famous dishes include dim sum, roast pork, and sweet and sour dishes.
Sichuanese foods, from the southwestern region of Sichuan, is famous for its spicy and bold flavors, often featuring the use of Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers. Some of its most famous dishes include mapo tofu, kung pao chicken, and hot pot.
Hunanese foods, from the central region of Hunan, is also known for its spicy flavors, but with a greater emphasis on sour and salty flavors as well. Some of its most famous dishes include Chairman Mao’s braised pork, spicy fish head, and stir-fried lotus root.
Shandong foods, from the eastern region of Shandong, is known for its seafood and soup dishes, as well as its use of vinegar and garlic. Some of its most famous dishes include crispy fried shrimp, braised abalone, and Shandong-style dumplings.
Jiangsu foods, from the eastern region of Jiangsu, is known for its sweetness and lightness, with a focus on seafood and freshwater fish dishes. Some of its most famous dishes include Yangzhou fried rice, crystal shrimp dumplings, and braised pork belly.
Zhejiang foods, from the eastern region of Zhejiang, is known for its freshness and lightness, with a focus on seafood and vegetable dishes. Some of its most famous dishes include West Lake fish in vinegar sauce, Dongpo pork, and beggar’s chicken.
Fujian foods, from the southeastern region of Fujian, is known for its seafood and soup dishes, as well as its use of umami-rich ingredients like dried seafood and mushrooms. Some of its most famous dishes include Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, seafood stir-fry, and Fujian-style oyster omelet.
Anhui foods, from the eastern region of Anhui, is known for its rustic and hearty flavors, with a focus on wild herbs, game, and freshwater fish. Some of its most famous dishes include stinky tofu, yellow croaker soup, and hairy crab.
The History of Chinese Food
The history of Chinese food is long and diverse, reflecting the country’s rich cultural heritage and its many regional cuisines. The roots of Chinese cuisine can be traced back to ancient China, where food was closely tied to religion, medicine, and philosophy.
During the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC), the concept of “五味” (wǔ wèi), or “five flavors,” was developed. These five flavors included sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, and were believed to correspond to different organs in the body. The goal of Chinese cuisine was to balance these flavors and create a harmonious meal.
Over time, different regions of China developed their own unique styles of cooking and ingredients, based on the local climate, geography, and culture. For example, Cantonese cuisine is known for its delicate flavors and fresh ingredients, while Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold and spicy flavors.
During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), tea drinking became popular in China, and tea houses began to serve small snacks to accompany the tea. These snacks eventually evolved into dim sum, a popular Cantonese cuisine that includes small, bite-sized dishes.
In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), food became more elaborate and sophisticated, with a focus on presentation and aesthetics. This era also saw the development of hot pot, a communal dish where diners cook their own ingredients in a boiling pot of broth.
During the 20th century, Chinese cuisine began to spread around the world, as Chinese immigrants brought their food and culinary traditions with them. Today, Chinese food is enjoyed by people all over the world, with a wide variety of regional styles and dishes available.
Overall, the history of Chinese food reflects the country’s diverse cultural heritage and its focus on balancing flavors, ingredients, and techniques to create a harmonious meal.
Tastes of Chinese Food
Chinese cuisine is known for its balance of flavors, with a focus on creating harmony between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami tastes. Here are some of the key tastes and flavors of Chinese food:
- Sweet: Sweet flavors are often used in Chinese cuisine to balance out salty or spicy flavors. Sugar, honey, and fruit are commonly used to add sweetness to dishes, such as sweet and sour pork or red bean paste buns.
- Sour: Sour flavors are used to add tanginess to dishes, often through the use of vinegar or citrus fruits. Sour flavors are common in dishes such as hot and sour soup and pickled vegetables.
- Salty: Salt is a common seasoning in Chinese cuisine, used to enhance the flavors of other ingredients. Soy sauce, salted fish, and salted meats are common salty ingredients in Chinese dishes.
- Bitter: Bitter flavors are less common in Chinese cuisine, but are used to add depth and complexity to dishes. Bitter melon and bitter herbs are sometimes used in soups or stir-fry dishes.
- Umami: Umami is a savory flavor that is often described as “meaty” or “brothy.” Umami flavors are found in ingredients such as soy sauce, fermented black beans, and dried mushrooms. These flavors are often used to add depth and richness to dishes, such as stir-fried vegetables or beef noodle soup.
In addition to these basic tastes, Chinese cuisine is also known for its use of spices and aromatics, such as ginger, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns. The combination of these flavors and ingredients creates the unique and diverse taste of Chinese food.
Chinese Staple Food
Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse, with many different types of dishes and regional specialties. However, there are some staple Chinese foods that are commonly found throughout the country. Here are a few examples:
- Rice: Rice is a staple food in China, and is often served as a side dish or used as a base for stir-fry dishes. Different regions of China have their own types of rice, such as sticky rice in southern China and glutinous rice dumplings in the north.
- Noodles: Noodles are also a popular staple food in China, and are often served in soups or stir-fries. Chinese noodles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as thin egg noodles and thick hand-pulled noodles.
- Dumplings: Dumplings are a popular food in China, typically filled with meat and vegetables and served steamed or fried. Dumplings are often eaten during festivals and celebrations, such as Chinese New Year.
- Baozi: Baozi are steamed buns filled with meat, vegetables, or sweet bean paste. They are a popular breakfast food in China, and can be found in many different varieties.
- Congee: Congee, also known as rice porridge, is a popular breakfast food in China. It is made by cooking rice in water or broth until it becomes thick and creamy, and can be served plain or with various toppings.
- Stir-fry dishes: Stir-fry dishes are a popular way to cook vegetables, meat, and seafood in China. These dishes typically feature a variety of ingredients cooked quickly in a wok with oil and spices.
These are just a few examples of the many staple foods in Chinese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse, with many different regional specialties and unique dishes.
Why Chinese Food Is So Popular?
Chinese food is popular for a number of reasons, including:
- Variety: Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse, with many different types of dishes that vary in flavor, spice level, and cooking technique. Whether you’re in the mood for spicy Sichuan cuisine, delicate Cantonese dim sum, or hearty Northern-style dumplings, there is likely a Chinese dish that will suit your tastes.
- Flavorful: Chinese food is known for its bold and complex flavors, incorporating a combination of sweet, savory, spicy, and sour flavors. The use of fresh ingredients and aromatic spices and seasonings also contributes to the delicious taste of many Chinese dishes.
- Health Benefits: Chinese cuisine often incorporates fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy spices and seasonings, making it a nutritious choice for many people.
- Accessibility: Chinese restaurants can be found in many parts of the world, making it a popular choice for people looking for a tasty and convenient meal.
- Cultural Influence: Chinese culture has had a significant impact on the world, including its cuisine. Many Chinese dishes have become global favorites, such as Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Chow Mein.
Overall, Chinese food is popular because of its delicious flavors, health benefits, and cultural influence. Its variety and accessibility also make it a convenient and enjoyable meal option for many people.
What to Take Note When Eating Chinese Food?
When eating Chinese food, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe dining experience:
- Use chopsticks: Many Chinese restaurants provide chopsticks as the primary utensil for eating, so it’s a good idea to know how to use them. If you’re not comfortable with chopsticks, you can ask for a fork and spoon.
- Be careful with spice levels: Chinese cuisine can be quite spicy, so if you’re not used to it, start with milder dishes and gradually work your way up to spicier ones. Be sure to ask your server about the spice level of a dish before ordering.
- Watch out for bones: Some Chinese dishes, especially those with meat or fish, may contain bones. Be sure to watch out for them and remove them carefully to avoid choking.
- Try different dishes: Chinese cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes with different flavors and textures, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Ask your server for recommendations or try a few dishes from different regions of China.
- Be mindful of allergies: Chinese cuisine may contain ingredients that you are allergic to, such as peanuts or shellfish. Be sure to let your server know about any allergies you have so that they can recommend suitable dishes or avoid cross-contamination.
- Check food temperature: Chinese cuisine often includes dishes that are served at different temperatures, such as hot and cold dishes. Be sure to check the temperature of the food before eating to ensure that it’s safe to consume.
- Respect cultural customs: Chinese culture places great importance on sharing food, so it’s common to order several dishes and share them with others at the table. Be sure to be respectful of this custom and wait for others to finish before taking more food.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can fully enjoy the diverse flavors and experiences that Chinese cuisine has to offer.
Where to Eat the Best Chinese Food?
China is home to a wide variety of regional cuisines, each with its own unique flavors and specialties. If you’re looking to experience the best Chinese food, here are some popular destinations to consider:
- Beijing: Beijing is known for its hearty and savory dishes, such as Peking duck and jianbing (a type of savory crepe). The city is also famous for its street food, including spicy lamb skewers and fried scorpions.
- Shanghai: Shanghai is known for its seafood dishes, including steamed crab and shrimp dumplings. The city is also famous for its xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), which are steamed dumplings filled with hot soup.
- Sichuan: Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold and spicy flavors, with dishes such as mapo tofu and kung pao chicken. The cuisine is also known for its use of Sichuan peppercorns, which create a unique numbing sensation in the mouth.
- Guangzhou: Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is known for its Cantonese cuisine, which is characterized by its use of fresh ingredients and delicate flavors. Dim sum, steamed fish, and roasted meats are popular dishes in this region.
- Hunan: Hunan cuisine is known for its spicy and sour flavors, with dishes such as spicy fish head and hot and sour beef soup. The cuisine is also known for its use of pickled vegetables and smoked meats.
- Hong Kong: Hong Kong is known for its fusion of Cantonese and Western cuisine, with dishes such as pineapple buns and egg tarts. The city is also famous for its seafood, with popular dishes including steamed fish and stir-fried crab with ginger and scallions.
These are just a few of the many regions in China that offer unique and delicious cuisine. When traveling in China, be sure to explore the local cuisine and try new dishes to experience the best Chinese food.
In fact, you can also find some of the best Chinese foods outside of China, like in the United States, Europe countries, Asia countries, and more.
Popular Chinese Foods in America
Chinese cuisine has become a popular choice for Americans, with many delicious dishes becoming a part of the American culinary landscape. Here are some popular Chinese foods in America:
- Kung Pao Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Egg Rolls
- Fried Rice
- Lo Mein
- Hot and Sour Soup
- Crab Rangoon
- Sesame Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli
- Wonton Soup
- Moo Shu Pork
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Orange Chicken
- Szechuan Beef
These dishes represent a diverse range of flavors and cooking styles, from spicy and bold to sweet and savory.
Chinese cuisine has become a staple in the American diet, with Chinese restaurants and takeout options available in almost every city and town across the country. With its delicious flavors and satisfying textures, it’s easy to see why Chinese food has become such a popular choice among Americans.
Should You Try Chinese Foods?
Yes, you should definitely try Chinese food! Chinese cuisine is one of the oldest and most diverse in the world, with a long history of unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Chinese food is also very popular around the world, with many delicious dishes that have become global favorites.
Trying new foods is a great way to broaden your culinary horizons and experience different cultures. Chinese food offers a wide range of flavors and ingredients, from savory stir-fry dishes to spicy soups, fragrant rice dishes, and delicate dumplings.
Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat lover, or somewhere in between, there is likely a Chinese dish that will suit your tastes.
Additionally, Chinese food has numerous health benefits, with many dishes incorporating fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy spices and seasonings. So not only is Chinese food delicious, it can also be nutritious and beneficial for your overall health.
Overall, trying Chinese food is a wonderful way to expand your palate, learn about new cultures, and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
Is Chinese Food Tasty?
Yes, Chinese food can be very tasty! Chinese cuisine is one of the most diverse and flavorful in the world, with a long history of unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques.
There are many different types of Chinese food, each with their own distinctive tastes and textures.
Some popular Chinese dishes that are known for their delicious flavors include Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Mapo Tofu, and Peking Duck.
Chinese cuisine also includes a wide variety of soups, noodle dishes, rice dishes, and dumplings, which can be prepared with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices.
Chinese food is often characterized by its bold and complex flavors, with many dishes incorporating a combination of sweet, savory, spicy, and sour flavors. The use of fresh ingredients and aromatic spices and seasonings also contributes to the delicious taste of many Chinese dishes.
Of course, taste is subjective and everyone’s preferences are different. However, if you enjoy bold and flavorful dishes, then there is a good chance that you will find Chinese food to be very tasty.
Is Chinese Food Spicy?
Chinese food can be spicy, but not all Chinese dishes are spicy. It depends on the region and the specific dish.
Some regions of China, such as Sichuan, are known for their spicy cuisine, while other regions may have milder or sweeter flavors.
Some popular Chinese dishes that are known for being spicy include Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, and hot pot.
These dishes often incorporate spicy chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns, which create a distinctive numbing sensation in the mouth.
However, not all Chinese dishes are spicy. Many Chinese dishes are milder in flavor and may incorporate a combination of sweet, savory, and umami flavors instead.
It’s important to remember that Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse, with many different types of dishes that vary in flavor, spice level, and cooking technique.
If you are sensitive to spice, it’s always a good idea to ask about the level of spice in a dish before ordering.
Many restaurants will be happy to accommodate your preferences and adjust the spice level accordingly.
FAQ about Chinese Food
Is Chinese food safe?
Yes. Chinese foods are safe to eat.
Is Chinese food healthy?
Chinese cuisine can be healthy, as many dishes incorporate fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy spices and seasonings. However, some dishes may be high in sodium or unhealthy fats, so it’s important to choose dishes carefully and in moderation.
Is all Chinese food spicy?
No, not all Chinese food is spicy. While some regions of China, such as Sichuan, are known for their spicy cuisine, other regions may have milder or sweeter flavors. It’s always a good idea to ask about the level of spice in a dish before ordering if you are sensitive to spice.
What is chop suey?
Chop suey is a type of Chinese-American cuisine that often involves a mixture of vegetables, meat, and sauce served over rice. Chop suey is not a traditional Chinese dish, but rather a creation that was developed in the United States.
What is hot pot?
Hot pot is a type of Chinese cuisine that involves a communal pot of simmering broth in the center of the table, with various raw ingredients (such as meat, vegetables, and noodles) that are cooked in the broth and eaten together.
Can Chinese food be vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, many Chinese dishes can be vegetarian or vegan. Some popular vegetarian and vegan Chinese dishes include Mapo Tofu, Vegetable Dumplings, and Stir-Fried Vegetables.
Chinese Food: Wrap-Up
Chinese food is a popular and diverse cuisine that has a rich history and cultural significance.
With its bold and complex flavors, fresh ingredients, and unique cooking techniques, Chinese food is an absolute sensation that has captivated food lovers around the world.
From the spicy and aromatic Sichuan dishes to the delicate and elegant Cantonese dim sum, Chinese cuisine is bursting with variety and excitement.
And not only is it delicious, but Chinese food can also be a healthy and nutritious option, featuring plenty of lean proteins and fresh vegetables.
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious newcomer, Chinese food is a cuisine that is sure to impress and satisfy. So, dive in and explore the delicious world of Chinese cuisine!