Chinese people have a variety of cuisine because of their rich tropical weather and the geographic features that support agriculture; hence they have the best variety of foods.
Moreover, the Chinese have vast experience in culinary creations, and hence they pay quality attentions to their food; additionally, most of their food has symbolic meaning.
In this article, I have selected some of the best Chinese traditional and popular food.
Hence, before you fullfill those dreams of one day visiting the cities of China like Hong Kong and Beijing or Shanghai, maybe start familiarising yourself with their foods and learn to prepare them from home.
1. Chop suey
Chop suey is a traditional Chinese food that was invented in San Francisco during the gold rush period by the Chinese immigrants.
In essence, chop suey is simply a delicious stew comprised of beans sprout, chicken or pork, water chestnuts, onions, celery, bamboo shoots served with noodles or rice.
This meal can feed the entire family, and each family had its own familiar way of cooking this meal.
The best thing is to use fresh ingredients for this dish and not leftovers like it used to be cooked in the past.
You can cook this meal at home using this recipe guide.
2. Chow Mein
Chow Mein is a meal that consists of vegetables like cabbage or bok choy, meat, and a sauce. It is commonly served with stir-fried noodles making the dish have a succulent texture.
There are endless variations of this meal; hence you have a basket full to choose which type you need to cook depending on the availability of the ingredient.
Cooking chow Mein for a meal means using fewer pans and dishes hence saves you a lot of havoc during cleaning utensils it’s also a first way of preparing meals hence you can cook it during the busy night.
This traditional Chinese food has the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
You should make one using this link am sure you won’t have to go to the restaurant for takeouts.
3. Stinky tofu
Its smell alone is so overwhelming for the first experience, and You might wonder if the food is edible. People say it smells like socks or dirty garbage.
However, it is said to be the most popular food or snack in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, and you can get it from street food vendors, restaurants, and hawkers.
The traditional way of making it is by fermenting tofu by mixing it with fermented milk and a vegetable, fish-based brine, and meat. How it is served varies from regions in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
It is first deep-fried in vegetable based oil and serves with chill and soy sauce. You can click on this link to try making stinky tofu at home
More tofu dishes please find below:
- How To Make Fermented Tofu – Step By Step
- Home Style Tofu – Stir Fried Bean Curd
- Salty Or Sweet Douhua (Tofu Pudding)
- Stinky Tofu – The Healthy And Easy Way
- Pipa Tofu Recipe – Three Methods
- Authentic Mapo Tofu Recipe
- 29 Silken Tofu Recipes That Are Wonderful
- 25 Chinese Tofu Recipes (Authentic And Classic)
4. Fried rice
Cooking fried rice is an easy way to make sure you don’t discard your leftover rice. Regardless you can still make it using fresh ingredients.
The combination of ingredients in fried rice could be anything from proteins like chicken, shrimp, or pork to vegetables like carrots.
It is a complete meal that can be prepared any time, for two to three people.
This dish is widely accepted nowadays, that some non-Chinese restaurants also infuse them into their menus.
For the best result while making Chinese rice, use the best rice and rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch.
And if you want to learn how to make better-fried rice, you can follow this link for a detailed recipe.
This kind of rice porridge involves cooking jasmine rice in a lot of water and boiling it in low heat. People often cook this meal with dried seafood or pork bones to add an umami flavor.
You can serve to consume during any time of the day or even while one falls sick. In addition, you can use it for its ease of indigestion.
In Chinese cuisine, you find mixed congee, like congee with sliced fish or congee with egg and lean pork,seafood(Seafood Congee Recipe – Easy Way.)
Congee is the most delicious comfort food that you won’t have to use specialized equipment to make, and you can either use a pot or a rice cooker with a congee setting. You can use this recipe to kick start your congee experience if it’s the first time
6. Scallion pancakes
Scallion pancake is a dim sum pancake that is common in Chinese restaurants. The pancakes are delicately thin and crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside.
It is a simple dessert to make as you only require four ingredients: flour, salt, boiling water, and scallions. You can also add garlic powder for more flavors.
They are best served while hot and can be served with a combination of soy sauce and vinegar sauce or can as well be consumed alone.
You can learn how to make this easy scallion pancakes without a fuss. Remember, what makes the best scallion is its flakiness, thin and putting just enough scallion. Here is a recipe you might want to use while making the pancake scallion
7. Kung pao chicken
Kung pao chicken is a typical Chinese dish that is a favorite to many and Chinese takeout food. The best bit is that you can make it from home hence you don’t have to keep on ordering whenever you want it.
However, as we know from outside china, the dish is not authentic Sichuan as it has some westernized influence.
The real kung pao uses a dry stir fry, and the source used in making kung pao is intensely flavored. one you learn how to make this mouth-watering and addictive meal, you won’t have to crave the ones from the restaurants anymore, but you can make it at the comfort of your home.
You only need a guide, and I have it for you. Just click on this link to get you started
8. Mapo tofu
Mapo tofu is a classic Chinese dish from Sichuan province with loads of proteins but fewer chilies and oil; hence it is a very healthy meal.
It is comprised of soft tofu immersed in a bright red sauce with ground pork. The oily sauce awakens the spiciness and flavor of the food.
Although it is savory, thanks to the umami flavor, it has a silky creaminess that adds to the already soft tofu.
If this dish is new to you, don’t skip it am sure it’s Chinese comfort food that once you try making it will be your all-time favorite.
Here you will find the authentic ma po tofu just like the Sichuan dish. Follow this link for the recipe and more.
9. Scrambled eggs with tomatoes
Here is an opportunity for those who have never tried scrambled eggs with sticky sauce. Here is your chance to taste this Chinese delicacy.
First, the eggs are cooked with the steadiness of the wet curd removed from the pan and added later. Next, in the same pan, the tomatoes and scallions are sautéed together.
The broth and corn are then poured in and cooked until transparent, then cooked eggs are stirred in long enough to heat them.
This Chinese scrambled eggs are a popular meal in the homes of China and Taiwan, and it only takes 10 mins to prepare them.
In order to ake the best dish, you have to use tomatoes that are juicy and ripe. Timing is essential as soon as the scrambled egg is set. Please turn off the cooker to avoid overcooking it.
I find this recipe fascinating. Maybe you should peruse through and see if it interests you
10. Steamed fish head with diced red peppers
This is one of the dishes well known in Hunan. It presents a unique fresh test by combining fish and red pepper. It makes the fish tender as well.
It also has ginger onions and other seasonings steamed with it. Traditionally, you will find a big chopped head used for this recipe; however, you are not restricted to including the rest of the body.
In general, the steamed fish head with red chili is not the best option for a beginner of hot spice. If you have never tried this or if you are not a fan of hot chili, then do not ask to be served at the restaurant.
The good thing is you can cook at the comfort of your home using less spice though that might change its flavor but will be edible.
So here is a recipe for beginners.
11. Char Siu
When we mention char Siu it’s not always about the source but the end outcome. This barbeque source is applied to pork that is then hung on fork skewers while it is roasted.
The ingredients involve Chinese five-spice powder, Hoisin, sherry, hones soy sauce. This sauce is sweet and salty with a touch of Asian flavors. You can use the food coloring to give it the red hue coloring.
This Cantonese roasted pork is only notably delicious with an in-depth flavor that has sweet and salty contrast and the spice that compliments the pork.
You can serve this tantalizing dish with steamed rice and a balanced choy sum.
Here is a detailed recipe you might consider if you want to make the dish from home
This is popular street food, and you will most likely find it in Chinese families commonly used for breakfast.
This food is not difficult to make but can also be tricky to make it.
Baozi is made from a leavened dough that consists of dairy milk or soy, flour, sugar, and yeast. And they are typically exclusively steamed, with no pan-frying. This makes it soft, slightly chewy, and fluffy.
The baozi filling should be juicy, savory, and fragrant. There are a variety of these fillings that can be used. A good example is a pork.
You can enjoy this with friends and family, cook it in advance, and freeze the food to await the serving day.
Find a link to the recipe that you can use at home.
13. Chinese sticky rice with ribs
Sticky rice is considered a versatile food in china, and everyone enjoys this dish. Although they mostly they s their sticky rice with Chinese sausage in China, it is common in dim sum restaurants and equally easy to make at home.
The sticky rice has a slightly umami-rich sauce, sweetness, and savory combine together in perfection to make a completely delicious bite.
It’s easy to understand why the sticky rice is a crowd’s favorite because when you order the food in a restaurant, you are served a dish of sticky rice, Chinese sausage, chicken, and shiitake mushroom served in a little leafy wrapped parcel.
Here is a link to the recipe you can use at home and save yourself the trips to get this dish from the restaurant
14. Tou foo fah
This is a traditional Chinese food that is silky and smooth. It is made with soft tofu then served with a sweet syrup combined with Pandan or ginger.
It almost resembles yogurt, except for the sour taste. The dessert is made by coagulating soy milk with gypsum. Others that may be used in this context are the glucano delta lactone or nigari.
You can make this soy milk from home, but it’s pretty tedious, or buy the soy milk in the stores.
This dish is an excellent protein, calcium, and iron source and is especially good with vegetarians and vegans.
Here’s a link for your reference to the recipe.
15. Zha Jiang Mian
In Mandarin Chinese, the word Zha Jian Mian means fried sauce. Traditional Zha Jiang, mainly from Beijing and the surrounding northern neighbors, consists of two main sauces: sweet fermented wheat paste and fermented yellow soybean paste.
It consists of fried pork that is simmered in a dark thick, salty sauce, various vegetables, and freshly cooked noodles.
If you want to be creative with any dish, you have to learn the main components or principles of the dish that way. You can add any style or ingredients to take your dish to a higher notch.
In this case, you can try chicken or lamb if you are not a fan of pork, well tofu, and shiitake mushroom would be great for vegetarians .
This recipe will work if you have no options
16. Wonton soup
Wonton soup is a traditional Chinese soup derived from chicken broth and filled with wanton other meats substituted for the soup could be pork, ground turkey or chicken, and shrimp.
So if you are craving any Chinese food, this is the best recipe you can make that will make you forget about the restaurants.
Typically, wantons are simply dumplings but come in different shapes as they are either square or trapezoid and are thin, slippery, and supple.
They are popularly eaten as snacks or side dishes or meals. They can be found in the street as night market food restaurants or made at home, but they are also sold on amazon.
Here is the link for the recipe you can try at your home kitchen
17. Hot pot
Chinese hot pot is a warm comfort meal best eaten with a group for people could be friends, family or relatives hence a social food.
This is quite an exciting way of cooking Chinese meals out of the usual way since all foods are cooked in front of you at the table, sounds interesting. This dish is commonly eaten during fall or winter time.
This hot pot is a kind of dinner where people sit around a dining table. A hot, simmering soup pot sits at the center of the table with raw ingredients such as tofu, starches, seafood, meat, vegetables, and tofu thinly cut into pieces for easy cooking.
They can take the food from the pots using wire ladles and then flavor them with unique sauces or dipping.
Here is a link that I find interesting to use.
18. Soup dumpling
It is considered the most famous food to come out of the Jiangnan region of China and is often related to the city of shanghai hence the reason often most soups are often referred to as Shanghai soup.
It is a delicious dreamy snack which if you haven’t tested it by now, try it next you visit a dim sum restaurant.
You can order it or use the recipe below for cooking it from home.
This dish involves simply a thin wrapper filled with pork and immersed in hot flavored soup consisting of julienned ginger and Chinese black vinegar.
The fillings vary in particular, and the modernized ones have seafood, vegetarians, and meat food fillings.
You can make this food from home by following this link.
19. Chinese hamburger
Chinese-style hamburger is also known as rou jia mo, a Chinese translation for bread with braised meat. It has a savory and sweet flavor and is equally a comfort food primarily prepared in the streets.
This food originated from Shaanxi province. It uses pork belly to fill with cook wine, ginger sugar, and soy sauce, plus the street hamburger uses 20 spices.
The bread, also known as baijimo, is prepared with semifermented dough and provides a suitable chewy taste.
For best results in this recipe, cook the meat a day before to give it time to sock in all the flavors, then heat it before serving the next day. Store leftover burns in a zip lock bag to prevent them from drying and cracking.
I thought you could make use of this recipe link and make a delicious meal at home
20. Pecking duck
Pecking duck is named after Beijing; however, it originated from Nanjing, which is in Jiangsu, so when the imperial court migrated to Beijing, they brought this duck with them.
This duck was much praised by poets and scholars; hence it gained its majestic connotations to date also because of its lengthy preparation process.
This iconic Beijing dish consists of thin pieces of tender, roasted duck meat with a thin skin wrapped in crepe alongside other ingredients like sliced spring onions, hoisin sauce, and cucumbers.
The authentic way of preparing the duck is by using convection to simmer the meat or suspend the duck over the flame.
Here is a link for the recipe I recommend you use for a delicious meal
21. Lion Head
The lion head dish got its name because the rounded pork meatballs resemble a lion’s mane. The lion head is a Shanghai specialty.
As you know, the Shanghai people love to cook their food and braise it. The meatballs are lightly flavored either soy sauce wine, ginger, and green onion. It is lightly browned also to add to the color.
You can serve this meal with tender braised greens like Nappa cabbage or bok Choy and hot steamed rice or noodles.
These meatballs are a popular Chinese food, and you will almost find them in the streets and restaurants .
They are nicely tender inside while soft outside. I bet you can make this dish at home excellent and better than the ones from restaurant sing this link .
22. Stewed pork with brown sauce
This Shanghai-style braised pork is a popular dish and a gem in China and the Asian continent as a whole. It has the right flavor, but you are not restricted to adding more spice as you may wish.
However, there are different kinds of this recipe on the internet, so don’t get confused. Just pick what best suits your preference.
It is best served with noodles or rice. Each significant Chinese cuisine has varying ways of preparing the dish; hence, you find more than 20 ways of preparing the recipe.
Here is a recipe you would find easy to use, especially if you are a beginner. I hope you have fun making this delicacy.
23. Eggplant cooked in red sauce
The eggplant cooked in red sauce is easy to make a dish that can also be consumed by vegans and vegetarians, using them on recipes and ways to arrive at this tantalizing meal.
The sweetly fried garlic combines well with the soy sauce and ginger in the sauce
This is a famous Sichuan recipe generally served as a side dish or even a main dish if you want.
But you can also cook it from home, and to come up with the best version, instead of boiling the eggplant, you can stir fry it in a wok before adding it to other ingredients, you can also drain excess oil using a paper towel, follow this link for the recipe
24. Shredded pork with garlic sauce
It originated from the Sichuan cuisine and spread to the rest parts of china. In Chinese, this dish is typically known as Yun Xiang, which means fish fragrance.
However, the food does not use fish or seafood ingredients, and typically the name comes from the sauce that the vegetables and meat are mixed with for cooking.
You can use this link to find the recipe and additional information you need for the dish to turn out best.
24 Chinese Traditional And Popular Food
24 Chinese Traditional And Popular Food
- Chop suey
- Chow Mein
- Stinky tofu
- Fried rice
- Scallion pancakes
- Kung pao chicken
- Mapo tofu
- Scrambled eggs with tomatoes
- Steamed fish head with diced red peppers
- Char Siu
- Chinese sticky rice with ribs
- Tou foo fah
- Zha Jiang Mian
- Wonton soup
- Hot pot
- Soup dumpling
- Chinese hamburger
- Pecking duck
- Lion Head
- Stewed pork with brown sauce
- Eggplant cooked in red sauce
- Shredded pork with garlic sauce