Chinese Food with no Secrets
Discover the Secular Chinese Cuisine with our Complete Guide!
If you like Chinese food you will really like this article. We have selected the best step by step chinese food recipes for you to make at home.
But if you’re in a hurry and would rather order, check out our top list of restuarants best chinese food near me.
Enjoy your food!
Top Chinese Food Recipes
Most Popular Chinese Food Dishes
The following are the most popular dishes among foreigners and chinese population. These dishes are available in most large restaurants in China. So let’s explore the best chinese foods in common menu of chinese food:
The “Chow mein” is the Cantonese pronunciation of the Chinese characters above, which means stir-fried noodles. Generally speaking, this stir-fried dish consists of noodles, meat (usually chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork), onions and celery.
Kung Pao Chicken, also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a fried and spicy chinese tasty dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and red pepper. Learn how to make kung pao chicken recipe or see the Panda Express restaurant.
General Tso’s chicken or “sweet and sour chicken” is a sweet fried chicken dish that is served in Chinese American restaurants. The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang, a statesman and military leader of the Qing Dynasty, although there is no recorded connection with him, is the dish known in Hunan, Zuo’s native province. Learn how to make general tso chicken recipe or see restaurant.
Sweet and sour pork has a bright orange-red color, and a delicious sweet and sour taste.
At the very beginning there was only sweet and sour pork, but to meet demands, there have been some developments on this dish. Now, the pork can be substituted by other ingredients like chicken, beef or pork ribs. Learn how to make Sweet and Sour Pork recipe or see restaurants.
Ma po tofu is one of the most famous chinese tasty dishes in Chuan Cuisine with a history of more than 100 years. Ma describes a spicy and hot taste which comes from pepper powder, one kind of condiment usually used in Chuan Cuisine.
With a long history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings are a traditional food widely popular in North China. Dumplings consist of minced meat and chopped vegetables wrapped into a thin piece of dough skin.
Popular fillings are mince pork, diced shrimp, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, or frying. Dumplings are a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Learn how to make dumplings recipe or see restaurants.
Peking duck is a famous dish from Beijing, enjoying world fame, and considered as one of China’s national chinese tasty dishes.
Peking duck is savored for its thin and crispy skin. The Sliced Peking duck is often eaten with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, or soy with mashed garlic. It is a must-taste dish in Beijing! Learn how to make Peking Duck recipe or see restaurants.
of Chinese Cuisine
The history of Chinese foods dates back to about 5000 BCE. Over the vast period of time, Chinese people have advanced and mastered their own kind of system of preparing foods. Their ways of identifying ingredients to make perfect combinations, their multi-phased cooking techniques, administering multi-phased flavoring and all have been developed gradually.
The credit for such a delightful present day culinary with varieties of aroma and tastes goes to the ancient traditional Chinese food culture. Chinese people have always considered food as an art. Their emphasis has always been on the diverse culinary techniques ranging from the preparation to serving and appreciation of food.
Our guide explains what Chinese people eat. Some ingredients can be obtained at your local supermarket, while others can only be found at a Chinese/Asian supermarket.
This guide is just an attempt to put together the most of the popular traditional chinese foods. Let explore these chinese foods one by one:
Rice is a major staple food in China. It is mainly grown in southern China. Chinese people eat rice almost every day for meals. People also use rice to produce wine and beer. It is one of the most popular foods in China and is used in many dishes. One of the most popular dishes is Yangzhou fried rice. See rice dishes recipes.
Noodles are a basic staple food in China. Chinese people love noodles very much, especially in the north. Chinese noodles are generally made from wheat flour, rice flour, or mung bean starch.
Noodles are often served in soup, or stir-fried with meat, eggs, or vegetables. See chinese noodles dishes recipes.
Tofu, or bean curd, is a food of Chinese origin. It is made from soy milk, water, and a curdling agent.
Tofu contains little fat and is high in protein, calcium, and iron. It has been a staple of Chinese and Asian cuisine since ancient times, and has recently become a popular ingredient used in Western vegetarian dishes.
Chinese people basically eat all animals’ meat, such as pork, beef, mutton, chicken, duck, pigeon, as well as many others. Pork is the most commonly consumed meat, and it appears in almost every meal. It is so common that it can be used to mean both meat and pork.
Every part of the animal can be eaten, be it meat, skin, fat, blood, or entrails.
Chinese people rarely eat any raw meat. They prepare and cook meat in various ways. All meat can be boiled, stir-fried, stewed, roasted, poached, baked, or pickled.
China has a large consumption of eggs each year. People consume eggs laid by many types of poultry; the most common ones are chicken, ducks, geese, pigeons, and quails.
Eggs can be steamed, boiled in soup, or fried with vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, chives, green chilies, and green onions.
Food savvy Chinese people make lots of dishes with eggs. The most unique and famous ones are probably salted duck eggs and century eggs (preserved eggs) — both are produced and eaten all over China.
Chinese Food Vegetable Ingredients
Vegetables are, in general, the second most fundamental part of Chinese cuisine, after rice. Chinese people are fond of vegetables, especially leafy greens, and eat many different kinds at almost every meal. We sometimes preserve vegetables and eat them as snacks.
Listed below are some commonly used vegetables.
Leafy vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, and other dark leafy greens, are very common and can be found easily in supermarkets. They can be stir-fried with sauce and condiments, used raw in salads, or pickled.
Chinese eggplants are usually long with a purple skin. They are usually stir-fried with meat or stir-fried with garlic sauce. They can also be used in a salad with condiments, or pickled. One of the most famous Chinese eggplant dishes is braised eggplant.
Creamy white with a smooth skin, a raw white radish (daikon) tastes crispy and has a sweet, fresh flavor with a bit of a spicy bite. It is a good source of vitamin C. Chinese people prefer to use them in stir-fries, stewed in soup with meat, or pickled with sauce.
Mushrooms used in Chinese food include wood ears, golden needle mushrooms, shiitake (‘shii-tree mushrooms’), oyster mushrooms , and tea tree mushrooms . Chinese people often use mushrooms, fresh or dried, when cooking a hotpot or making some meat soup.
Chinese people use onion in a wide variety of dishes, especially in stir-fries. It can be stir-fried alone as a dish, or stir-fried with pork or other meat like beef or mutton.
Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, soybean sprouts can be eaten raw in salads, and are also popular in stir-fried dishes.
String beans are also known as green beans. They are usually stir-fried with pork, or dry fried until the skin turns brown.
Carrots are a popular vegetable for Chinese people. They are widely used in many dishes, especially in the preparation of salad.
Bamboo shoots that are fresh, dried, or canned are very popular as an addition to stir-fries. They are used in numerous chinese dishes and broths.
Chinese Ingredients Used for Flavor and Seasoning
The most common Chinese food ingredient used as a spice for seasoning. It is usually used along with garlic in stir-fried dishes, when making soup, or in a dipping sauce.
It is often used to season cooking oil along with ginger. It is used throughout Chinese cooking.
Green or red, fresh or dried, they are usually added to dishes as a seasoning to improve the taste, or used to make chili and other sauces.
Often used as a garnish, or added to stir-fries in a wok.
A popular herb with a strong flavor, it is used as garnish, or used to make a dipping sauce.
Soy Sauce – Dark Soy and Light Soy
Although they may look similar, distinguishing between dark and light soy sauce is an important step to achieving the perfect balance of flavours in chinese dishes.
Is thicker and aged for longer than light, giving it a greater depth of flavour. It’s also a little less salty, aided by the addition of caramel or molasses.
In turn, is less full-bodied but has a saltier kick. Chinese recipes often include a combination of both sauces to create a more rounded flavour.
Hong Mui Prawn Crackers
These cook-at-home prawn crackers are not only reasonably priced, they’re also fun to cook – drop them into hot oil and watch them expand.
Perfect in marinades and sauces, these are packed with the numbing spice that plays on your tastebuds. Be careful not to use too many – the prickly sensation lasts a while on the palate.
Cooking as a Chinese
Most Popular Chinese Cooking Methods
Chinese cooking is renowned throughout the world. Chinese food has a distinctive culinary style all of its own. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal ingredients, prepared with a minimum amount of fuss and beautifully balanced as far as color, texture, and presentation are concerned.
There are several cooking methods. All seek to preserve the flavor and nutrients. Each of the techniques is briefly described below.
Stir-frying is the classic Chinese cooking method. Stir-frying is quick and easy, tasty and flavorful.
Cooking Utensils Used
The cooking utensils are a wok and wok spatula. Stir-frying is typically done on a gas stove, although an electric stove can be used if preheated to a high heat.
Ingredients That Can be Cooked in This Way
Stir-frying typically uses a combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and tofu. All ingredients are thinly sliced or cubed. The meat or seafood is marinated using soy sauce, salt, and other seasonings.
Steps for Stir-Frying
1. All ingredients should be ready prior to heating up the wok. (The food to be cooked should be finely sliced or shredded into similar sized pieces using a very sharp knife or Chinese cleaver.)
2. When the wok is hot, a small amount of oil is added.
3. The meat or seafood is quickly stirred and turned until semi-cooked. It is then removed from the wok and set to one side.
4. More oil is added to the wok, if necessary. The vegetables and/or tofu are added and quickly stir-fried.
5. The meat or seafood is added back midway through cooking, the seasonings are adjusted if necessary, and the dish is stirred until done. It should be served immediately.
Deep-frying is used to produce crisp-textured food. It is usually used to fry a variety of meats and vegetables in oil heated to a high temperature.
Cooking Utensils Used
Deep-frying is done with a deep saucepan or a deep fryer, a Chinese scoop strainer (used to contain foods in a deep fryer and to strain foods when removed from the oil), and long chopsticks.
Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. It is considered to be the healthiest cooking technique.
Steaming can make chinese tasty dishes taste more fresh and delicious. It can retain various nutrients in the food and reduce nutrient loss to a large extent. Therefore, it is widely used for cooking a variety of ingredients.
Cooking Utensils Used
Chinese people steam food by using bamboo steamers, which can be stacked one on top of the other, allowing several kinds of foods to be cooked at once, thus saving time and fuel.
Dishes requiring the most cooking time are placed on the bottom layer near the boiling water, while those requiring less are placed on the top layer. The water should be kept at a slow boil until the food is done.
Famous Steamed chinese tasty dishes
Red Stewing or Red-Cooking
Red stewing is a unique Chinese cooking technique, used primarily for cooking a tougher cut of meat or poultry.
The food is cooked very slowly over a low flame. Meat is usually browned first, then large quantities of soy sauce, sugar, wine or sherry, ginger, five-spice powder, chili powder, cilantro, and other seasonings are added, together with water or broth.
It may take up to several hours before the meat is done to the desired tenderness. The finished product can be served hot or cold. The sauce is rich and dark brown; hence the descriptive name “red stewing”.
Famous Red-Cooked Chinese Tasty Dishes
The most famous examples of red-cooking are red-cooked spare ribs and red-cooked fish.
Cooking Utensils Used
For red-cooking you need a stew pot, or a slow cooker.
Boiling is considered to be the simplest among all the Chinese cooking techniques. This method of cooking is quicker than other techniques and it preserves the color, texture, shape, and nutrients of the food.
Ingredients are washed and cut first, then plunged into boiling water or broth. When they are fully cooked, they are drained immediately, and then they are served with seasonings, or finished using other cooking techniques.
Boiling is mainly used for cooking small-sized and soft ingredients. For example, vegetables and vegetable soup can be cooked this way.
Famous Boiled Chinese Tasty Dishes
Two good examples of boiled food are Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, and tomato and egg soup.
Cooking Utensils Used
The cooking utensils used for boiling are a wok, long chopsticks, and a Chinese scoop strainer.
Many Chinese foods like chicken, duck, a whole sheep, a sheep’s leg, and a whole pig can be cooked in this way.
Usually, meat is prepared (cleaned, seasoned, and basted with cooking oil) then hung above a fire or placed in a very hot oven. The meat must be seared so that the skin tastes crispy.
When the meat has been roasted, it is then chopped, arranged artfully on a platter, and served with a sauce made from the meat drippings.
One of the most famous roasted chinese tasty dishes is Peking duck.
Cooking Utensil Used
If you want to cook food by roasting it, you’ll need an oven.
Braising involves adding ingredients, spices, seasonings, and a small amount of water or broth to a wok or a saucepan, boiling everything together initially at a high temperature, and then simmering it at a lower temperature for a long time (usually one hour or more).
The ingredients are usually cut into large-sized cubes or diamonds. Using this technique, all of the food is cooked thoroughly.
Famous Braised Chinese Tasty Dishes
The most famous braised dishes in China include braised chicken with mushrooms and braised beef with potatoes.
Cooking Utensils Used
If you want to cook food by braising it, you need a wok, saucepan, or stew pot.
Health Benefits of Chinese Food
Learn about the health benefits of Chinese ingredients
Ginger has a long tradition of use in Eastern medicine; it’s long been used to soothe nausea and enhance appetite. Newer research has showed that ginger may calm morning sickness and quell pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Pungent garlic has been used in folk medicine to soothe respiratory ailments. It has a number of demonstrated health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and risk of atherosclerosis and certain cancers, plus it has antifungal properties.
Tiny though they are, sesame seeds are bursting with minerals, including copper, manganese, calcium and iron, as well as a healthy dose of fiber. Sesame chicken gets an update from the Food Network Kitchens in this Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas.
Tofu is a great way to get vegetarian protein in your diet. It’s also an excellent source of bone-building managanese and calcium (look for calcium-set tofu—the kind usually packed in water—for the highest calcium levels).
Mushrooms give a satisfying umami flavor to foods and make a great replacement for some or all of the meat in some chinese tasty dishes, helping you to cut calories and preserve flavor. Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of energy-producing B vitamins and copper and immune-supporting selenium.
This member of the cabbage family is high in immunity-boosting vitamins A and C.
Chinese 5-Spice Powder
Chinese 5 spice contains spices that have been used to fight infection (star anise), lower blood glucose (cinnamon), soothe upset stomach (fennel seed and cinnamon).
Steaming fish is one of the healthiest ways to eat fish—it adds no extra fat and also keeps fish moist. It’s a great way to get a lean, healthy protein on your plate. Try this Asian Steamed Fish Asian Steamed Fish.
Healthy Choices for
Chinese Food Delivery
Whether you’re burning the midnight oil at the office or can’t muster enough energy to whip up a quick dinner at home, Chinese takeout is just a few Seamless clicks away.
The problem is most chinese tasty dishes are loaded with artery-clogging oils and sugary sauces—not to mention a flavor enhancer called monosodium glutamate (MSG), which can spike your hunger.
The average Chinese takeout dish can easily pack in more than a day’s worth of calories, fat, and sodium. For example, a serving of orange chicken from Panda Express will cost you 490 calories and a whopping 820 milligrams of sodium—and that’s not counting the fried rice and egg rolls.
So what can you do to slim down your order and ensure you’re getting a balanced meal? We asked Keri Glassman, MS, RDN, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life, to break down the best and worst Chinese food options out there. Here are her tips for navigating the takeout menu.
How to order healthy chinese food
Protein and produce is best! “Stick to ordering simple meals like meat and veggies. Order sauces on the side to control the amount that is put on the food and ask for extra veggies,” says Glassman.
Most chinese tasty dishes have skyrocketing amounts of sodium—like sweet and sour chicken and fried wontons—so if you know you’re ordering in for dinner, eat less sodium throughout the day. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,3000 milligrams of sodium a day with an ideal limit of 1,500 milligrams. Be sure to also drink plenty of water with your meal to help reduce the salt onslaught.
The healthiest chinese food delivery options
Skip this: Egg rolls
Order this: Shrimp spring rolls
How to order healthy chinese food – Order this is Shrimp spring rolls
Egg rolls might pack some veggies, but it’s not enough to forgive the processed meats and deep-fried shell—plus the sweet dipping sauce. Instead, Glassman suggests ordering shrimp spring rolls made with rice paper wrappers. They’re often filled with carrots, lettuce, and bean sprouts, making a low-calorie and nutrient-dense side. “Eat your food as is when it arrives and avoid soy or hoisin sauce,” Glassman says. These sauces tack on unnecessary calories and can hike up your daily sodium count.
Skip this: Pork dumplings
Order this: Steamed vegetable dumplings
These doughy pot stickers are usually small orders, but their calorie and sodium counts say otherwise. Take, P.F. Chang’s four-piece pork dumplings. Just a serving has 330 calories and 720 milligrams of sodium—that’s enough for a meal, not an appetizer. Plus, it’s not just the deep-fried dough that’s the issue. The fillings call for a variety of ground meat, including pork, beef, and chicken, that’s been doused in everything from sesame oil to oyster sauce.
A better pick is to go for steamed veggie dumplings, which have bok choy, red pepper, garlic, mushrooms, scallions, and fresh ginger. Consider splitting the dish with your significant other or a friend, so you can save your calories for the main dish.
Skip this: General Tso’s chicken
Order this: Honey garlic chicken
Ever wonder what makes General Tso’s chicken addictive? It’s a mysterious combination of cornstarch, orange juice, and rice vinegar, and sugar—the recipe for a diabetic coma. To get your salty, sweet fix, Glassman says an order of honey garlic chicken is the way to go. It’s slightly healthier with fewer additional calorie-laden sauces.
Skip this: Beef and broccoli
Order this: Shrimp with brown rice and veggies
A simple order of beef and broccoli might seem like a good choice, but the salty black bean sauce alone might be a day’s worth of sodium. P.F. Chang’s beef and broccoli dish, for instance, has 770 calories, 33 grams of fat, and 2,110 milligrams of sodium. Oh, and 33 grams of sugar. Yikes!
For a healthier alternative, Glassman recommends ordering shrimp with veggies and brown rice (instead of white or fried rice) and having the black bean sauce on the side. “Add one to two tablespoons of the black bean sauce to the shrimp in a mixing bowl. You’ll see you really don’t need much more than this to get the same flavor,” she says. “You get lean protein from the shrimp and lots of antioxidants, fiber, and even a bit of water from the veggies.”
Skip this: Chicken lo mein
Order this: Chicken chop suey
While it’s tasty and super filling, a cup of chicken lo mein can easily cost you a 1,000 calories of refined carbs, unhealthy oils, and blood sugar-raising sauces. Glassman says chicken chop suey is a much safer bet because it includes plenty of stir-fried veggies that’ll keep you satiated. “Order brown rice and portion out a few tablespoons into the veggies and chicken versus the veggies and protein sitting on top of a plate of rice,” Glassman adds.
Most Popular Street Foods in China
Street food is an important part of Chinese eating culture. The strange and delicious foods are hidden away in narrow streets and sometimes look unclean. But street food is a good way for people to relax and satisfy the taste buds. If you are a street food lover and relish the experience of new food tastes, read on to see what the popular street foods are in China.
Deep-Fried Dough Sticks — great with soy milk
- Chinese name: 油条 yóutiáo /yoh-tyaow/ ‘oil strip(s)’
- Taste: a little salty
- Main ingredients: wheat flour, soda
- Average price: 1 yuan
Golden deep-fried dough sticks look very inviting, and they are a popular food for breakfast in China. They look like bread sticks, but have a puffier texture.
The perfect matches for this food are soy milk and rice or bean porridge. At small eateries, you can see people holding deep-fried dough sticks in one hand and a porridge spoon in the other, taking mouthfuls of each in turn. Some people like to dip their youtiao in a bowl of soy milk. At some places, you can even see people eating dough sticks with soup or noodles.
Steamed Buns — instant warm food
- Chinese name: 包子 bāozī /baow-dzuh/’wrap(s)’
- Taste: savory/sweet stuffing
- Main ingredients: flour, pork/vegetables/ sweet bean paste
- Average price: 1 yuan
Steamed buns are a common food in China. You can see the mat restaurants or street stalls. They are a popular food for breakfast too.
The cook steams the buns in a big steamer, or in several small bamboo steamers. The stuffing is usually savory, like meat or vegetable. But there are also sweet fillings like red bean paste, custard, and sugary black sesame seed. Tell the vendor which kind of stuffing you want, and he/she will pick the right one for you from the steamers.
“Chinese Hamburgers” — almost a meal
- Chinese name: 肉夹馍 ròujiāmó /roh-jyaa-mor/ ‘meat sandwich bun’
- Taste: savory stuffing
- Main ingredients: flour, pork/mutton
- Average price: 5 yuan
Roujiamo is vaguely like a hamburger as the meat is put inside a flatbread. It is more popular in northwest China, and north China, including Xi’an.
Preparation: The pork/mutton is stewed with several spices and smells really good. Tell the cook whether you like lean meat or fatty and he/she will pick the meat from the pot and chop it up with some vegetables.
Serving: A slit is cut in the side of the naan, and the chopped meat is placed inside. Before handing it to you, the cook will put some gravy on the stuffing to make the stuffing juicier.
Street Crepe— interesting and quick
- Chinese name: 煎饼馃子 jiānbǐng guǒzī /jyen-bing gwor-dzuh/ ‘pancake cake’
- Taste: savory sauces
- Main ingredients: mung bean flour, wheat flour, green onion, egg, fermented flour sauces
- Average price: 5–10 yuan — You can add other ingredients in it for extra cost, like sausage and bacon.
The street crepe is popular among northern Chinese. The cook only needs a small stall to carry the ingredients and hot plate. These simple stalls always attract many street food lovers.
It’s very interesting to see the seller making this street food. The hawker spoons and spreads the batter on the heated flat iron plate, adds an egg, some fresh vegetables, etc. on the batter skin, turns it over, brushes on your choice of savory sauce, and finally rolls it up and puts it in a little bag. You only need to wait 2 minutes for it.
Street Barbecue— now most common
- Chinese name: 烧烤 shāokǎo /shaoww-kaoww/ ‘barbecue’
- Taste: savory/spicy
- Popular ingredients: lamb, chicken wings, squid, oyster, corn
- Average price: 3–5 yuan for a skewer
Street barbecue now is the most common street food. You can see it nearly in every city in China, especially in the snack streets. Sometimes whole roadsides are devoted to a row of tented shaokao stalls.
The stall: The meat and vegetables are skewered on a small stick and displayed raw so that you can pick what you want to eat.
Preparation: The peddler barbecues the skewer on a long grill with heated charcoal, producing a delightful aroma. Sauce is brushed on and cumin etc. is sprinkled to taste. Tell the purveyor how spicy you want it.
Food in Spicy Boiled Water — warming winter food
- Chinese name: 麻辣烫 Málàtàng /maa-laa-taang/’numbing spicy broth’
- Taste: savory and spicy soup
- Main ingredients: various vegetables, meatballs, tofu, noodles….
- Average price: 1–3 yuan for a skewer
Malatang is spicy and hot, and it is very popular in winter. The food is skewered up like for street barbeque, but it is cooked in boiling spicy broth.
The stall: The food is displayed in a glass case or just in front of the stall.
Preparation: Pick what you want and the retailer will boil it in the broth. After the food is done, the skewer (or noodles) will be served in a paper bowl. You can make a meal of vegetables, meat balls, and noodles for about 10 yuan.
Stinky Tofu — an acquired taste!
- Chinese name: 臭豆腐 chòu dòufu /choh doh-foo/ ‘stinking bean curd’
- Taste: savory and spicy sauces
- Main ingredients: fermented soybean curd
- Average price: 4 yuan for five 3cm stinky tofu cubes
Stinky tofu is very unique among street food. Some people can’t get past its smell, as its rancid spicy stench can be stomach turning. It’s an acquired taste, like blue cheese. Many reject it at first, but when they have a bite, they fall in love with stinky tofu.
The stall: The vendor has a small wok with plenty of hot oil to deep-fry the stinky tofu in. It’s served in a paper bowl. The brown sauce is usually spicy and salty, and it’s supplemented wonderfully with chopped green onion and parsley.
Chicken and Duck Feet — uniquely Chinese
- Chinese name: 鸡爪鸭爪 jīzhuǎyāzhuǎ /jee-jwaa yaa-jwaa/’chicken claw duck claw’
- Taste: savory and spicy
- Main ingredients: chicken/duck feet, pepper
- Average price: 40 yuan per kilo(about 3 yuan per foot)
You may wonder why Chinese eat chickens’ and ducks ‘feet. Reasons range from wastage reduction, to an appreciation for the texture, to myths about health benefits. It is a typical Chinese street food that you will rarely find in other countries.
The flavor can be pickled chili, barbeque sauce, salted, or fried, but always spicy.
How it’s served: The feet are typically displayed behind a glass window. There may also be some steamed/boiled lotus roots or potatoes on offer too. This is a cold dish and in some restaurants they can be served as an appetizer.
Cold Rice Noodles — popular in summer
- Chinese name: 凉皮 Liángpí /lyang-pee/ ‘cool skin’
- Taste: salty, spicy sauces; a little sour
- Main ingredients: rice flour
- Average price: 5–8 yuan
Cold rice noodles are very popular in summer, but can also be served heated in winter. The smooth taste and spicy sauce will whet your appetite.
Preparation: The vendor cuts a big rice flour sheet into thin strips, which look like transparent ribbons. They are stirred in a big bowl with spicy sauces and other side chinese tasty dishes like bean sprouts, soy sauce, shredded cucumber, and fried peanuts. If you don’t like spicy food, you can ask the seller not to add chili sauce.
Sugarcoated Haws— Chinese toffee apples
- Chinese name: 糖葫芦 tánghúlu /taang-hoo-loo/ ‘sugar bottle gourd’
- Taste: sweet (and sour)
- Main ingredients: haws or fruits like apples, strawberries, pineapples, grapes, oranges, or kiwi fruits; syrup made from rock candy
- Average price: 3–7 yuan per skewer
Sugarcoated haws are a traditional Chinese food, loved by kids in China. The fruits are skewered on a stick and dipped in sugary syrup, and can look very beautiful. When sour fruit is covered by the sweet crisp coating, you can have a sweet and sour experience with each bite.
The “stall”: Sugarcoated “haws” skewers are usually stuck in a straw “head”, fixed on a pole held by the vendor. Or in some snack streets, they just display them in a glass case. This snack has developed from being just haws to any fresh fruits, like apples, strawberries, or oranges.
Street Food Tips
There are many more delicious street foods waiting for you to discover. But before you eat street food, please mind the following tips.
- Don’t eat too many different street foods at one time, if your stomach is not used to them, to prevent indigestion.
- Pay attention to all the ingredients of each food, and avoid those you have allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities to.
- Don’t eat street barbecue if the food is not well-done.
- Keep the streets clean, and help the vendor, by putting disposable bowls, chopsticks, etc. in a trashcan after you finish eating.
Some stalls are not healthy or hygienic. See if the proprietor has a health certificate or license for selling street food if possible. Be especially wary of street barbeque, malatang, stinky tofu, and chicken and duck claws.
Most Popular Chinese Desserts
Desserts in China are quite different from in the West. The best Chinese desserts are red bean buns, dragon’s beard candy, egg tarts, candied fruit, pumpkin pancakes, sweet egg buns, deep fried durians, sweet soup balls, almond jelly, and grass jelly.
When you’re out at dinner in China, there is no such thing as “different courses”, and even “dessert” dishes you have ordered will turn up whenever they’re ready. This is fine in China since you will be sharing all the dishes anyway.
Red Bean Bun
- Chinese: 豆沙包 dòu shā bāo /doe shaa bough/
One of the main ingredients in sweet snacks and desserts is red bean. hough this may sound unfamiliar, red bean paste and red bean fillings are delicious. You’ll certainly encounter this filling when in China, generally when you’re expecting chocolate (due to the similarity in color).
Red bean buns are the popular sweet version of the baozi, or steamed bun, consisting of a steamed bun filled with red bean paste. These buns are the most popular way of presenting red bean paste. The buns come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and are popular throughout the entire country, but especially popular in the North of China.
You can get them in a restaurant, steamed, in different shapes as shown above, or you can get them in the supermarket for on the go. There are also various variations of this bun with different fillings, think pine nut kernel paste, taro paste, or even black bean paste.
Dragon’s Beard Candy
- Chinese: 龙须酥 lóng xū sū /long sshyoo soo/
Dragon’s Beard Candy is not only a type of Chinese candy, but it is also considered a traditional art as it originates in the Han Dynasty. It is similar to candy floss as it is made of spun sugar, and is very sticky. It melts easily, and becomes even stickier, when it is exposed to high temperatures. This food is generally sold by the side of the road, or at stalls near popular tourist destinations.
- Chinese: 蛋挞 dàn tà /dan taa/
The egg tarts were first introduced to Mainland China via Macau, by Portugese colonizers. It is basically a little custard tart, with a hard and sweet crust. They are best eaten warm, and usually found in Cantonese-style restaurants. They are so popular that some shops specialize in them (generally hole-in-the-wall shops), and many convenience stores sell them too, pre-warmed. These are easy to pick up while sightseeing.
Tanghulu — Candied Fruit on A Stick
- Chinese: 糖葫芦 táng hú lu /tung hoo loo/
Tanghulu, the “Chinese toffee apple” is an old Beijing-style snack consisting of a skewer with crabapples dipped in liquid sugar and dried. Common varieties, especially at food markets and China’s popular food streets, include other fruits coated in sugar, such as kiwi or grapes. These are most authentically bought from carts by the side of the street, and in Beijing they are hard to escape at common tourist sites.
- Chinese: 南瓜饼 nán guā bǐng /nan gwaa bing /
Pumpkin pancakes are easily described: they are deep fried pumpkin pancakes consisting mainly of pumpkin, sugar, and flour. They are very popular in winter, and are some of the sweetest things around in China. In fact, they may be too sweet if you aren’t a big fan. In some cases, the pumpkin pancakes are covered in roasted sesame seeds for extra taste and texture.
They are available in most Sichuan-style restaurants, as this is where they originate from, but they are so popular that many big restaurants serve them.
Sweet Egg Bun
- Chinese: 奶黄包 nǎi huáng bāo /neye hwung baoww/
Another Southern Chinese favorite, the sweet egg bun consists of a warm bun filled with a mix of egg yolk and sugar. Although this may sound odd, these buns are highly popular and definitely worth a try. They are commonly found at Cantonese restaurants, and are perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Deep Fried Durian
- Chinese: 榴莲酥 liú lián sū /lyoh lyen soo/
Durian, Asia’s most infamous fruit, is also popular in China. Although infamous for its strong and bad smell, the fleshy fruit tastes good and is very popular. Many Chinese restaurants sell it as a desert, with a slight deep fried batter crust. The perfect dessert for anyone wanting to step out of their comfort zone. Also makes for the perfect story with friends at home.
This dessert is more common in summer, as this is when the durian is in season. Tip: do not touch it with your bare hands as you will have trouble getting the smell off your hands.
Tangyuan — Sweet Soup Balls
- Chinese: 汤圆 tāng yuán /tung-ywen/
Tangyuan is a warm soup that originates in Sichuan cuisine and is a staple food on any Sichuanese restaurant’s menu. It is sweet and filled with fermented rice and sticky rice balls. Sometimes, because of the fermented rice, the soup can be a little bit alcoholic and taste like Southern Chinese mijiu, or rice wine. This soup is usually eaten at large family meals because of its name, which is similar to the phrase for ‘family reunion’ (tuanyuan twan-wyen 团圆).
Tangyuan is a traditional food eaten during the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, the first night in the lunar calendar to see a full moon, which the round rice balls are symbolic of.
- Chinese: 杏仁冻 xìng rén dòng /sshing rnn dong/
Almond jelly is a cream colored jelly with a soft consistency commonly eaten in across the country from Beijing to Hong Kong, and the South of China. The name is somewhat misleading, as the dessert is generally made using apricot kernel, which is soaked and grounded with water. The milk is then extracted, and a gelling substance is added. This dish is available in most Chinese restaurants.
- Chinese: 烧仙草 shāo xiān cǎo /shaoww sshyen tsaoww/
Another type of jelly commonly eaten for dessert is grass jelly. Grass jelly is not only famous in China, but is also a popular food in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is made using boiled ‘fairy grass’ (仙草 i.e. mesona chinensis, a type of mint) and adding starch and a baking salt. Grass jelly can be eaten in many different forms, either as jelly, in drinks, or mixed with condensed milk, the latter being commonly available in Chinese restaurants.
Chinese Breads and Pastry
Have you tried a chinese food? and the Chinese bread?
Most Chinese pastry is steamed rather than baked. Thick wooden covers that serve as heat insulators are placed over the mouth of the boiling pot. Where the chinese food is to be steamed, a circular wooden frame like a small barrel six or eight inches deep is placed over the stove opening.
Ovens in Chinese kitchens are hard to come by–because Chinese cuisine gets along fine without ‘em. All the cooking can be done on a stove top: frying, braising, boiling, and steaming.
The chinese bread has an usual texture, yes? This soft, gummy, chewy bread is bizarrely fluffy, intriguingly addictive, and has even been scientifically studied. And the source of this texture is called a tangzhong starter.
The tangzhong starter is also sometimes called a “roux starter,” which basically means that instead of the traditional bread-baking process (mix together flour, water, salt, yeast; knead it, let it rise), you add an extra step in, where you heat flour and water in a saucepan and whisk them together until they form a paste.
Once it cools, you add it to the rest of the ingredients, and your little roux works its magic. It’s called gelatinization, and is fascinating process.
The type of bread that uses tangzhong starter tends to be called Hokkaido Milk Bread, after a region in Japan known for its dairy products.
If you’re curious to try out this tasty, tasty bread, here’s a basic recipe.
Chinese Food Near Me
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If you are looking for Chinese food near me, we take the time to make your job easier.
Explore our list of top rated Chinese restaurants, according to the TripAdvisor and Yelp. The list is sorted by region and contain restaurant name, phone number, address and website so you can order online. We selected only the bests chinese restaurants.
Panda Express is the largest and fastest-growing Chinese food chain in the United States. Panda Express menu with prices 2019 and find a Panda Express near you or see all Panda Express locations.
Hakkasan combines world-class chinese food , especially cantonese cuisine with exotics drinks, and a sophisticated and luxurious facilities, prime locations and has movie and fashion celebrities among its top clients.
In addition to the restaurant network there are also the Hakkasan Nightclub with a totally VIP list.
Chinese Foods Stores Near Me Guide:
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