Top 10 “Must Taste” Chinese Dishes
Chinese food is considered the biggest cultural exchange between China and other countries. The cuisine is known for its aromatic flavors, colors, appearance, and the variety of its regional ingredients. Food has a special meaning to the Chinese people and with thousands of years of history, the dishes are remarkably diverse. Chinese cuisines form a paramount part of the Chinese culture and an indispensable attraction in any tour.
When you travel to China, you must sample some of the best Chinese food dishes if not all of them. Since it is pretty hard for you to eat all the Chinese food in the world, below are the top ten must-taste Chinese dishes. The sampling is a mixture of both traditional Chinese food and some modern-fusion; better known as American-Chinese food. These dishes are readily available in most of the restaurants in China.
1.Sweet and Sour Pork
This is the closest you can get to American-Chinese take away and just like the title; it is both sweet and sour with a bright orange-red color. This is one of the classic dishes of the Han people who make up to 90% of Chinese. It’s included in Shandong, Cantonese, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisine. The most popular is Shandong cuisine. Usually, it’s prepared from the tenderloin of the pork together with eggs, tomato paste, and coriander. It is very rich in proteins and has trace elements of phosphorous and niacin. It also has hemoglobin which can help with anemia hence it highly favored by the Chinese people.
2. Chow Mein
This is a rich source of nutrition with so many health benefits including improving immunity, digestion, and anemia. This stir-fried noodle dish is extremely popular in China and the whole world. It comes in several varieties, however, but the Cantonese Chow mein is the most famous in the Western countries. This dish is made up of meat (chicken, beef, pork or shrimp), noodles, celery, and onions. It is usually stirred with brown and glossy soy sauce. This dish is served as a specific dish at Westernized Chinese restaurants and to obtain the beautiful golden yellow noodles, most of the restaurants in China cook it by deep-frying the noodles.
It is now considered one of China’s National Foods and its enjoying the world fame for its stunning presentation and impeccably sweat taste. It is quite famous in restaurants around Beijing, and as people will tell you when you go to Beijing, the two things you must do is see the Great Wall and eat Peking Duck. The Peking duck is adored by many for its thin, crispy skin and its aromatic and delectable meat. It’s one of the best Chinese foods to order.
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Its preparation is an art, and most of the restaurants in China have their duck farms since they use only a specific type of duck to prepare it. It is highly popular among foreigners including the foreign leaders and celebrities, for instance, the US former Secretary of State, Dr. Kissinger is extremely fond of the Perking duck. It is accompanied with pancakes and onions.
4. Won Ton Soup
This is called Hun Dun in Mandarin, and it’s traditional regional pasta of the Han nationality. It has been a custom for the Chinese people to eat Wontons since the Tang Dynasty during the winter solstice. It originated from Northern China, and they are usually boiled and served in soup, although others do deep-fry them. They come in different shapes, but the most popular are the triangular ones. Wonton soup is made from onions, pork, vegetables, shrimp and the wonton paper. It’s quite similar to dumplings although it’s served in soup.
This is a widely popular Chinese meal that originated from North China and it’s almost 1800 years old after being invented by one of Chinese greatest physicians, Zhang Zhongjing. During the Spring Festivals, most families do get-togethers and enjoy dumpling parties. It is made up of chopped vegetables and minced meat wrapped in a thin piece of dough. Dumplings are quite popular in western countries and can never be missed in any traditional Chinese food recipes. It can be prepared by frying, baking, steaming, boiling or simmering.
There are several dumpling stuffings including pork, beef, carrots, cabbage, and onions. They are a traditional meal that must be prepared on New Year’s Eve, especially among northerners.
6. Ma Po Tofu
Known as spicy Tofu in English, its one of the most famous dishes from Sichuan Cuisines and has a history of over 100 years. It has a trademark spicy and hot taste which comes from the pepper and characteristically tongue-numbing nature of Sichuan’s flavorful foods. It is enriched with green chopped onions and ground beef and served in restaurants all over China and around the world, especially Korea and Japan.
7. Egg-fried rice
This originated from China’s ancient regions, but it has now become a part of the Chinese people’s daily cuisines. It is known for its soft textures, beautiful presentation, aromatic smell, and can be easily found anywhere in China, be it a high-end hotel or a family-run street restaurant. It might sound easy to make but some key pointers are to remember to use leftover rice and before frying the rice you must churn it up.
8. Spring Rolls
They are part of the Cantonese cuisines, are cylindrical in Shape and are used as appetizers. They are made from flour, vegetable, pork, and oil and are eaten either when fried or while still fresh. Mostly eaten during the Spring Festivals in China hence its name. Since it resembles gold bars, people tend to believe they represent wealth. They are quite popular in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and areas south of the Yangtze River. It is one of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes.
9. Gong Bao Chicken
This is the most common dish from the Guizhou cuisine and quite popular among both foreigners and Chinese. Kung Pao Chicken was named after a late Qing Dynasty official, Din