In this intro to the broad range of authentic Chinese foods, we’ll cover the top food categories with the popular dishes to try for each one, plus, their Chinese names so you can order with ease.
Everything you wanted to know about Chinese dumplings including the different types, how to make authentic Chinese dumplings, filling recipes, dipping sauces, and more.
This guide will provide an easy to digest intro to China’s famous cuisines with dish suggestions. I truly believe that the more knowledge you have about the local cuisine, the more rewarding your food experiences in China will surely be.
In this guide, I am going to introduce a legendary part of Cantonese cuisine and culture that is dim sum, yum cha, and zao cha. Including all the top dim sum dishes you need to be trying, plus their Chinese names and pics for easy ordering at any dim sum restaurant near you.
Here is a list of super delicious dishes in China that can be found in most cities and that visitors to China will love at first bite.
For the new visitor, Chinese cuisine can seem a little intimidating and even altogether scary when not well understood, it can take a little while to adapt and for some, it may be a bridge too far. Dishes such as fried duck head (鸭头), fertilized eggs (活珠子), pigs blood jelly (血豆腐), or even steamed chicken feet (豉汁蒸凤爪) may turn off many a new visitors stomach. But, don’t fear, there are plenty of foreigner-friendly foods to start your China journey with.
Here is a list of the top ten snack streets and its no coincidence that they are also near to major scenic areas. Also fascinating is that many of them have been famed destinations of the Chī huò (foodie) for centuries.
Let’s take a deep dive into the world of Chinese tea and explore types of tea with popular varieties, growing regions, selection, brewing, and wrap up with a little bit of culture.
Many people consider bread as a new product into the Chinese food culture but, actually, it has a history almost as long as the nation itself. Grinding grains into flour dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) when mills were introduced from foreign countries via the Silk Road. It is touted that the mantou came into being during this time.
Here's a one-page visual guide to some of the most common Chinese vegetables. Best thing is they are delicious and highly nutritious. With big pics, English - Pinyin & Chinese, you can easily track down your favorites in the market and try some new things.
This simple dish is a real favorite of mine and a staple of the Cantonese breakfast scene. Take an early morning wander along the streets anywhere from Hong Kong to way out past Guangzhou and you wont be able to miss it.
Here is something YOU SHOULD try, when your Chinese friends take you to a beef hot pot restaurant, get ready for all kinds of offal and intestine, they love the stuff. And to be honest, it’s well worth trying and with the different sauces and condiments, it’s delicious, but some bits are a tad chewy… The restaurants in the city center or malls mostly use packaged or frozen goods, but, if your lucky, you can track down the odd place that butchers on site with a carcass delivered fresh every night. Unmissable experience, but vegetable hot pots are probably still the one for me.
Carrying a few extra pounds, I’m bypassing the local dim-sum restaurant and went on the hunt for local solutions for weight loss and here’s what I come up with.
Roast meat, Siu Mei, is a popular item in Cantonese cuisine. Stalls like this are common place in market areas, featuring roast duck, char siu pork and other styles. This shop also features Qingyuan style chicken (the yellow chickens)
a farmers market in Guangdong. Locals love fresh produce and will shop daily.
There’s not much that goes to waste around these parts, and that includes Chickens feet, not just spared out of thrift though, they’re a wildly popular snack and delicacy. You can find them at street food stalls, convenience stores, supermarkets and for a real treat, my favorite is Cantonese style chickens feet that you find at dian xin (dim sum) restaurant.
Supermarkets in China can be an eye-opening experience, I remember going to buy some chicken when I first moved here and, lo and behold, there was live chickens, pulled from the cage, beheaded and plucked before your eyes, it. Talk about fresh. Walmart is fairly tame, in comparison to the more traditional supermarkets, of which I’ll add some photos up in future posts.
Claypot Noodles (罐罐面) are a popular meal in my local area, but there certainly not to be found everywhere, as I’d never really noticed them before. Just recently tried them out at a local sidewalk restaurant the other day, it’s a very popular place at lunch times and at night right through till 11 and I can see why. They serve a variety of these clay pot noodles, the one I tried was a pork bone noodle soup which tasty and a revitalizing kind of feeling, a bit like a really good chicken soup.
Sichuan (or Szechwan/Szechuan) Cuisine is wildly popular, but UNLESS, you have a real penchant for spicy food it might not be the first place to start your culinary adventures. I mean real spicy. Once you have been here a while you’ll probably grow more and more accustomed to spicy food and really start to love Sichuan Cuisine.
[translated from people.cn] Goji Berry(枸杞), also known as Wolfberry, according to traditional Chinese medicine, has tonifying the liver and kidney and nourishing blood for improving eyesight, anti-aging rejuvenation and other effects. Modern medical research found that Goji also has liver and functional in preventing fatty liver. Goji contains an active ingredient theophylline, it is effective in the treatment of liver disease. Pharmacological experiments have shown that theophylline may inhibit the deposition of fat in the liver cells and promote regeneration of liver cells.
A popular snack you’ll find at Hong Kong tea restaurants is the local version of french toast.. the middle is filled with peanut butter, coated in egg batter then fried. Goes well with milk tea, which is another local speciality featuring a strong brew of black tea with condensed milk..
A guide to some of the snacks and meals that are popular with the locals, and where to get them
[NOTE: this has translated from wechat and its a little imperfect, but I put here as a guide for food lovers looking for a genuine ‘local’ Hong Kong food experience.]
Number 1: Chengdu
I will never forget Chengdu, my first food experience there was the famous spicy hotpot, my mouth and lips were on fire from the red soup of chiller and peppers! In 2010, Chengdu was designated the “Capital of the World’s Gourmet Food” by UNESCO, and renowned for hot pot cooking, spicy bean curd and Kung Pao chicken.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the popular local snacks foods you’ll see on your travels around China (excuse the translations, will get to correcting the dish names):
At first I was a little reluctant, I am sure you understand, but as I watched everyone else sticking there toothpicks into the platter of crunchy bugs, I thought, well, when in Rome.
Here’s a rough guide to fruits you are likely to come across in your travels around China including there seasons. The Chinese name for fruit is Shuǐguǒ ( 水果).
China has nearly 900 species of wild mushroom, more than 50 of which are in commercial cultivation. Mushrooms are used widely in both cooking and in traditional medicine. They are sold fresh and dried.
One of the best things after a late night arrival into an unknown city is to wake up and find an awesome breakfast awaiting. So, when travelling what can you expect in a Chinese hotel, and how is the breakfast, well, here’s a guide.
Lots of tasty things, thats what! Theres a little bakery at the bottom of the Maple Leaf Nanshan hotel which I often visit to grab some lunch, the staff are friendly and the food is tasty. Even better is how amazingly cheap it is!
Kempinski is a European luxury hotel chain and they have a hotel in Nanshan District of Shenzhen, and it’s one of the citys leading 5 star hotels. I haven’t had the pleasure of staying except to say that its in a great spot close to the new Coastal City Shopping Center which features a mix of retail shops, luxury brand retail shopping and many restaurants.
After a relaxing massage at Jiafu Fudao, Rebecca took me a great place to enjoy one of Sichuan’s famous dishes, the Hot Pot. While Hot Pots are available in most places across China, apparently the Chengdu Sichuan version is something unique!