Food In China
Food plays a very important role in Chinese culture because it is closely linked to both traditional festivals and social events. Chinese food uses a variety of ingredients, sourced from different parts of the country. Chinese cuisine is also well-known for the richness of its dishes. Furthermore, some typical dishes are said to have therapeutic properties, so sometimes Chinese food is also used to alleviate ailments and diseases in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Although one of their most popular dishes is rice, Chinese cuisine also includes noodles, soups and an extensive variety of meats and vegetables. As for their sweets, the best known are fortune cookies, which entertain diners with their hidden proverbs.
The influence of Chinese cuisine on other Asian cuisines is more than evident. In addition, the emigration of many Chinese communities to America, Europe and Oceania has resulted in the popularity of Chinese food throughout the world.
Typical dishes of China
Chicken Gong Bao
This traditional dish is one of the spiciest in Chinese cuisine. It is made up of small pieces of chicken, served with stir-fried vegetables, peanuts or cashews, chilli peppers and Sichuan peppers. One of the most popular foods in China.
Chow Mein is a traditional Chinese noodle dish, with thick wheat noodles. It is usually served in a bowl and can be accompanied by a variety of ingredients. The most common variation is with beef or chicken, as well as cabbage and vegetables. However, there are also seafood and fish versions. There is a Cantonese version that includes different types of meat, crunchy noodles, peas, bamboo and prawns. They are often seasoned with soy sauce to intensify the flavour and it is a popular Chinese street food dish.
One of the most popular dishes in China, you will find Dim Sum everywhere, from street stalls to shops and restaurants. Depending on where you buy it, dim sum can be sweet and filled with fruits; or savoury and stuffed with vegetables, meat or seafood. Its texture is fluffy and the Chinese usually consume them as a snack before lunch or in the mid-afternoon. Dim Sum is certainly one of the more widely recognised traditional Chinese foods.
Fortune cookies are a global symbol of Chinese cuisine. They are characterized by their sweet and crunchy dough, with a paper message hidden inside. It is usually a proverb or a prophecy. The variety of phrases is enormous, so you might never receive the same message twice. In fact, Fortune Cookies are one of the most widely exported Chinese products!
Jiaozi are typical Chinese dumplings, made from soft dough and filled with minced meat and vegetables. They are usually boiled, although in some places they are fried so that the edge of the dough is somewhat crispy. Its horn shape symbolizes good luck in Chinese culture, so they are usually served on Chinese New Year. The jiaozi is accompanied by a bowl of soy sauce to give them a more intense flavour.
These pastries acquire their name as they are usually served at the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is determined by the phases of the moon! Usually round or rectangle in shape, they are usually consumed in the afternoon, as a snack, and accompanied by green tea. Ingredients used in traditional moon cakes are dried lotus seeds, vegetable oil, duck egg yolks and caramelized sugar.
This dish is consumed throughout China and is considered a national dish, one of the most famous traditional Chinese foods. Containing crispy duck meat, its dark colour is due to the rich plum sauce which covers the duck and gives it its characteristic flavour. The duck is cooked in the oven so that its exterior is crunchy and served cut into thin slices. Due to its popularity, this dish can be found in most Chinese restaurants.
This dish is not exclusive to China but is consumed throughout Asia, especially in the Southeast. White rice, when boiled, acquires a sticky texture. It is usually accompanied by different types of vegetables, bamboo shoots, meat and eggs. Flavourings are also added. A Chinese breakfast dish, sticky rice is also given to sick people, since the ginger in the recipe is said to improve indigestion.
Won Ton Soup
Won Ton is pieces of white dough made from wheat flour that are usually stuffed with minced meat, onion, prawns, ginger and soy. The name, which means to ‘swallow the clouds’, refers to the strange shape. They are consumed accompanied by broth, fine noodles, onions and prawns. Won Ton soup can be found throughout the country, in both restaurants and Chinese street food stalls.
Zongzi is one of the most traditional dishes in China and is usually served during the Dragon Boat Festival. It consists of a bamboo leaf roll filled with sticky rice, small pieces of meat and sweet beans. The parcels are usually steamed or boiled. Zongzi are usually cylindrical shaped. Zongzi is a popular food in China and can be found throughout the country.