13 Traditional Chinese Foods to Try Before You Die
Egg rolls, crab rangoons, beef and broccoli, and fried rice are just a few of the dishes served at westernized Chinese restaurants like Panda Express. Packaged in little takeout boxes and served with crispy fortune cookies, they make for a quick, delicious weeknight meal. What if I were to tell you that these foods are not traditional?To get more news about China cuisine, you can visit shine news official website.
Though marketed as "Chinese food," these dishes are given a twist to appeal to the palates of westerners. Traditional Chinese food differs from American Chinese food, but in no way does that mean it's not as delicious. Though traditional Chinese food varies from region to region, here are 15 of the tastiest Chinese dishes I grew up eating.
1. Chinese Hamburger
While hamburgers may not be a staple of Chinese cuisine, this sandwich sure resembles one. These "burgers" are made of bread filled with flavorful stewed pork. They can be sold on streets or found in street vendors. Other variations of this dish include the use of chicken, lamb, or beef in Muslim-populated areas.
2. Tea Eggs
While they may look strange to you, Chinese tea eggs are often sold as a common snack on the street. Soaked in tea and spices, these eggs have a beautiful marble design when cracked open.
Warm, fluffy, steamed, and soft, baozi are steamed buns that are often filled with veggies and meat such as barbecue pork. Oftentimes, baozi are filled with sweet fillings such as red bean paste, lotus seed, or even custard.
4. Peking Duck
Peking duck's origin can be traced back to the imperial days of China, where it served to the Chinese Emperor during the Yuan Dynasty. This dish is thinly sliced duck with a crispy, crunchy exterior. Peking duck is typically served alongside onions, cucumbers, bean sauce, and pancakes.
5. Scallion Pancakes
While not your traditional sweet, buttermilk pancakes, these scallion pancakes are just as delicious. Con you bing are a street food made of dough and oil. While they're mainly filled with scallion, other varieties include the addition of sesame seeds or fennel.
6. Shrimp Dumpling Soup
Shrimp dumpling soup is a delicious, mild soup filled with wontons. The filling of these dumplings is similar to siu mai, as it contains pork and shrimp. This soup is usually accompanied by noodles, or eaten plain.
7. BiangBiang Noodles
Ditch the chow mein and try these biangbiang noodles instead. These noodles are thicker and fatter compared to chow mein and is very similar to chow fun in appearance. They are often served with garlic, onions, and beef or mutton.
Congee is a rice porridge dish that's often eaten for breakfast. It's usually eaten alongside meat, fish, salted duck eggs, or century eggs, and fried breadsticks called youtiao. Congee is the perfect dish when you're sick, or when the weather is chilly.
9. Char Siu
Recognized by its deep, bright red color, char siu is a barbecue pork dish. While it varies from place to place, the most common cuts of pork they use include pork loin, pork belly, and pork butt. Ingredients such as honey, five spice powder, red fermented bean curd, soy and hoisin sauce, are not only used to season it, but also give it that signature red color. It's sometimes used as a filling for baozi, eaten with noodles, or eaten alone.
10. Soup Dumplings (Xiaolong Bao)
Popularized by restaurants such as Din Tai Fung, soup dumplings a traditional Chinese food that most people are familiar with. These soup dumplings are often filled with pork and broth. When poked, flavorful, warm broth comes oozing out. While eating them is fun, I find that it's more fun to poke them and see all the broth ooze out.
11. Siu Mai
If you've ever eaten dim sum, you may have seen siu mai in one of the dumpling boxes. Originating in Mongolia, siu mai are often filled with pork, shrimp, and mushrooms. Depending on the season, other varieties like seafood, crab meat, pumpkin, and chives are served.
12. Sesame Balls
Crisp, delicious, sweet, and rolled in sesame seeds, these sesame balls make for a delicious afternoon snack or dessert. They're chewy and have a crispy exterior. Made with glutinous rice and filled with red beans, they're similar to custard-filled donut holes.
13. Nian gao
Nian gao, otherwise known as "year cake," is a sweet rice cake that is eaten at Chinese New Year. It's symbolized as being lucky to eat it at this time of year because nian gao is phonetically similar to "higher year." While normally sweet, there are certain savory versions of this delicious cake.