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Chinese Food You Have to Try

The Chinese food that you will eat at your local Chinese restaurant is not actually what the Chinese eat. It is an Americanized version of their every-day food. The dishes are quite different, and cater to American tastes. The ingredients in American-Chinese food are also very different than the ingredients found in traditional Chinese food, as many of the ingredients are replaced by things that are found in America, rather than those grown in China. Some examples of this are: American broccoli, carrots, and onions are very different than the Chinese broccoli, carrots, and onions. But traditional Chinese food is delicious. It is a shame that we do not have it more abundantly in the States. Here is a list of ten delicious dishes that you must try if you ever visit China.


While the dumplings here in the states are probably the most similar to dumplings in China, they are different on the mainland. Here, we call them “potstickers.” In China, there are three different preparation methods: frying, boiling, and steaming. Here in America, we tend to only do the first method of preparation. There are purse shaped dumplings and crescent-shaped dumplings. If you are lucky, you can find a restaurant that serves the dumplings in a peanut sauce that is to die for!

Kung Pao Chicken, or Gong Bao Chicken

While you can sometimes find Kung Pao Chicken at some restaurants in the states, it is easily found in China, especially in Beijing. It is a slightly spicy, slightly sweet, slightly sour stir fry that is succulent. The most important (and often left out) ingredient is the Sichuan peppercorn. It is what adds the specific kick that is unique to this dish.

Peking Roasted Duck

Another dish from Beijing is the Peking Roasted Duck. It is a rich and often spicy dish that is sold in both fancy restaurants and on the street. The dish is traditionally roasted in the oven after it is seasoned and boiled. When finished, it is a rich red color with a crispy skin and tender meat. It is then sliced into over 100 thin flakes, and served with plum sauce.


A delicious dish that is slowly making its way to America is the roasted hot pot. A pot full of broth is divided in two and placed on a burner on the table. Each half of the pot has a different flavor broth. Around the hot pot are different thin slices of raw meats, noodles, and vegetables that you dip into the pot to cook. Popular meats are beef, chicken, lamb, and pork. With chopsticks, you dip the meat or noodle into the hot pot and allow it to sizzle until it is fully cooked.


Lamian are a type of noodle commonly referred to as “Muslim Noodles” by expatriates in China. These delicious hand pulled noodles are a traditional dish of the Islamic people in China. The noodles are hand pulled into long, delicious ropes, and then cut up and thrown into a boiling pot of water. It is served with anything, lamb, chicken, pork, cilantro, and other vegetables, etc. It is served alongside a small bowl of broth.

Tanghulu or Bingtanghulu - Candied fruit

Nearly every street corner has a vendor selling the delicious candied fruit. Fruits such as strawberries, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, Chinese hawthorn, blueberries, bananas, grapes, and kiwi are skewered with a bamboo stick and coated in a sugar coating. Traditional Tanghulu is made from the Chinese hawthorn.

Egg Custard Tart

Egg tarts are found not only in China, but in Portugal and England as well. It is a tasty pastry that is composed of a breaded “cup” filled with a yellow egg custard. It is much like mini quiches in other countries.

Chrysanthemum Tea

You probably have tried Oolong tea, black tea and green tea, but have you tried chrysanthemum tea? Chrysanthemum tea is made by steeping the chrysanthemum flower in a pot of boiling water, and then drinking it like any other tea. It apparently helps alleviate colds, improve cardiovascular health, improve eyesight, and treat heat rash.

Mantou - Chinese Steamed Buns

Mantou is a delicious steamed bun that looks like a pillow. The dough rises three times during the recipe, which gives it its light, airy fluff. It is then rolled flat, then rolled into a snake, and cut into two inch long chunks. The buns are steamed for about 15 minutes over boiling water. The recipe is simple: milk, water, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, yeast and oil. It is typically served with sweetened condensed milk.

Also, if you’re visiting China, make sure to understand the recent devaluation of the yuan..


Healthy Cook Recipes