Food for the Chinese is a topic of intense discussion. When you meet your neighbor in the yard, be prepared to hear “Have you eaten yet?” instead of the usual “Hi”.
This article is a brief excursion into the world of cuisine that you will definitely like. It is with great pleasure (and saliva flowing) that I share the dishes that I have loved over the 9 years of my life in China. Here are the traditional delicacies of Beijing, and gifts from Shanxi, and gifts from Guangzhou piping hot. Hope you like them too!
1. Peking Duck Beijing kaya
All roads to China go through Beijing. Big tourist sin number 1 is not to visit the Chinese wall, and number 2 is not to try Peking duck. It is prepared without fail in the oven, baking to a golden crispy crust. In a good restaurant, the cook will take out the duck and cut it into small pieces right in front of your eyes.
The remaining bones and cartilage will be offered to you to fry or make soup.
Peking duck is served with thin flatbread, sweet sauce, cucumbers, garlic and sugar. Yes, yes, sugar! It is intended for duck skin. Dip it in sugar, put it in your mouth and enjoy!
2. Longboat chicken
A dish that all foreigners are crazy about without exception. Originally from Sichuan, Longboat chicken has “flew” far beyond the provinces, so you can easily find it in almost any region of China (unlike Peking duck, which you have to chase, for example).
Poultry fillet is cooked with peanuts or cashews, chili peppers, sesame paste and ginger. Despite the chili, the dish is not very spicy, but rather has a sweet spicy taste, and the chicken, by some Chinese magic, is very tender.
3. Jiaozi dumplings jiaozi
When you want to eat something more familiar, go to any dumpling shop and order small jiaozi – steamed or fried. In the north, dumplings are served with 醋 vinegar, and in the south with peanut sauce. I especially recommend the last one!
In small eateries, dumplings are traditionally served with minced pork and onions. Larger restaurants offer a wider selection of toppings. If you find yourself in a large dumpling shop, do not deny yourself the pleasure of trying jiaozi with shrimp.
4. Donkey meat cakes lore huǒshāo
You heard right! Donkey meat is boiled for a long time and stewed even longer with 20 different herbs, as a result, the meat becomes surprisingly tender, fragrant and completely lean. It is finely chopped and, together with vegetables, put in a crispy flatbread cut in half. It turns out a variation on the theme of a hamburger, only in Chinese.
Trying donkey cakes is not difficult if you are in the north of the country – in Beijing, Tenjin or Hebei province, where this hearty and inexpensive snack comes from.
If you are not ready for sharp experiments, when the fish is not visible under a thick layer of chili, start your gastronomic journey with steamed Cantonese fish.
It is usually served whole, do not be afraid of the bones and the head. It is not necessary to eat it whole, it will be enough to dig into it a little, to comply with etiquette 🙂
5. Yunnan noodles guòqiáo mixing
This is one of the most delicious variations on the noodle theme according to many Chinese and foreigners. It was in the province of Yunnan that they learned to cook it on a rich broth with many additional seasonings at the guest’s choice.
I love adding peanuts, pickled mushrooms, sesame seeds, cilantro, mint, and meat sauce. Noodles are not a delicacy, but the food of ordinary Chinese, so they are not expensive at all.
6. Roast lamb kayoing
Roasted sheep will be offered to you in Mongolian and Xinjiang restaurants. When gathering with a large company, be sure to take the whole lamb. It is surprisingly tender and juicy, with a crispy crust and fragrant seasonings.
Often, Mongolian restaurants are decorated in the form of yurts and offer guests a musical show with traditional numbers for an additional fee. You can eat a lamb and sing songs, you understand.
7. Fried rice chǎofàn
A very tasty national dish, which is prepared everywhere in its own way. Yes, it’s harmful, but you only live once, comrades! Rice is fried with eggs, onions, tomatoes, peas, carrots, meat, and indeed with any ingredients at the discretion of the cook.
8. Dissension dìsānxiān
A vegetable dish from the northeastern cuisine that our brother loved so much! Disincline means “three earthly treasures” in Chinese. The treasure-ingredients are truly earthy – eggplants, peppers and potatoes.
The dish turns out to be surprisingly satisfying, although it does not contain a single gram of meat!
9. Pork in sweet and sour sauce tangka Loji
I saved the best for last. Congratulations, you found a treasure chest, more precisely, with pork in sweet and sour sauce! About two thousand years ago, sugar and vinegar were used together in the preparation of river carp to mask the taste of silt. Over time, sweet and sour sauce gained its well-deserved popularity.
Practically, it turned out that it goes especially well with pork, pineapples, peppers and tomato paste. All ingredients are fried to a glossy caramel crust, causing uncontrollable salivation.
For today, perhaps, everything! No shock content, just really delicious Chinese food. Be sure to write if you liked something from my list? Would you like to go to China on a gastronomic tour?