When it comes to Chinese food, you likely first think of that Chinese buffet down the road from your house that you just cannot get enough of…
For me, I have several of those. I have a Chinese drive-thru I love, a buffet, just a traditional restaurant, and the list goes on.
Chinese food is just out of this world…
First, the beef and broccoli. Then, the fried rice. And, of course, that sweet and sour chicken is just to die for, am I right?
But, not all traditional Asian dishes are exactly like the Chinese food you likely eat in your hometown. Traditional Chinese food varies slightly – but, don’t worry about the flavor because they still keep that around.
In China, there are several tourist attractions but their delicious food still continues to attract an abundance of guests. The culture has a long history with unique features and numerous styles of exquisite cooking. In fact, their cuisine is one of the most important parts of their culture.
So, rather you are looking to travel to China for a holiday vacation, for an internship, or for an opportunity to work abroad – the food is something you just can’t miss. While you are there, make sure you check out these 7 delicious dishes:
This is my personal favorite – can you really go wrong with filled dough? I would say absolutely not. It has been customary for people in China to eat wontons on the winter solstice since Tang Dynasty.
Wontons are similar to Italian tortellini. The dough is first filled with minced pork or diced shrimp. Then, they are commonly boiled and served either deep-fried or in soup.
Aside from wontons, dumplings might just take the cake for one of the best dishes in China – and, they are definitely one of those that you just can’t miss out on trying. With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings are a traditional food and are widely popular in North China.
Similar to the wontons, dumplings are filled with minced pork, beef, ground chicken, diced shrimp and vegetables. Then, they can be cooked in a variety of ways: boiled, fried, or steamed.
The thin piece of dough crisps up nicely on the outside but still remains tender and juicy on the inside thanks to the meat and vegetables.
- Peking Roasted Duck
If you are looking for a delicious, succulent, and just overall decadent piece of meat – look no further than China’s Peking roasted duck. Considered as one of the country’s national dishes, Peking duck is known for its thin and crispy skin.
Traditionally, it is enjoyed alongside sweet bean sauce, pancakes, or soy with mashed garlic.
Just give it a try – it is melt in your mouth good! After all, it is one of China’s tastiest dishes.
If you are really looking for the most authentic experience, try enjoying your Pecking duck wrapped in a pancake with cucumbers, hoisin sauce, and scallions.
- Gong Bao Chicken
The major ingredients in this popular dish include dried chili, fried peanuts, and diced chicken. It is flavorful, filling, and just all-around a must-try.
The vegetables give it a great color while the dried chili really adds a kick!
- Yu Xiang Rou Si
Are you still looking for something that offers a little bit more of a kick? Well, for all you heat lovers out there – this dish is for you.
This unique dish features shredded pork doused in hot garlic sauce with sautéed vegetables such as peppers and mushrooms. It will offer some spice, while still being packed with flavor.
- Dongpo Pork
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best option. And, with this dish, you can experience the true goodness of simplicity and the powerful flavor that such a seemingly plain dish can offer.
Named after a well-known poet, painter, and statesman from China, Su Dongpo, the Dongpo pork dish is just pan-fried pork belly. The thick-cut and pan-fried pork belly feature both lean and fat meat that have been braised as well.
It is elegant, simple, and flavorful as you taste the sweetness and saltiness of the pork itself.
- La Zi Ji
Even though there is already one spicy dish on the list, I had to end our list of must-try items with a bang, right? If you are looking for a flavorful dish that will leave your mouth on fire, I have just the thing for you.
La zi ji is composed of diced chicken breast with chili, sesame, and peppercorn. The peppers add great flavor and still pack the heat.
Of course, there are several other mouth-watering dishes that await you in China – these are just a few of the ones you must try when you visit.
From spicy to simple – there is something that should please just about everyone’s palate. So, what do you think you will try first?
— David Smith