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China: traditional food

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Chinese are very proud of their traditional cuisine. It has been an important part of their culture for years. The color, aroma, rich taste, appearance, and even meaning behind these traditional Chinese dishes make them very appealing to try.

There are numerous provinces with different traditional Chinese dishes. In this article, we will introduce you to the most traditional dishes across all of China. You will be able to find these in almost all major restaurants across the country.


Chinese hotpot is a popular traditional dish in China. It is also known as Chinese fondue. The idea of this traditional dish is that you can dip any of the ingredients provided into a simmering broth served in a metal pot. Usually, you can get both – meat and vegetables to dip in the broth and enjoy them.

This traditional dish used to be favored mostly in winter as means of getting warm, but now it has become popular all year round. The main reason behind its popularity is that you can choose your own flavors of the dish, it is a great opportunity to socialize, and it is considered a healthy meal.


Sichuan pork

This is a specialty of the famous Sichuan cuisine. The main ingredient of this traditional dish is spicy slices of pork. The slices are submerged in a spicy broth. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients like vegetables or seeds can be added.

To avoid overcooking the pork, it is boiled in water in a special way. First, the meat gets covered with egg-white mixed with starch. This method prevents the meat from becoming dry and as a result, the meal is extremely juicy.



The Chinese have been favoring dumplings for more than 1800 years. In a traditional Chinese home, this dish gets served on New Year’s eve. This traditional dish is made from thin dough skin and filling.

three white dimsum on brown bowl

Minced meat and chopped vegetables in different variations are the most common choice of filling but there might be different variations available. Dumplings can be either boiled, steamed, or fried.


Braised pork balls in gravy

This traditional dish is also known as the lion’s head. Lightly cooked and then stewed for a while, these pork balls are almost addictive. The smooth, flavorful gravy poured over hot, soft pork balls will amaze your taste buds leaving you with a desire for more. Depending on the specific recipe, you might get served these with rice or on their own.


Chow Mein

Chow Mein is a traditional Chinese dish that is known and served all over the world. However, only rarely it is possible to replicate the richness of this dish.

The quality of these stir-fried noodles comes down to a great sauce. Usually, the sauce is made from the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch to make it thicker. The ingredients used to create this amazing dish are noodles, meat, onions, and celery.


Peking roasted duck

The Peking duck dish originated in Beijing and has become world-famous for its incredible taste. Chinese people have mastered the skill of preparing this traditional Chinese dish since the imperial era.

Peking roasted duck is best characterized by its thin, crisp skin. Usually, you will get to see how the ready duck meal is sliced right in front of you. It is commonly served with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, or soy.


Steamed vermicelli rolls

You simply can’t leave China without trying out this snack-like traditional Chinese dish. Usually served as part of dim sum – snack dish served with tea – steamed vermicelli rolls are an excellent choice for those who enjoy variety in their meal. Basically, these are rice starch sheets rolled with various fillings in them.

The most common choices for the filling vary from meat to vegetables. The rolls get their traditional flavor by steaming and adding a simple sauce like soy sauce, cooked peanut oil, or similar.


Spring rolls

There is a good chance you have already tried something called spring rolls. Nowadays, they get served almost in any country you can imagine. However, the true flavor of this dish can be guaranteed only in China.

brown bread on white ceramic plate

Spring rolls are fried, crispy pancakes stuffed with various fillings. The type of filling can vary from sweet to sour depending on your choice. Traditionally, spring rolls were eaten to mark the beginning of spring.


Fried rice

This traditional Chinese dish can be surprisingly good considering its simplicity. First, the rice gets boiled to perfection. Depending on the recipe, the rice then gets mixed with fresh scallions, minced meat, or other similar ingredients. To get the perfect texture and flavor, the mix gets scrambled with eggs on a hot pan.



China is a vast country with a rich culture and even richer cuisine. Depending on where you will be staying, the local cuisine can get very distinct. From fried meat to various dishes stuffed with fillings, the Chinese have mastered the skill of cooking for ages.

So no matter where you go, try to get the most of your experience by trying out the local cuisine as well.

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