Chinese cuisine has become one of the most popular cuisines in the world. As Chinese food went global, different countries adapted the food to suit their own flavors and created several versions of it. While all of these variations have a unique taste, nothing can beat the authentic versions of these traditional dishes.
Here are some of the best traditional Chinese recipes that you must try to get a taste of what authentic Chinese food actually is:
1. Peking Duck (also known as Beijing Duck)
Beijing Duck is one of the most popular traditional Chinese recipes and can be found in the menus of most Chinese restaurants in the world. But the quality of the dish comes nowhere close to what it actually is in the place it belongs to – the city of Beijing.
It is a unique recipe with the duck skin being served with sugar along with sides of fresh vegetables like cucumber, spring onions, and a variety of sauces. The best thing about the dish is that everyone can add their own unique twist to it. You can add a side-dish of your own choice to make it more appealing to you and you will hardly ever be disappointed. The duck skin is prepared so brilliantly that it just melts into your mouth and fills it with the flavors of all the other ingredients mixed with its own.
2. Hot Pot
Hot Pot is another brilliant Traditional Chinese recipe that can be adapted by everyone to suit their tastes. It is the best thing you can have on a chilly winter night. While there are a lot of versions of the hot pot within China itself, the best is surely the Chongqing Hotpot that includes a lot of chilies and is quite spicy.
You can have a different version of Hot Pot in almost every restaurant because one can use any sauce, spice, herb or meat to prepare this dish. It’s almost like a dish where you just mix in ingredients that go well together and then enjoy the beautiful taste of all those ingredients complimenting each other. The authentic version is also a very healthy meal as it largely consists of proteins. Chinese hot pot is one of the best Chinese dishes you should try. Here you will find a complete recipe for this.
3. Hong Shao Rou
While the previous two recipes are everyone’s to own, the Hong Shao Rou has a much more particular recipe that needs to be followed while preparation. It’s a Chinese name that directly translates into ‘Red Braised Pork Belly.’
It is a flavourful dish that is cooked with the braising technique which leads the pork to be very tender and perfectly cooked, allowing all the flavor from the other ingredients like ginger, chili peppers, garlic, rice wine, sugar, and soy sauce to be absorbed into it. Though it requires a lot of time to cook, as braising takes a couple of hours, the meal is so delicious that it’s all worth it. With every bite of the meat, you’ll be able to taste a hint of all the flavors in it.
You cannot talk about the most famous traditional Chinese recipes without the mention of Dumplings. It is one of the most eaten foods in China and is probably the most popular dish that has originated from China.
People all across the world have fallen in love with this dish and the best part is that you can make a dumpling with your own X-factor. You can steam, fry, or bake and stuff the dumplings with meat, fresh veggies, or cheese. There is just no limit to it. Even the dough can be made from several different ingredients – flour, potato, bread.
In China, dumplings are usually served with a dip that consists of soy sauce and some garlic. As steamed dumplings are the most traditional versions of the dish, you should definitely try them before you go for other variations.
5. Biang Biang Mian
Biang Biang Mian is a very popular dish in China. Not only because it tastes heavenly, but also because the symbol for it is so complex, that even many authentic Chinese restaurants don’t include it in the menu. Instead, they use pinyin for it.
It’s essentially a big bowl of noodles that is served along with other ingredients like eggs, meat, chopped vegetables, and much more. These ingredients form a layer over the noodles which are themselves over a layer of oily sauces. Before eating, you need to mix all the layers together and you will be able to eat a hearty meal that is extremely rich in flavor due to so many ingredients mixing well together.
6. Kung Pao Chicken
The Kung Pao Chicken is a must-have Chinese recipe. You won’t find a single Chinese restaurant that doesn’t have this dish on its menu. Not only in China, but this dish is extremely popular in other countries as well.
As it is native to the Sichuan province, it’s quite spicy and hot because of the Sichuan bell peppers that go into it. While there are several, non-spicy versions available, the authentic version is the best one. The recipe of the Kung Pao Chicken might seem a bit complex due to the flavors it has but it actually is quite simple, with only a few ingredients required to prepare it. Another popular variation of this dish includes pork instead of the chicken and is just as delicious.
7. Ma Po Tofu
Like many other popular traditional Chinese recipes, the Ma Po Tofu also originated in the Sichuan province of China. The dish consists of some unique flavors that make it appealing to the taste buds. The tofu is set in a thin and oily spicy sauce which is based on Douban (chili paste mixed with fermented broad bean) and douchi(fermented black beans).
It is served along with pork or chicken. There are some variations of the dish where it’s served with chopped vegetables or some other ingredients. The douban and douchi are what gives this dish its brilliant flavor.
Now that you know the must-have Chinese food list, what’s the wait worth for? Visit your nearest Chinese restaurant and make sure that you try at least one of these.