Food has a special meaning to the Chinese people. The "waste not, want not" ethos means that a surprising range and variety of plants and animals, and every part of a plant or animal is used. This has given rise to a remarkable diversity in regional cuisine, but to Westerners it can be overwhelming - surprising, fantastic, delicious, horrifying or disgusting - but above all, different.
China's Regional Cuisines
China can be divided into many geographical areas, and each area has a distinct style of cooking. The ingredients used in the food are based on the natural agricultural products of the region.
In Northern China, for example, wheat is eaten more than rice as a staple food. Food using wheat as its main ingredient, such as noodles and dumplings is prevalent there. China's Southern cuisine uses far more rice, with such staples as rice noodles and zongzi - sticky rice wrapped in leaves. Southern food, is typically more spicy, and many minorities eat chilies every day.
We have selected China's Top Food Cities to cover a range of China's foods and destinations that are most popular with foreign travelers. Read more
Eight Distinguished Regional Cuisines
Other Chinese Regional Cuisines
Click here to see a map clearly showing Chinese regional cuisines' distribution.
Major Chinese Food
Chinese New Year Food
Chinese New Year Foods are very important to Chinese people. All family members come together to eat at this time. Chinese New Year foods are not only delicious but it is traditional to eat certain foods over this festival. Chinese Dumplings, Fish, Spring Rolls, Nian Gao are usually seen as delicious and eaten at this time.
Chinese Vegetarian Food
Most Chinese vegetarians are Buddhists, following the Buddhist teachings about minimizing suffering. In addition, many Yoga enthusiasts in China are vegetarians or vegans. Nowadays, in order to keep healthy and fit, more and more Chinese people who are not vegetarians or vegans, tend to eat vegetarian food from time to time.
Chinese Medicinal Food
Medicinal food is food with the function of dietetic therapy, which is made by taking medicine and food as materials and processing them through cooking. It is the product of the combination of Chinese traditional medical knowledge and cooking experience.
8 Popular Chinese Dishes
China is abundant in tourism sources. Delicious foods are indispensable in a good tour. With long history, unique features, numerous styles and exquisite cooking, Chinese Cuisine is one important part of Chinese culture. Chinese dishes are famous for color, aroma, taste, meaning and look.
5 Most Unbelievable Chinese Foods
Chinese pride themselves on eating a wide range of foods, and Chinese cuisine often has an interesting history. This article lists five unique Chinese foods, which you can taste when traveling in China.
Halal Food in China
Chinese halal food blendes the original Middle East flavors with traditional Chinese dishes, creating its own style. Small muslim restaurants can be found in almost every city and town all over the country.
Chinese Cooking Methods
Chinese cooking is renowned throughout the world. Chinese food has a distinctive culinary style all its own. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal ingredients, prepared with a minimum of fuss and beautifully balanced as far as color, texture and presentation. There are several cooking techniques. All seek to preserve flavor and nutrients. Each of the technique is briefly described below. Read more
Many dishes that are part of the daily life of Chinese people are easy to cook. Mapo Tofu, or for example, Egg Fried Rice take only minutes to cook. Others, such as Dumplings (Jiaozi) Stuffed with Leek and Pork, Saozi Noodles and Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs, take longer, but still consist of only a few simple steps. Many of the ingredients are readily available at local supermarkets, while others may require a trip to a Chinese/Asian supermarket or the use of a substitute.
Here are some easy DIY recipe ideas. Even if you are new to Chinese cooking, you can cook fine Chinese food by following the recipes.
- Saozi Noodle
- Mapo Tofu
- Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
- Fried Rice with Egg
Chinese Food Types
"The Chinese eat everything with four legs, except tables, and everything that flies — except airplanes". Find out about some of the unique dishes of a nation who are willing to eat just about anything. Wild animals, household pets, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, insects, fish and birds, you name it — if they can find a tasty way to prepare it, the Chinese will eat it with gusto.
Note: China Highlights does not support the eating of protected species or cruelty to animals. Neither do we recommend eating at or visiting restaurants (e.g. wild game restaurants, dog restaurants ...) that you might find unpleasant or disturbing. Read more
Chinese Food Culture
Chinese people love to eat and China boasts one of the world's greatest cuisines. During the long development of Chinese eating culture, many practices have evolved that foreign visitors may find quite different from what they are used to and even consider weird.
China is a country with a long history of ritual and etiquette, and eating is highly important feature of China's culture, so naturally dining etiquette has developed to a high degree. Dining etiquette is said to have its beginnings in the Zhou Dynasty (1045-256 BC). Through thousands of years of evolution it has developed into a set of generally accepted dining rituals and practices. Read more