Many dishes that are part of the daily life of Chinese people are easy to cook. Mapo tofu or egg fried rice take just minutes to cook. Other dishes, such as noodles or 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. Below are some easy recipe ideas to try at home. Even if you are new to Chinese cooking, you can cook fine Chinese food using these recipes.
Fried rice is eaten as a staple dish. It is served in most Chinese restaurants and even at some snack stands. Fried rice is made from rice with many other ingredients that you can choose to suit your preferences, such as pork, beef, chicken, egg, or vegetables.
It saves wastage and can be made easily from leftovers. Just use what's left in the rice cooker (even if it has gone a bit hard), chop up some vegetables (and meat), and stir-fry together for a few minutes.
The most popular fried rice in China is Yangzhou fried rice. Get the Recipe>>>
Mapo tofu, a traditional Sichuan dish, is one of the most famous Chinese dishes and enjoys a high level of popularity around the world. It is a dish that is made from bean curd, usually with chilies, and bean paste.
Both vegetarian and meat versions of the dish can be cooked.
It is very easy to cook. You can make it at home by frying meat or vegetables with the bean sauce and chili powder (this can be omitted if you do not like spicy flavors), then adding water and boiling the sauce. Add fresh tofu and cook for several minutes.
In Chinese culture, uncut long noodles — symbolizing longevity — are considered to be one of the lucky foods that play a prominent role in Chinese New Year celebrations or in birthday celebrations.
Noodles are easy to serve. They can be eaten as a staple food or as fast food.
There are various ways to cook noodles but none of them are difficult and they simply take practice. One of the easiest ways is to cook noodles in water or broth, then drain them, add other ingredients or seasonings to them, and stir well. Alternatively, serve them plain with dipping sauce or oil. Get our recipe for noodles with bean sauce>>>
Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
Another popular dish in China is sweet and sour spare ribs. It tastes rich, sweet, sour, and delicious! The popularity of this dish is not only due to its sweet and sour taste but also its tempting color.
The recipe that involves boiling the spare ribs, then draining them, is much easier than frying them. Cook the sweet and sour sauce of sugar, tomato sauce, and vinegar, and then add the cooked spare ribs for a quick stir-fry in order to coat them with the sauce and ensure they are cooked through.
Travel with China Highlights and Learn to Cook Traditional Chinese Food
Our China tours offer you an opportunity to taste and learn to cook traditional Chinese food. See our most popular Chinese food tours, which cover China's most popular attractions and offer cooking classes:
- The Flavor of China — a 12-day Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, and Hong Kong cuisine tour
- A Culinary Adventure — an 8-day Beijing, Chengdu, and Guangzhou tour
Or you can contact us and we can add the experience of learning to cook Chinese dishes to your China tours.