"A Bite of China" is a famous documentary covering almost every aspect of Chinese cuisine in seven episodes. Not only were the famous dishes and dining techniques of Chinese cuisine introduced, but also the traditions and stories behind them were told.
Steamed buns are deeply and widely loved in China, especially the northern Chinese people. They often have them as their main dish instead of rice. The materials and ingredients of making steamed buns are simple so that you can prepare them by yourself and make them at home.
From ancient times to today's Chinese food culture, main dishes are indispensable for Chinese people. The various types of Chinese main dishes in different parts of China form colorful and diverse stories and cultures, such as floury foods in northern China and rice in southern China.
Oil Split Saozi Noodles
Apart from steamed buns and dumplings, noodles are one of the main kinds of Chinese flour dishes. There are many cooking styles of noodles; the saozi noodle is one of the most typical kinds and specialties in Shaanxi Province. It tastes a little sour and spicy.
Eating noodles on birthdays is a traditional custom in Qishan, Shaanxi Province. The whole family will get together to celebrate the birthday of their aged parents, eating saozi noodles and watching Shaanxi operas. Oil split saozi noodles have a history of over 3,000 years. It is an unconventional tradition that people only eat the noodles but do not drink the soup. The side dishes are also important: eggs stand for wealth, carrots mean glory and happiness, and green garlic sprouts mean vitality.
Dumplings are not only popular in China, but are also acclaimed all over the world. Dumplings are an important dish during the grand festivals, and are an important part of Chinese culture. In our China tours, especially the cultural discovery tours, we often arrange for our customers to learn how to make dumplings from skilled cooks. It is one of the most popular activities and a unique experience during a China tour.
On New Year's Eve, family members will have a banquet and make dumplings afterwards. Year after year, this tradition is well kept throughout the country.
Uncongealed tofu is a traditional snack in China, especially in northern China. Sweet and salty are the two main tastes of uncongealed tofu. In northern China, people often eat it during breakfast, together with steamed buns, dumplings or noodles.
Tofu plays an important role in Chinese food, ranging from little snacks to main dishes. Chinese people have hundreds of years' experience in making tofu with their wisdom.
Honey Stewed BBQ Pork
Made by white sugar and brown sugar, together with other tasty ingredients, honey stewed BBQ pork is a specialty of Cantonese dishes, and is favored by overseas eaters. This dish expresses the concept of taste over time, highlighting the importance of keeping it fresh.
Similar to honey stewed BBQ pork, there are many kinds of cooked food in cured meat shops in the south of China, such as Guangzhou and Hong Kong. They need to be meticulously made, but they are convenient to cook.
The taste of drunken shrimp can be directly known from its name, which combines the freshness of shrimps with the fragrance of wine. It is a popular dish in Zhejiang Province, south-east of China. The cooking methods of drunken shrimp are really simple. Put shrimps into a bowl filled with wine and other ingredients, such as peppers, vinegar and garlic.
Taiwan is rich in seafood. Karasumi is a specialty of the south-west bank of Taiwan. Both Taiwanese and Japanese treat this dish as a high-end delicacy.
Shrimp is not only eaten as a dish, but can also be used as an ingredient. Zhengxiangxing Shrimp Shop is a famous shop in Tai'o, Hong Kong, specializing in making shrimp paste and shrimp sauce. This shop was operated by an old couple for more than 50 years. It is said that Tai'o is an ideal place to appreciate a beautiful sunset, and it is a paradise for seafood.
Standing from a distance you can smell the "fragrance" of stinky tofu. The appearance is ugly and even vulgar, but its flavor has won a high praise. If you go to Hunan Province, this snack must be on your food list. Spicy is its main flavor.
Hunan dishes, also known as Xiang cuisine, are famous for their spicy and hot flavor. The strong fragrance reflects the kitchen secrets that oil and pepper are important ingredients in adjusting the flavor and fragrance of Chinese dishes.
West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy
Dating back to the Song Dynasty, West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy was popular in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The main flavor of this famous dish is sweet and sour. After the fish has been cooked, the surface of the fish will be covered by vinegar mixed with sugar.
West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy requires a high level of cookery skills. In order to cook West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy better, the duration and the degree of heating, the volume of the ingredients, and other steps need to be carefully completed. West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy is a must-taste food in Hangzhou.
Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
Originating in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs are now popular throughout China, and has become a home cooking dish for many Chinese families. The cooking procedures of making Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs is not very complicated, and the ingredients are simple to prepare.
The flavor of this dish — sweet, sour and salty — well demonstrates the balancing of five tastes in Chinese food. Taste is the soul of Chinese dishes, which can't be without some necessary ingredients and cookery skills. Having tried some Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs, you can be touched by its sweet flavor, which expresses happiness.
Mapo Tofu is a famous dish in eight distinguished regional types of cuisine. Chuan cuisine features authentic Chinese flavored dishes, including spicy, hot, fresh, crisp and fragrant. The main ingredients of this dish are tofu, peppers, minced beef or pork.
Despite being sour, the spiciness can wake up your appetite and often seasons the sourness. Spicy is also a perfect word to describe the open and enthusiastic personality of the Sichuan people. These are the picks of diverse Chinese dishes. Want to know more about Chinese dishes and Chinese culture? Contact us to have us tailor make your unique China food tours to discover and taste more Chinese dishes.
Travel with China Highlights and Taste Delicious Chinese Food
Want a trip to enjoy Chinese food? See our recommended Chinese food tour for inspiration:
- 12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Hong Kong Cuisine tour— explore the most popular destinations in China and savor local Chinese food in each city