Chinese culture boasts an extensive history, making an impactful mark in ceramics, architecture, music, martial arts, and literature – as well as its famed cuisine, which can be enjoyed all around the globe.
We’ve gathered 10 of China’s most celebrated dishes to mark this event.
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken is an iconic Sichuan dish consisting of marinated and stir-fried chicken tossed with an irresistibly tart sweet and sour sauce, then garnished with green onions and fried peanuts for presentation. This easy recipe pairs nicely with cooked long-grain rice.
Ingredients include chicken thighs (or breasts), white or brown sugar, garlic, ginger, light soy sauce (light), dark soy sauce (dark), black rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch, and hoisin sauce, as well as ground Sichuan peppercorns for an additional spicy kick!
Make this dish your own by customizing it to your tastes by adding vegetables like red or green bell peppers, broccoli florets, and yellow or zucchini slices, peanuts, or cashews for additional texture and flavor – plus, this recipe makes enough leftovers that you can store in the refrigerator for several days or freeze up to 3 months!
Chow mein is one of America’s favorite Chinese dishes, featuring soft noodles tossed with crisp vegetables and succulent proteins. This delectable dish can also feature sweet-and-tangy or rich-and-creamy sauce options to complete its unique appeal.
Chow mein can be easily prepared at home using fresh or dried Chinese egg noodles from Asian aisles of grocery stores. However, any thin noodle will do.
Chow mein requires various vegetables and aromatics, protein sources, and sauce. Some common ingredients used in chow mein include shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots; bell peppers, baby corn, snow peas, water chestnuts, or mushrooms may be added for additional variety.
Mapo tofu is a classic Sichuan dish featuring tofu in a spicy sauce, typically created using doubanjiang, an aromatic fermented broad bean paste that gives this dish its signature “mala” (numbing spice) flavor characteristic of many Sichuan dishes.
This dish pairs perfectly with white or brown rice for an unforgettable eating experience. The rich flavors of tofu will seep into its entirety, providing a fantastic flavor experience for each bite of this delicious dish.
To create map tofu at home, start by blanching tofu in salty water before cutting it into 1-inch cubes to reduce its chances of disintegrating during cooking. Add any ground beef (if applicable) and additional ingredients to a pot and simmer before serving!
Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork is a classic Chinese menu item, yet easy to recreate at home! Lightly fried pork slices are combined with an irresistibly flavorful sauce full of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and spice for a delectable treat that rivals any takeout order! It honestly tastes better than any takeout option!
If pork isn’t your cup of tea, this recipe works wonderfully well with chicken! Or switch things up by creating a vegetarian-friendly tofu version!
Double fry the pork nuggets if desired for extra crispy results. Feel free to add extra veggies like broccoli or snow peas for additional crunch. This recipe can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen; allow enough time to thaw before reheating; it won’t look crunchy but will still taste just as delectable!
Chinese Hot Pot
Chinese hot pot, also known as Hugo or fondue in Chinese, is an enjoyable communal meal designed to warm the heart and unite friends. A metal pot filled with simmering broth sits at the center of the table while numerous plates of raw meats, vegetables, starches, and noodles are provided alongside it – diners can select their ingredients to add to their pot before enjoying them with dipping sauces.
Meat options typically available include beef, lamb, and pork; seafood options like shrimp, fish balls, and shellfish; vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, and mushrooms can be added for further flavor enhancement; tofu noodles and dumplings can also be included to round out this complex broth dish.
Fresh spring rolls make for an irresistibly refreshing appetizer or light lunch option, filled with noodles, vegetables, tofu, and herbs for optimal enjoyment with any savory or sweet dipping sauces.
To make them at home, start by gathering the filling ingredients by chopping vegetables finely, boiling vermicelli noodles, and stripping cilantro leaves from their stems – this process should take one or more days and can then be stored in your fridge until ready.
Making one at a time requires placing rice paper in warm but not hot water on a damp surface. On one-third of the form closest to you, add lettuce leaves, some noodles, carrots, cucumber, 2-3 shrimp, and any herbs desired before rolling tightly and tucking in edges tightly before continuing with other wrappers.
China has developed a culture of innovation across diverse disciplines- ceramics, architecture, music, literature, and martial arts are just a few examples. Its culinary legacy extends around the globe through restaurants and home cooks alike. Here are ten popular dishes from Chinese culture everyone should sample at some point!
Char siu (cha shao) is an iconic Cantonese roast pork dish that blends sweet and savory flavors with subtle smokiness, perfect for sharing or serving alone with steamed rice and blanched choy sum. To achieve optimal flavor, an oven thermometer should be used to monitor actual temperatures so your char siu can be cooked at exactly the right temperature throughout its cooking process to prevent burning or drying out of its pork surface.