Chinese foods make up the largest cultural influence of China to the rest of the world.
Plentiful, colorful, crispy, moist, wet, and dry, these foods are varied in taste, aroma, presentation, and possess rich cultural meanings.
Many of these foods are eaten with fried rice, a staple in the Chinese dining table.
They are also eaten together with green tea, a natural drink chock-full of antioxidants that nourish the body and keep health disorders at bay.
Below is a list of the top 10 Chinese foods that are super tasty and popular the world over.
1. Won Ton Soup
A clear soup with full flavors is the won ton soup, called hun dun in Mandarin.
This is soup is made of small, triangle-shaped white won tons that are usually mixed with dumplings.
There are several varieties of won ton soups across the many regions in China.
Some won tons are deep-fried or pan-fried while others are simply boiled.
An ancient Chinese food that has a two-thousand-year history is the famous, varied, and well-loved dumpling.
Chinese dumplings are steamed, simmered, or boiled while others are fried or baked.
They come in many stuffing – beef, pork, shrimp, prawns, tidbits of vegetables, chicken, and other ingredients.
They also have many shapes but most come in round or triangular forms.
When they are ready to be eaten, they are dipped in condiments like soy sauce or chili sauce.
Said to be first invented in China thousands of years ago, tofu or bean curd has been widely eaten in China and in many countries reached by Chinese influences.
Tofu can be cooked in a hot pot, prepared into a pudding, made into a street food or dessert, barbecued, or transformed into a smoothie or even a bar food.
In China, mapo doufu – a really tasty dish prepared Sichuan style – is so popular for its numbing spiciness.
4. Fortune Cookies
Not exactly Chinese in origin, fortune cookies were made widely popular by the Chinese people but are largely consumed by Westerners, not Chinese.
Many of the phrases or “fortune” inside the crunchy cookies have Chinese translations or were rooted from old Chinese proverbs.
Still, Westerners, not the Chinese people, are the biggest consumers of these cookies.
Fortune cookies are made from flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extracts.
They are usually served as snacks or desserts and regarded as very Chinese, although they are actually not.
5. Orange Chicken
A traditional Chinese dish that has become a mainstay in Western-style Chinese restaurants is the orange chicken.
Conventionally, orange chicken is cooked by deep frying chicken and then stir-frying it with dried orange peels and soy sauce.
Western chefs, however, have modified this traditional way of cooking.
They stir fry the chicken in orange juice with sugar and fresh orange peels.
Vegetables are then added into the dish, including broccoli, carrots and bok choy.
6. Peking Duck
Ornately presented, Peking duck is arguably China’s most popular food export to the rest of the world.
It is well-loved for its thin, crispy, and tasty skin as well as its soft and aromatic meat.
It is best consumed while hot and freshly roasted.
Delicately served, Peking duck is the main dish in many high-end Chinese restaurants.
7. Fried Rice
Chinese people are a practical bunch of great cooks.
Instead of throwing away leftover rice, they make it into a yummy dish complete with vegetables.
Fried rice is very much a part of Chinese cuisine and can be found anywhere from high-end Chinese restaurants to sidewalk Chinese eateries.
This rice is handsomely presented with all its splashes of vegetable colors.
8. Spring Rolls
Adapted in many countries, Chinese spring rolls are appetizers that are supposed to be symbolize wealth.
The rolls are made to look like gold bars – symbols of prosperity in China.
Spring rolls are served either fresh or fried.
Its stuffing can go from meat to vegetables and everything in between.
9. Chow Mein
Chow mein is a dish of stir-fried noodles, slivers of meat, and tidbits of vegetables.
It has been eaten in China not just for its rich taste but also because of its health benefits.
It is believed to facilitate digestion, boost immunity, and improve anemia.
The popularity of chow mein has spread around the world, with many countries and region tweaking the original cooking style to suit local palates.
For instance, in the United States, chow mein is prepared either steamed and soft or hard and crispy.
10. Kung Pao Chicken
Another classic dish from China that has invaded the West is the kung pao chicken, a dish of diced and marinated chicken seasoned in peppers and peppercorns.
The chicken is then stir-fried and mixed with a medley of vegetables and cashew nuts.
The signature kung pao chicken is very spicy and its nuts are fresh and crunchy.
Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista
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