China is a country with more than 5000 years of culture. Food culture is an important part of it. Chinese cooking techniques are not only exquisite but also pay attention to the unity of food color, aroma, taste, shape, and utensils, giving people a special enjoyment of high spiritual and material harmony.
Tasting Chinese food is an important part of a trip to China. Due to China’s vast territory and abundant resources, there are differences in climate, products, and customs in different parts of China. Over a long period of time, many flavors have been formed in the Chinese diet. According to a rough calculation, there are more than 60,000 kinds of Chinese dishes.
Here, I have listed the most popular Chinese dishes in different cities to help you experience Chinese food culture while traveling to China.
1. Beijing food
Beijing food has a history as long as the city.
The must-haves Chinese dishes included the sparkling Peking duck(北京烤鸭), the savoury stewed tripe(爆汁卤煮), the delicious fresh mutton hot pot(涮羊肉）, the old Beijing noodles with fried bean sauce(老北京炸酱面), candied hawthorn(糖葫芦)，fermented mung bean milk(豆汁儿)…
2. Xi’an cuisine
Xi’an is full of delicious food; these beautiful flavors will make your mouth unstoppable.
These Xi’an Chinese food include Youpo noodle(油泼面), Roujiamo(肉夹馍), Liangpi(凉皮), Guan Tang Bao(灌汤包), Paomo(羊肉泡馍)，Biangbiang noodle, Saozi noodle(臊子面),…
3. Chengdu Cuisine
Chengdu is one of the food capitals selected by the United Nations. The Chinese cuisine in Chengdu is famous for its variety, wide taste, thick taste, and strong taste.
The Chinese dishes you cannot miss in Chengdu are Sichuan hotpot(四川火锅), Mapu Tofu(麻婆豆腐), Fuqi feipian(夫妻肺片), Guokui(锅盔), Mala tang(麻辣烫), Liangfen(凉粉), Dandan noodles(担担面), Bobo chicken(钵钵鸡)…
4. Shanghai food
Shanghai cuisine is characterized by thick red sauce, moderate saltiness, and original taste. The commonly used cooking methods are braised in soy sauce, simmering, and raising the fresh taste with sugar. In recent years, Shanghai people’s taste has become more and more light, so dishes gradually from the original heavy oil sauce tend to be elegant and refreshing.
The Shanghai classic snacks and dishes include: Yan du xian(腌笃鲜), Spring rolls(春卷), Pan-fried buns(生煎包), Guo tie(锅贴), Crabapple cakes(海棠糕), Scallion pancakes(葱油饼), You dun zi(油墩子), Smoked fish(熏鱼), Small wontons(小馄饨), Rice balls(糍饭团), Qing tuan(青团)…
5. Hangzhou food
The characteristic of Hangbang cuisine is to pay attention to the original taste, mainly salty, and the cooking is mainly steamed, braised, boiled, and roasted. It pays attention to light oil, light pulp, light and fresh taste, and the combination of fresh and salty.
The Hangzhou classic snacks and dishes include West lake vinegar fish(西湖醋鱼)，West lake lotus root powder(西湖藕粉)，Wushan crisp fried cake(吴山酥油饼)，Braised dongpo pork(东坡肉)，Orecchitte(猫耳朵)，Beggar’s chicken(叫花鸡)，Dingsheng cake(定胜糕)…
6. Anhui food
Anhui cuisine was once ranked first among the eight major cuisines of China.
Anhui cuisine stresses dietetic invigoration. Many dishes develop the eating theory to regulate the body in Chinese medicine. The main cooking method is braised in soy sauce, usually with a sugar color to show the color of the braised sauce. Another major feature of the cooking method is heavy oil, heavy color, and heavy firework.
The classic Anhui Chinese snacks and dishes including Smelly mandarin fish(臭鱖鱼), Huangshan baked wheat cake(黄山烧饼), Wucheng tea flavored dried bean curd(五城茶干), Hairy tofu(毛豆腐), Anhui sweet soup balls(徽州圆子), Chicken stew peony(凤炖牡丹), Fermented glutinous rice(酒酿), Sanhe rice dumplin(三河米饺), Luzhou roast duck(泸州烤鸭), Huainan beef soup(淮南牛肉汤), Fillet baked wheat cake(里脊烧饼)…
7. Yunnan food
Yunnan cuisine has a wide selection of ingredients and tastes. Its taste characteristics are fresh and tender, moderately sour and hot, slightly hemp, pay attention to the original taste, crisp, waxy, heavy oil mellow, ripe but not rotten, and tender but not raw.
The classic Yunnan Chinese food including Crossing-the-bridge noodles(过桥米线), Steam pot chicken（汽锅鸡）, Fungus mushroom in clay pot（菌菇煲）, Shao Er Kuai（烧饵块）, Flowers cakes（鲜花饼）, Thin flour（稀豆粉）…
8. Shunde food
If you love Chinese food, a visit to Shunde, Guangdong province, is a must. Shunde was once named the Food City by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Shunde cuisine belongs to Cantonese cuisine among the eight major cuisines in China. The characteristic of Shunde cuisine is that birds, beasts, insects, and fish can be used as ingredients for the dishes, also they should be cooked as soon as they are slaughtered. Fresh fruits can be used in the cuisine. The condiments are borrowed from China’s major cuisines. Secondly, the dishes should be timely. In the summer and autumn, dishes are mainly for relieving heat; in the winter and spring, dishes are mainly for nutrition. For the cooking methods, the techniques of North and South dishes, Chinese and Western dishes are used, the heating control is emphasized, and the taste of Shunde food is mainly raw, crisp, fresh and light.
Recommended Shunde Chinese dishes and snacks include: Mulk custard(双皮奶)，Ginger milk curd(姜撞奶)，Chencun rice noodles(陈村粉), Shunde sashimi(顺德鱼生), Casserole pot(煲仔锅), Wu rice gruel(毋米粥), Sheng gun gruel(生滚粥), London cake(伦敦糕), Roast pork and goose(烧猪烧鹅), Slow cooker soup(老火靓汤)…
9. Macau food
Macau is another ‘Food City ‘named by United Nations Educational, Scientifc and Cultural Organization. Food has become one of Macau’s city cards. Macau is adjacent to China’s Guangdong Province and was once a colony of Portugal, so the Macau Chinese food mainly focus on Cantonese cuisine and Portuguese-style Macau cuisine. Portuguese-Macau food is the most unique cuisine in Macau. The Portuguese cuisine in Macau is influenced by Chinese cuisine, and the ingredients and cooking techniques have incorporated many Chinese elements, producing many ideas and more suitable for Chinese tastes.
Famous Macau Chinese dishes and snacks include Ma jiexiu(马介休), Curry crab(咖喱蟹), Roasted salted pork knuckle(烧咸猪手), Portuguese egg tart(葡式蛋挞), Pork chop bun(猪扒包), Water crab congee(水蟹粥)…
10. Hong Kong food
Hong Kong has a reputation as a ‘Food Paradise’because this small island gathers delicacies from all over the world, with high-quality food and reasonable prices. As for Hong Kong’s local food culture, it is not only inherited from Chinese traditions but is also influenced by foreign cultures. It can be described as a collection of Chinese and foreign characteristics. The common characteristics of various soups, porridges, seafood, dim sum, etc., in Hong Kong cuisine, are light and delicious. Avoiding frying is to reduce the intake of excessive calories and fats. Hong Kong’s steamed food can make the intake of nutrients more balanced and reasonable.
The ‘Tea culture’in Hong Kong must be mentioned here. Morning tea in Hong Kong is actually a hearty breakfast. A pot of tea, a few cages of exquisite Cantonese dim sum, with such kind of breakfast, it is no wonder ‘Hong Kong-style tea has long had a reputation.
The recommended Hong Kong food include Dim sum depot(一盅两件), Wife cake(老婆饼), Sweet dish(甜品糖水), Pineapple oil(菠萝油), Hong Kong-style milk tea(港式奶茶), Curry fish balls(咖喱鱼蛋), Fishball noodles(鱼丸面)…