Although it may seem incredible, the typical food in China has nothing to do with the Chinese food served in Western Chinese restaurants. So today we will know about typical Chinese recipes.

The typical food in China is based on four aspects: color, aroma, flavor and presentation. Prepare your palate, because we are going to taste authentic typical food in China.

1. Shark fin soup

Our gastronomic walk through the typical foods in China begins with shark fin soup. This is a dish that everyone loves to savor in China. And it is that there they consider this food as a sign of good reputation and excellent health.

Shark fin soup is prepared and offered on special occasions, for example Chinese New Year celebrations or weddings.

To make this delicious and appetizing soup, the pectoral and dorsal fins of the shark are used, which have been stripped of the skin and left to dry. Before preparing the soup, the fins must be soaked. Served with oyster sauce.

Be sure to savor a nutritious, healthy and delicious shark fin soup when you visit China.


Rice is present in typical Chinese food and this dish is one of the best examples.

Zongzi is a triangle of somewhat sticky rice stuffed with meat or sweet beans, wrapped in bamboo leaves.

It is a dish prepared especially for the celebrations of the Dragon Boat Festival. Its creation is related to a Chinese poet named Qu Yuan.

The most complicated part of the zongzi making process is wrapping the preparation in the bamboo leaves. This technique is learned and inherited from generation to generation, just like the recipe for the dish.

3. Dim sum

Typical foods in China include dim sum. It is a well-known and popular dish throughout China and is usually eaten mid-morning or early afternoon with a cup of tea.

They are small portions of food, about the size of a bite. They can be sweet or savory, boiled, steamed, roasted or fried.

They come in various shapes and their fillings are varied, ranging from meat, seafood and fish, to vegetables, greens and fruit.

The most common and popular are those shaped like small empanadas and rolls. Dim sum means “touch the heart” and is a Cantonese term, just like the dish, although now everyone in China eats it.

Everyone loves dim sum, so don’t miss the opportunity to try them when you are in China. Accompany it with a cup of tea in the afternoon or in the morning as a breakfast or snack.

4. wontons

Wontons are the Chinese version of the delicious Italian ravioli. It is one of the typical foods in China, highly appreciated, especially during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

They consist of a dough to which a filling of minced pork, shrimp, onion, ginger, sesame oil and soy is placed. Small tight lumps form at the top.

Wontons are said to be shaped like little clouds, and the name of this wonderful dish literally means “swallow the clouds.” They have been around for more than 1,800 years and are very popular in northern China.

We must emphasize that the wontons prepared for the Chinese New Year celebrations have a silver coin as an additional and special ingredient, as an omen of good luck.

In China, to eat wontons, they are placed in a thin noodle soup with shrimp and green onion.

5. Abalone on a bed of lettuce

One more dish of the typical foods in China is abalone, a kind of fish that is located mostly in the coastal region where the province of Fujian is located, where the consumption of fish and shellfish is very high.

This meal is made up of abalone, lettuce leaves, ginger, onions and mushrooms.

To prepare it, the lettuce is boiled and placed at the bottom of the plate or tray where the dish is going to be served. In a wok, we proceed to sauté the fish meat with mushrooms, ginger and onions.

It is served hot on a bed of lettuce and bathed in a sauce made with oysters, cornstarch, soybeans, a little broth and sugar.

6. Gong bao or kung pao chicken

One of the typical foods in China is this dish from the Sichuan region. It is one of the foods that, when you savor it, makes you cry, as it is a very spicy dish thanks to its high content of pepper and chilies.

The preparation consists of pieces of marinated chicken, which is put in a stir-fry prepared with chillies and Sichuan pepper in a wok . The chicken meat is then sautéed with vegetables and peanuts or cashews.

For those who love the spicy flavor and are not afraid of it, there is a version of this dish made with a variety of very hot Chinese chilies.

7. Siew yhok

Located in the typical foods in China, we have the siew yhok or Cantonese roast pork.

The literal translation of the term siew yhok is “roasted meat”, although a piece of pork is actually prepared, which goes through a marinating process and then is roasted until its meat is crispy and delicious.

When ready, it is served with a sauce called hoisin, frequently used in Chinese food and available in Chinese supermarkets.

8. Chop suey

This is one of the most traditional dishes of typical food in China, although it did not originate directly in the Asian country. Its creation is attributed to a Chinese citizen who lived in the United States during the 19th century.

Although chop suey is not a food with ancient history, it is one of the favorites of the Chinese. The secret in its preparation is the use of green mung bean sprouts, which is not the same as bean sprouts.

The meaning of its name is “mixed pieces” and that, literally, is the dish, a mixture of pieces of meat with vegetables such as onions, celery, peppers and the inevitable green mung bean sprouts. All this sautéed in a wok with sesame oil.

9. Peking duck

This is a dish that is part of the typical meals in China. It is originally from Beijing, hence its name. Its fame has spread throughout the world and is considered “China’s National Dish”.

For its preparation, a duck is taken from which the viscera are removed and which is cut just as much as necessary. Then any openings are covered and it is inflated like a balloon; the objective of this action is that the skin separates from the meat.

Once this is achieved, it is fried and covered with molasses to obtain the dark color that characterizes it. After frying, it is baked for an hour hanging on a skewer so that the skin is very crispy when eaten.

To eat it, it is cut into small slices, all with the intention of making individual bites that are placed in a crepe with spring onions, fresh cucumbers and a sweet sauce.

To serve it, a kind of ceremony is carried out, where the chef in charge presents the ready duck to the diners and then removes it to slice it and serve it properly.

So when you visit Beijing, take the opportunity to taste and marvel at the exquisite Peking duck.

10. Chow mein

Typical foods in China include noodles, which are usually rice and in this dish they are prepared fried, although they are first passed through boiling water to cook them.

Once ready, they are dried and fried in a wok with chopped vegetables (onions, celery, peppers) and beef, pork, chicken or seafood.

It is a traditional dish in Guangdong, but it has crossed borders and is now all over the world.

11. Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are primarily eaten as a snack. They originated in Canton and whose shape is cylindrical.

They can be stuffed with meat or vegetables, be sweet or savory. Once made, they are fried in abundant oil.

From Canton province they spread to Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

It is one of the typical foods in China, prepared and tasted especially when spring arrives and during the Chinese New Year festivities.

12. Ma po tofu

A typical food in China is ma po tofu. It is one of the most traditional and popular dishes in Sichuan, so much so that they say that if you go to Sichuan and don’t eat it, you weren’t really in the area.

It is a dish created more than 100 years ago and its main characteristic is the spicy flavor that it offers as a result of the use of Sichuan pepper in its preparation. Sichuan is a commonly used seasoning in the region’s cuisine.

The main ingredient of this meal is tofu, with which a stew is made to which ground meat and chopped green onion are sometimes added, in addition to the usual pepper for a spicy touch.

This dish, apart from being very popular and desired in China, is also eaten with pleasure in Singapore, Japan and some other Asian countries.

13. Congee rice

A dish with more than 2000 years of history is part of the typical meals in China. It is also known by the name of jook and they say that its digestion is easy and comfortable.

Rice congee is made up of a kind of soup similar to a rice porridge mixed with other cereals; In addition, it has meats, vegetables and some special seasoning to give it more flavor.

It is a food that is eaten in religious ceremonies and other particular events, such as therapy treatments to reduce cholesterol levels, in which case, asparagus is added to the preparation.

When you want to reduce upset stomachs, indigestion, and nausea, ginger is added.

This dish is also known and prepared in other Asian countries, only the name is changed. For example, in Vietnam it is called chao bo, while in India it is known as kanji.

14. Shahe fen

They are commonly known as “he fen” and consist of noodles made from rice flour. It is one of the typical foods in China and has reached the western world with the name of rice noodles.

Its color is clear white, there are thick and thin and are usually a bit elastic to the touch, similar to rubber. They are frequently used in the preparation of various soups.


It is also written “You tiao”. It is a typical food in China and in most of the countries of the Asian continent.

It consists of an elongated bread, which is eaten fried. It bears a certain resemblance to the typical and traditional Spanish churros.

16. Ban mian

The name of this typical food in China means “noodles on board”, which have a particular flattened shape, as they are literally made by hand.

With these noodles you can make a soup or they can be prepared as a paste. They are frequently made in the Guangzhou province and are also widely eaten in Singapore.


A dish of obligatory presence in the celebration meals of the Chinese New Year are the jiaozi, another of the typical foods in China.

They are small empanadas, made with a very thin dough. These empanadas are filled with minced meat or vegetables, which are closed and sealed with the help of the fingers.

To cook them they can be boiled or fried and, when served, they are accompanied with soy sauce and vinegar or a spicy sauce.

Its horn shape gives the Chinese, so full of mysticism, the symbol of good fortune for the coming year.

They are also made with sweet fillings and the Cantonese include them in their dim sum.

18. Huo guo or hot pot

A typical food in China that is prepared especially during the winter time. It is known as “Chinese fondue or Mongolian cauldron” and it is a festival of textures and flavors united to better get through the cold of winter.

It involves cooking different varieties of food in a hot broth with different sauces and then placing it in the center of the table to share it.

Among the elements that are placed in the broth are meats, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, dumped eggs, among other things.

It should be borne in mind that, depending on the region where the huo guo is made, it will have particular characteristics of the area.

19. Pineapple Buns

In the typical meals in China we have desserts and one of them is the delicious pineapple buns.

This dessert is traditional and typical in Hong Kong, parts of southern China and Taiwan. The top of this candy is shaped like a pineapple shell and is made with a dough similar to sugar cookies that contains butter, eggs, flour and sugar.

The bottom portion of the dessert is made from the dough of the buns served in Western Chinese restaurants. This means that the highest sweet content is on top of the dessert.

It does not have pineapple in its preparation and its name is due to the texture that it gives to the upper part of the dessert and the golden color that it takes when it goes through the oven. It has a butter filling and there are those who put pastry cream inside.

Pineapple bun is a delicious dessert that you cannot miss when you are in China.

20. Fortune Cookies

The popularly known as fortune cookies, are not of Chinese origin, but are currently considered one of the typical foods in China.

These cute cookies came to China from the West, but they have been totally accepted by the Chinese and they made them their own.

They are frequent and very popular in Beijing and Hong Kong. Everyone wants them to read the good fortune, prophecy or wise advice that the paper they contain inside may have.

21. Mooncake

It is one of the typical desserts in China and tradition indicates that it is eaten during the celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival, as a way to honor and worship the moon.

Their shape is usually rounded, although they also make them square. They have a filling and this is prepared with lotus seed paste, which is made with dried lotus seeds, vegetable oil and caramelized sugar.

The outer cake layer is made from salted duck egg yolks. They are served with Chinese tea.

22. Fried Ice Cream

A Chinese dessert that has reached the West is one of the typical foods in China. It is highly appreciated and there is a lot of curiosity about the fact that it is fried ice cream.

A serving of ice cream is frozen a little longer than usual, coated with raw beaten egg, and then dipped in crushed cookies. After this process, it is fried. The ice cream does not melt, since it is well frozen.

To serve it, the companions are to the taste of the consumer, icing sugar, cinnamon, syrup, honey, colored or chocolate chips.

23. Baijiu

It is the typical liquor in China. It is obtained from the distillation of rice or some other cereal. Its consumption by the Chinese has been going on for thousands of years and its alcohol content is somewhat high.

It is taken when there are family gatherings, festive celebrations or there are guests at home. If this is the case, the hosts will encourage the guest to drink a lot of baijiu, as this is a way of expressing his sympathy and hospitality towards him.

The more liquor the guest consumes, the more satisfied and at ease they will feel with their hosts.

24. Beer

Another typical drink in China is beer, so there is a wide variety of it. The most famous and sought after by all is the Tsingtao.

It was the Germans who in the 20th century brought the techniques for making beer to China, specifically to the city of Qingdao.

Today Tsingtao beer occupies the fifth position among beer brands worldwide and is exported to more than 90 countries in the world and distributed throughout the country.


Tea is, without a doubt, China’s letter of introduction, as we all know that it originates from there and that China is the world’s largest producer of tea. In fact, it is their National Typical Drink.

Its origins are unknown, but for thousands of years, the Chinese have been consuming tea.

It is so important and relevant that there are specialized studies in some universities and they are called “Theology”, where they are in charge of studying the properties, qualities, characteristics and in general all aspects related to tea.

To drink Chinese tea, there are rules and regulations. The first is that it is drunk hot and very small cups are used so that the heat is better preserved. In addition, it is taken without sugar or milk, because adding any supplement damages its properties, as well as its purity and flavor. It is consumed at any time of the year.

In China, tea is a manifestation of art, full of tradition and ceremonies, from the collection of the leaves to its preparation and tasting.

When you visit China, enjoy a good cup of tea and, above all, learn about the history and tradition of this ancient Chinese drink.

Typical Chinese desserts

Among the typical Chinese desserts are pineapple buns, moon cake, fortune cookies, douhua or tofu cake, guilinggao, fried ice cream, among others.

Traditional Chinese food. Recipe

If we have to talk about typical Chinese dishes. Recipes, this one below stands out among all:

Shark fin soup

The ingredients for this soup are: shark fins, shredded cooked chicken breast, shredded crab sticks, black mushrooms, chicken broth, egg whites, cornstarch, soy sauce, ajinomoto, minced ginger and pepper.

To prepare the soup, the first thing is to soak the shark fins for 48 hours. Chicken is cooked and shredded. In the broth the fins are placed with the chopped ginger and left to cook until they soften.

When they are ready and have softened, add the shredded crab, chicken, black mushrooms (which have been soaking for 12 hours), soy sauce, ajinomoto and pepper to taste.

Finally, the cornstarch dissolved in water is added to give the broth a little thickness and the egg whites whipped in the form of a thread. It is removed from the heat and is ready to serve.

typical chinese food for kids

The typical Chinese food offers some varieties for children and is, in general, very healthy, since its fat content is very little.

Children can be offered Chinese noodle soup, Chinese vegetable and vegetable noodles, spring rolls, roast pork, chicken with almonds or pineapple, and Chinese-style lemon chicken.

For dessert you can have fortune cookies, fried ice cream or moon cake.


The ancient flavors of China await you, to delight you with one of the oldest cultures in the world. Dare to get to know China from another perspective and through your palate.


See also:

  • See our guide on how to choose international health insurance for your trip abroad
  • Read our guide to the 35 best places to vacation in the world
  • Read our guide on: Is a reliable page?

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