China: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | China Image

One of the world's greatest and most ancient culinary traditions, Chinese cuisine is ordered on the Eight Great Traditions —  regional styles that form the foundation of most differences in Chinese cooking.

Image Creative Commons by Phil~

Chinese Recipes

Ants Climbing a Tree

Pastas | Ants Climbing a Tree

(Chinese cellophane noodles with ground pork)

Ants climbing a tree (má yǐ shàng shù) is a Szechuan dish that gets its name from the resemblance of the small pieces of pork to ants on noodle "branches." Because it is easy and cheap to make, ants climbing trees is a traditional favorite of Chinese college students. Read more »

Bao

Appetizers | Tsen Bao Image

(Chinese steamed, filled buns)

Bao, also known as baozi, are pillowy, soft buns that are either steamed or baked. They come with a variety of fillings and are a common item in dim sum shops. Bao are a favorite breakfast or mid-morning snack. Read more »

Chao Ha Qiu

Ingredients | Peas in the Pod

(Chinese stir-fried shrimp with peas)

For a simple stir fry with a delicate flavor, try this quick shrimp dish. The peas look like little jade pearls and highlight the sweetness of the shrimp. Read more »

Char Siu

Meats | Char Siu Image

(Chinese barbecue pork)

Originally from southeastern China, char siu barbecue is now a favorite all over Asia. The name translates as "fork-roasted," and describes the method of hanging strips of marinated meat on forked skewers and roasting them in an oven or over an open fire. Read more »

Cu Liu Ji

Tools | Chopsticks

(Chinese chicken in vinegar sauce)

Cu liu ji is a popular stir fry from the area around Beijing. The vinegar adds a pleasant pungency without being overwhelming. Read more »

Dong Gu Dofu

Vegetables | Dong Gu Dofu Image

(Chinese tofu with mushrooms)

This simple vegetarian stir fry is a good wintertime dish. Tofu is paired with meaty shiitake mushrooms in a salty-sweet gravy. Read more »

Gung Bo Gai Ding

Poultry | Gung Bo Gai Ding

(Chinese kung pao chicken with peanuts)

Gung bo gai ding, better known as kung pao chicken, is a famous dish from the spicy repertoire of Guizhou province in south-central China. The story goes that kung pao was created by a palace guard (gong boa) who later became a provincial governor. Read more »

Hong Shao Rou

Meats | Hong Shao Rou Image

(Chinese red-cooked pork)

Hong shao, or red-cooking, is a popular way to prepare meats in the Shanghai region of eastern China. Simmering in dark soy sauce gives the meat a reddish color and the dish its name. Red-cooked dishes often include a mix of meat and vegetables and are similar to a western stew. Read more »

Kai Yang Bai Cai

Ingredients | Cabbage, Chinese Image

(Chinese stir-fried cabbage)

Kai yang bai cai is a very simple cabbage stir-fry that is served in every Chinese home. Read more »

Law Bok Gow

Appetizers | Law Bok Gow Image

(Chinese steamed radish cake)

Law bok gow is a favorite Cantonese dim sum treat, especially popular during Chinese New Year celebrations. Usually called daikon, turnip or radish cake in English, it is really more of a savory pudding. The recipe below is very basic, but law bok gow is normally studded with savory garnishes and lightly fried on both sides until golden brown. Sometimes spelled lo bark goh. Read more »

Liang Mian

Pastas | Liang Mian Sesame Noodles

(Chinese cold sesame noodles)

Simple, bold and refreshing, a cool bowl of Chinese sesame noodles (麻醬麵, or liang mian) are the perfect foil for a hot, muggy day. This noodle dish originated in the Szechuan countryside. It comes together in a snap and tastes great. A Taiwanese version, called ma jiang mian, has a sauce that is a little soupier. Read more »

Longevity Noodles

Pastas | Longevity Noodles

(Chinese egg noodles in broth)

Longevity, or long-life, noodles are a popular Chinese dish for birthdays and Chinese New Year. As their name indicates, they symbolize living to a ripe old age. There are innumerable variations on the basic noodle dish; this one serves a simple broth over the yi mein egg noodles. Read more »

Mapo Doufu

Vegetables | Mapo Dofu

(Chinese Szechuan tofu and ground pork in spicy sauce)

Szechuan food is known for its mouth-numbing spiciness, and mapo doufu (麻婆豆腐) is no exception. The name of the dish means literally "pock-marked old woman," and it was supposedly just such a lady who invented the dish, a mix of tofu and ground pork in a spicy sauce. A final sprinkling of ground Szechuan peppercorns over the finished dish is a must for authenticity. Read more »

Pork and Cabbage Filling

(Chinese filling for buns, potstickers and dumplings)

This recipe makes a good filling for Chinese bao, siu mai, and potstickers. Read more »

Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients | Shrimp Image

(Chinese stir fried shrimp in a soy-ketchup sauce)

While ketchup may seem a surprising ingredient in Chinese food, it is actually used and produces a very tasty sauce. Some purists scoff, however, and if you like you can substitute tomato sauce or tomato paste. Read more »

Shuan Yang Rou

Meats | Shuan Yang Rou Image

(Chinese Mongolian hotpot)

Shuan yang rou, or Mongolian hot pot as it is often known in the West, is a very popular Chinese dish, especially in Beijing, and is primarily eaten in winter, when cold winds blow down from Mongolia. It particularly popular for Chinese New Year. Yang rou is Mandarin for lamb, the favored meat for this dish. Shuan can be roughly translated as "to swish." Read more »

Singapore Noodles

Pastas | Singapore Noodles

(Chinese stir fried rice noodles)

They may call them Singapore noodles, but this dish is Chinese through and through. The name may be a reference to the exotic curry flavor. Singapore noodles, or sing chow mai fun, are especially popular in the southern Cantonese part of the country and with Chinese populations overseas. As with all stir fries, have all your ingredients assembled and prepared before you begin cooking. Read more »

Siu Mai

Appetizers | Siu Mai Image

(Chinese steamed pork and shrimp dumplings)

Siu mai (SHOO-my), or shaomai, are popular little steamed dumplings from southeastern China. They are sold by shops as a quick snack food or from carts in dim sum restaurants as part of a larger menu selection. Read more »

West Lake Fish

Country | China | West Lake Image

(Chinese fish in sweet vinegar sauce)

West Lake vinegar fish (Xi Hu Cu Yu) is one of the most famous dishes of the Zhejiang culinary tradition in eastern China. Fish poached and glazed with a sweet vinegar sauce, this dish is named after a large, beautiful lake in the city of Hangzhou. Good for Chinese New Year when serving whole fish is considered lucky. Read more »

Zhajiang Mian

Pastas | Zhajiang Mian

(Chinese pork and noodles in brown bean sauce)

Zhajiang mian is a popular, rib-sticking noodle dish from Northern China. It has been compared to the Italian spaghetti bolognese. Brown bean sauce is found in jars at most Asian markets. Names of other sauces often used in this dish include yellow bean paste, broad bean sauce, sweet noodle sauce and hot bean paste. There is no hard and fast rule. Use whatever sauce you like and can find. Read more »

Zuiji

Poultry | Zuiji, Drunken Chicken

(Chinese drunken chicken)

Chinese drunken chicken, or zuiji (醉雞), is a great dish from China's eastern coastal region that makes a delicious addition to any buffet table or party spread. The dish is simple to make. Just poach chicken pieces and then drown them in a boozy rice wine marinade. Zuiji is particularly popular in the summer months, as it is most often served cold. Read more »