Most of the western world is unaware of what the actual traditional Chinese food tastes like. Yes, your go-to takeout spot is most probably not traditionally Chinese, it is adapted to suit the western palate. There is more to Chinese food than Kung Pao Chicken or Sweet and Sour Pork. There is a wide range of authentic cuisines in China, all of which are varied and different from one region to another. Chinese cuisine has a world of its own, and once you taste authentic Chinese dishes, there is no going back.
It is understandable to get overwhelmed by all the different flavors of food if you don’t know where to start. read our guide to familiarize yourself to traditional Chinese food, we have accumulated a list of dishes that would give you a basic introduction.
- Spinach Noodles
In Chinese this dish is called bō cài miàn, the noodles are handmade from spinach and this dish can be customized the way you like, you can top it with crunchy vegetables or with whatever you like. The noodles are all handmade in China and made from scratch. Xi’an, China, is known for its noodles.
- Stir Fried Shaanxi Pasta
This dish is known as Chǎo má shi, it’s similar looking to gnocchi but tastes completely different. It has a hint of sweetness however it is spicy and incredibly tasty.
Dumplings are one of the popular dishes of China, it is often stuffed with pork, beef, shrimp or vegetables. They’re either steamed or fried and are found all over China.
- Fried Rice
Fried rice is the classic Chinese dish of all time, also known as chǎofàn, the taste of fried rice depends on the different regions of China. For example, Sichuan’s version of fried rice is served with spicy chilli sauce while Canton rice has gravy poured over it.
Baos are bread like dumplings, they are also filled with meat and vegetables. These buns are soft and wonderfully moist since they are steamed. These buns are commonly served with dipping sauces such as vinegar, sesame oil, or soy sauce.
- Beef noodles
Since the noodles are prepared differently across China, when you eat them, it’s a different taste each time.
One such restaurant is called MamaLan, they aim to bring back the original flavors of China to the UK. Their food is not only tasty it also lets you experience traditional Chinese food outside of China. Visit them across 3 locations in London, MamaLan in Brixton Village, Clapham Common and Canary Wharf.