China is rich in tourist attractions. Delicious foods are an attraction indispensable in a good tour. With a long history, unique features, numerous styles and exquisite cooking, Chinese cuisine is one important constituent part of Chinese culture. Chinese dishes are famous for color, aroma, taste, meaning and appearance.
The following are the eight most popular dishes among foreigners and Chinese. For customers’ convenience, we also list their Chinese character names and English pronunciations. These eight dishes are sweet and sour pork (chicken), gong bao chicken, ma po tofu, wontons, dumplings, spring rolls, chow mein and Peking duck. These dishes are available in most large restaurants in China.
Sweet and Sour Pork 糖醋里脊
Sweet and sour pork has a bright orange-red color, and a delicious sweet and sour taste.
At the very beginning there was only sweet and sour pork, but to meet demands, there have been some developments on this dish. Now, the pork can be substituted by other ingredients like chicken, beef or pork ribs. Read the DIY recipes of sweet and sour pork ribs. See How to Cook Sweet and Sour Pork.
Gong Bao Chicken 宫保鸡丁
This is a famous Sichuan-style specialty, popular with both Chinese and foreigners. The major ingredients are diced chicken, dried chili, and fried peanuts.
People in Western countries have created a Western-style gong bao chicken, for which the diced chicken is covered with cornstarch, and vegetables, sweet and sour sauce and mashed garlic are added. See How to cook Gong Bao Chicken.
Ma Po Tofu 麻婆豆腐
Ma po tofu is one of the most famous dishes in Chuan Cuisine with a history of more than 100 years. Ma (麻) describes a spicy and hot taste which comes from pepper powder, one kind of condiment usually used in Chuan Cuisine.
The milky tofu is enriched with brownish red ground beef and chopped green onion. It is really a tasty delicacy. Read the DIY recipes of ma po tofu. See How to Cook Ma Po Tofu.
Since the Tang Dynasty (618–907), it has been a custom for people to eat wontons on the winter solstice.