18 Best Traditional Chinese Food Dishes Everyone Loves!

Traditional Chinese Food

The history of traditional Chinese food is as old as the country itself. Many wonderful dishes have emerged throughout the lengthy period of evolution, and many are being eaten now. Some are festival preparations that are consumed more regularly at special events, while others are consumed more frequently in ordinary life. 

You’re undoubtedly aware that the local Chinese food served at your favorite takeout joint isn’t real Chinese food; rather, it’s substantially Americanized. Because China is the world’s most populated country, it offers a diverse range of traditional Chinese food that varies greatly from area to region. It might be intimidating to expand your palate to include traditional Chinese food if you don’t know where to start.

Among the foods provided in westernized Chinese restaurants in your country are egg rolls, beef, and broccoli, chowmein & fried rice. What if I told you that these aren’t traditional Chinese food dishes? Despite being advertised as “Chinese food,” some authentic preparations are given a slight western touch to appeal to western palates. Although authentic Chinese food differs from American Chinese cuisine, it does not imply that it is any less yummy. 

If you enjoy Chinese cuisine, these are the 18 greatest traditional Chinese food dishes you must try.

Whole Fish
Traditional Chinese Food

Fish is one of the most significant symbolic meals during the new year, and hence can be referred to as the Chinese new year food. You’ll see it prepared in a variety of ways at almost every meal. In Mandarin and many other dialects, the word ‘fish’ is pronounced ‘y,’ which is the same as the word ‘leftover.’ The concept is that you desire plenty of food or riches every year so that you may save some for the next year. 

Moon Cake

Moon Cake is a traditional Chinese food and a mid-Autumn festival dish in China. It’s circular, which represents a family gathering. A local Chinese food dish, on the mid-Autumn festival, is also offered as a sacrificial gift to the Moon God. Moon Cake was a regal dish during the Tang and Song Dynasties, although it was subsequently made available to the general public. Moon Cake had been famous during the Ming Dynasty’s Mid-Autumn Festival. Skills developed during the Qing Dynasty, and the Moon Cake evolved into a variety of styles. 

Five nuts, red bean paste, roses, lotus seed paste, osmanthus, dried plum, rock sugar, ginkgo, pork floss, black sesame, ham, egg yolk, and other popular fillings may be found in this Chinese food dessert.

Dumplings (Jiaozi)
Traditional Chinese Food

Dumplings, a traditional Chinese food dish, are meant to resemble ingots, which were gold and silver coins used in ancient times. It symbolizes wealth and that you have all of this money you’re eating. The silver ingot is represented by the white dumpling wrapper that most people are familiar with. The gold egg wrapper dumpling, on the other hand, is simply an omelet with the filling inside. 

This might also be considered as Chinese new year food as some think that the contents themselves have specific lucky meanings, such as cabbage and radish eaten on New Year’s Eve bodes good for skin and mood, whereas eating Chinese sauerkraut dumplings means bad and tough future, according to tourist group China Highlights. 


Baozi is steamed buns that are typically filled with vegetables and meat, such as barbecue pork. They are warm, fluffy, steaming, and soft. Sweet fillings like red bean paste, lotus seed, or even custard are commonly used in baozi. 

Peking Duck

The origins of the Peking duck may be traced back to China’s imperial days when it was served to the Chinese Emperor during the Yuan Dynasty. In this traditional Chinese food, the duck is finely sliced with crispy, crunchy skin in this dish. Onions, cucumbers, bean sauce, and pancakes are common accompaniments to Peking duck.


Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food dish served at the Dragon Boat Festival. The sticky rice is cooked after being wrapped in reed leaves. Zongzi originally appeared in the Spring and Autumn seasons. During the Dragon Boat Festival, it was set as one of the real Chinese food dishes. Chinese medicine, pork, chestnuts, and other items were added as fillings. Sweet Zongzi fillings include red bean, red date, rose, date paste, bean paste, and so on; salty Zongzi fillings include pork, ham, sausages, shrimp, and so on. 

Scallion Pancakes
Traditional Chinese Food

While these scallion pancakes aren’t as sweet as typical buttermilk pancakes, they’re just as tasty. Con you bing is a dough and oil-based street snack. While scallion is the most common filling, other variants may incorporate sesame seeds or fennel.

Soup Dumplings (Xiaolong Bao)

Soup dumplings, popularised by eateries like Din Tai Fung, are a traditional Chinese food dish that most people are acquainted with. Pork and broth are frequently used to fill these soup dumplings. When you pierce it, a delicious, warm soup oozes forth. While eating them is enjoyable, you will find it more enjoyable to probe them and watch the broth seep out. 

Chinese Noodles

Noodles are one of the most ancient and traditional Chinese food dishes. About 4,000 years ago, Chinese people began eating noodles. Noodles used to be tiny dough sheets. Thin noodle-like strips came later. The art of manufacturing noodles and the ways of cooking them have been constantly refined throughout China’s lengthy history. 

Noodles are now an authentic Chinese food staple in north China, whereas they are more commonly consumed as a snack in the south. Noodles, whatever they are called, are a staple of Chinese cuisine. It comes in several forms, thicknesses, & lengths, as well as with a variety of side dishes and spices. To mention a few well-known examples: Lanzhou as well as Cantonese Wonton Noodles, Pulled Beef Noodles, Beijing Noodles with Minced Pork, Sichuan Dandan Noodles, Chongqing Spicy Noodles, Shanxi Sliced Noodles.

Chinese Pancake

Pancakes are a traditional Chinese food staple dish, particularly in northern China. Shandong Province is where it all began. Nowadays, there are many different varieties of Chinese pancakes, with Shandong Pancakes being the most well-known. Wheat flour, rice flour, bean flour, cornflour, sorghum flour, and sweet potato flour can all be used to make them. Pancakes with egg, sauce, pickled veggies and deep-fried dough sticks folded within are commonly served for breakfast. The flavor might be salty, sweet, spicy, or a combination of these.

BiangBiang Noodles
Traditional Chinese Food

Rather than chow mein, try these biangbiang noodles. In comparison to chow mein, these noodles are larger and fatter, and they resemble chow fun in appearance. Garlic, onions, and beef or mutton are frequently served with them. 


This authentic Chinese food dish is essentially served during breakfast. A rice porridge meal, it’s generally served with pork, seafood, salted duck eggs, or century eggs, and youtiao (fried breadsticks). When you’re sick or the weather is cold, congee is a great dish to make. 

Steamed Stuffed Bun

The steamed filled bun is a traditional Chinese food dish consisting of a flour dough wrapper with filling. It is reported that Zhuge Liang, an excellent statesman and military strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period, designed it for tributes to slain troops in combat. Originally, the filling consisted of minced beef and mutton. Stuffings got increasingly diverse as time went on. The Song Dynasty established the name we use today. 

Char Siu

Char siu is a traditional Chinese food dish. It is a BBQ pork meal that is distinguished by its rich, brilliant red hue. Pork loin, pig belly, and pork butt are the most frequent cuts of pork used, however, this varies by location. Honey, five-spice powder, red fermented bean curd, soy, and hoisin sauce are used not only to season it but also to give it its distinctive red hue. It may be used as a baozi filler, served with noodles, or eaten on its own.

Pork, beef, pickled Chinese cabbage, vermicelli, mushrooms, bean paste, eggplant, cabbage, Chinese chives, fried eggs, tofu, and so on may all be used as stuffing nowadays to create this deliciously authentic Chinese food dish. Small Steamed Buns, Soup Infilled Buns, and Pan-Fried Buns are among the most diverse bun options. 

Sesame Balls 
Traditional Chinese Food

These sesame balls are crisp, tasty, sweet, and coated in sesame seeds, making them a wonderful traditional Chinese food snack or dessert. They’re chewy on the outside and crispy on the inside. They’re comparable to custard-filled doughnut holes since they’re made with glutinous rice and filled with red beans. 

Siu Mai

You may have seen siu mai in one of the dumpling boxes if you’ve ever had dim sum. Siu mai, a traditional Chinese food delicacy, are Mongolian dumplings filled with pork, shrimp, and mushrooms. This local Chinese food also uses other options include shellfish, crab meat, pumpkin, and chives, depending on the season.

Nian gao

Nian gao, or “new year cake,” is a delicious Chinese new year food which is a rice cake served during Chinese New Year. Nian gao, often known as “new year cake” or simply “year cake,” is glutinous rice flour and/or sweet glutinous rice flour dessert that can be sweet or savory depending on the location. Because nian gao is phonetically close to “higher year,” eating it at this time of year is considered fortunate. While this delectable cake is usually sweet, there are also savory variations.

Traditional Chinese Food

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a traditional Chinese food composed mostly of soybeans, black beans, or other high-protein beans. Most people think that Liu An, the seignior of Huainan, Anhui, created tofu in the early days. However, because its flavor was inferior to that of modern tofu, it was not extensively employed as a culinary component. The tofu was introduced to Japan during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD). The process of producing tofu was considerably refined until the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), and tofu became an essential everyday Chinese meal. Tofu is gradually becoming a popular cuisine in not only China, but also Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and other surrounding nations. 

Thus, westernized Chinese food may be tasty, convenient, and comfortable, but they are not real Chinese food preparations.

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