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Traditional Chinese Cuisine and Its Features


Chinese cuisine, with a long history, multiple styles and traditions, and unique cooking methods, is integral to the great Chinese culture. The Chinese are very sensitive to food, knowing how to appreciate every cup of rice. Moreover, there is no concept of a light snack here because this shows disrespect for food. Food is a pleasure, and its preparation is a whole philosophy. Traditional Chinese cuisine is famous for a wide variety of dishes, and each province necessarily has its specialty, defending the right to be the best cuisine in the country. National dishes are famous for their attractive appearance, rich aroma, and unusual taste.

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Distinctive Features of Chinese Cuisine

Although Chinese cuisine is a part of Asian cuisine, it has unique characteristics. In this cuisine, unlike most Asian countries, there is much more meat than seafood. Pork and poultry are widely used from meat, while beef and lamb are used less often. Moreover, according to Zhang and Ma (2020), most of the dishes in Chinese cuisine are very multicomponent. Many seemingly incompatible aromas and tastes of different products are organically mixed in Chinese cuisine into a single whole. For example, Rahman et al. (2019) note such combinations as “fish-flavored pork,” “fruit-flavored beef,” and sweet and sour cucumbers are considered popular. But the main secret of the peculiarity of Chinese cuisine lies not in the variety of products and the way they are combined but in the preparation method. Correct cutting and competent processing of ingredients is the key to the taste of any dish. In the cooking technique, chefs use many forms of heat treatment to preserve all the valuable substances of the products. Small identical pieces cook very quickly; 2-3 minutes of frying over high heat is enough.

Old Delicious Chinese Recipes

Lily (2021), among the main ancient traditional dishes of Chinese cuisine, includes:

Ma Po Tofu

One of the most ancient Chinese dishes is Ma Po Tofu, which has a history of over 100 years. The word Ma means the spicy and tangy flavor in this dish, which comes from pepper powder, one of Sichuan cuisine’s most commonly used ingredients. Tofu is flavored by the addition of ground beef and finely chopped green onions.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Whether it’s a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, chain restaurant, or fast food stall, every Chinese restaurant has a traditional Sweet and Sour Pork on the menu. The main version of the dish, which is a piece of pork with a crispy crust on the outside and juicy pulp on the inside in a sweet and sour sauce, is cooked everywhere. But depending on the region and taste preferences, a variety of ingredients are added to this dish and served with vegetables or a bright aromatic fruit such as pineapple.

Peking Roasted Duck

Speaking of the old recipes of Chinese cuisine, it is difficult not to recall the legendary Peking roasted duck, the recipe for which appeared already during the Ming Empire in the 15th century. A precious part of the Peking duck is its thin and crunchy skin. Duck thinly sliced is usually served with tortillas, sweet bean sauce, or soy with minced garlic.

Fa Gao

Fa Gao is a traditional dessert for celebrating the Chinese New Year. At this time, it is customary to prepare Fa Gao, painted in bright colors. One of the features of Fa Gao is its appearance. The top of the cake cracks and opens during the preparation process, resembling a smile or a flower. Thus, colorful cupcakes symbolize blossoming flowers, full of strength and hope for a brighter future.

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Chinese cuisine is considered an essential component of the culture of this country. Local dishes are famous for their attractive appearance, rich aroma, and unusual taste. Although Chinese cuisine has absorbed the features of Asian cuisine, it has unique properties, including the abundance of meat dishes, multicomponent, and the uniqueness of the cutting of ingredients and their processing. Ancient Chinese dishes such as Ma Po Tofu, Sweet and Sour Pork, Peking Roasted Duck, and Fa Gao will not leave you indifferent.


Lily. (2021). The 15 most popular Chinese dishes, tasty Chinese food. China Highlights.

Rahman, M., Al-Khusaibi, M. & Al-Habsi, N. (2019). Traditional foods: History, preparation, processing and safety. Springer International Publishing.

Zhang, N. & Ma, G. (2020). Nutritional characteristics and health effects of regional cuisines in China. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 7(7).

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