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China Food Culture


China cuisine culture also called Chinese food culture is an important part of China culture in the aspect of cooking and leisure. Chinese food has a long history. In early period such as Xia, Shang and Zhou periods, Chinese cuisine has been largely shaped. Peng Zu as the immortal figure of Taoism was a famous cooking master. He was specially treated by King Yao, one of Three Kings before Three Periods due to his special talents in cooking and delicacies he presented. Peng Zu was one of Chinese cuisine culture founders. Yi Ya was the second figure of Chinese cuisine culture. Yi Ya origianlly was a slave, and Shang Tang prefered his dishes. Via the meeting, Yi Ya spoke out his political comments via cooking, and his famous words about the relations between cooking and politics: National Administration is like Making a Dish. Chinese cuisine culture goes sophisticated as the history of China goes. In Qing and Han Dynasties, Palace cuisine is the excellent show of Chinese cuisine culture. In Tang and Song Dynasties, Cuisine is an important part of Chinese elite culture. It is the must of palace banquet, national rites and imperial parties, even the preconditions of the literary creations. Many famous talented figures like Su Dongpo and Yuan Mei were all the first-class gastronomists. So in many famous classics of ancient China, many poems, essay amd stories are closely connected or themed with cuisine. In Hong Lou Meng, The Dream of Read Mansion, vividly shows the traditional culture of cuisine in different chapters. The related party tradition and rituals embody the culture of China cuisine.

China food also has a worldwide reputation due to its long-term spread from China to the other regions of the world. The famous China towns in different countries is firstly known by their special service of Chinese food. And some famous western food is originated from Chinese food in the process of the spread of China food. Currently, Chinese food is easily found in every corner of the world, and it has become an impressive and influential symbol of Chinese culture. So, on occasions, many westerners similarly say the direct impression on China is Kung Fu and Chinese Cuisine when asked about China.

Main Styles of China Cuisine

Chinese food, in general, is healthy and nutritious. Chinese people often have soy-bean milk(豆浆), deep-fried dough sticks(You Tiao, 油条), steamed buns(Man Tou, 馒头) or congee(粥) as breakfast. 

In most of 3 star, 4 star and 5 star hotels, you will be offered with both western and Chinese breakfast for you to choose from. For lunch and dinner, rice, noodles, vegetable, meat (mainly pork, chicken, duck, beef and mutton), eggs, fish and soup are the main choices. 

Food varies within China. Traditionally there are eight main streams of Chinese cuisines, which are known as Anhui Cuisine(徽菜), Canton Cuisine(粤菜), Fujian Cuisine(闽菜), Hunan Cuisine(湘菜), Jiangsu Cuisine(苏菜), Shandong Cuisine(鲁菜), Sichuan Cuisine(川菜) and Zhejiang Cuisine(浙菜). 

One important thing to take note of, even for people who eat a lot of Chinese food back home, is that in China most Chinese dishes are served in a boiling soup to keep the contents hot for longer, which alters the consistency and the flavor of their meals. Below are four main cuisine categories :

Cantonese Cuisine

Canton (Guangzhou) is the provincial capital of Guangdong in southern China, bordering Hong Kong and Macao, the Cantonese cuisine is actually a great combination of north and south. Originated from northern China, wonton noodle is a dish of small dumplings that shrimp and pork with vegetable wrapped in thin flour skin, and then cooked in soup with noodles.

Dim sum (literally "touch of heart") is another specialty in Guangdong Province, it is actually a kind of Chinese snacks : shrimp dumplings, wo tip (pot-sticker), siu maai (small steamed dumplings with pork inside a thin flour wrapper) and then baked or steamed buns filled with preserved meat (cha siu bau). Some Chinese restaurants there start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning.

Steamed beef balls and Chinese spare rib are delicious dim sum meat dishes, turnip cake and lotus leaf rice can be eaten in breakfast and at dinner respectively. Moreover, sweet dishes such as jin duei (a chewy dough filled with red bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and deep fried), sweet creamed buns and Malay steamed sponge cake are very attractive. There are some other Cantonese varieties such as roast suckling pig, dog meat pot and preserved pork with taros.

>>Hongkong Dai Pai Dongs

Beijing Cuisine

Beijing has been the nation's capital in many dynasties and the center of politics, economy and culture, so Beijing Cuisine traditionally represents the flavor of the ancient imperial court. Due to its special statue in history, many ethnic minorities from northern China have lived in the city, so Beijing cuisine has absorbed their specialties into local's cooking technique. By this combination, Beijing cuisine becomes a specialty that is very different from other styles, it has always been loved by gourmets throughout the world. Beijing cuisine mainly consists of the cooking styles of Muslim, imperial recipes from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, seafood from the Tan family cuisine and specialties from some northern provinces.

Muslim cuisine is quite popular in Beijing, its main ingredients are beef and mutton. The famous "Lamb Feast" uses almost all parts on a lamb that can make about a hundred kinds of recipes. Roast and stew mutton are the delicious Muslim dishes in Beijing as well. Imperial recipes of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are having great importance in Beijing cuisine, the notable dishes are fried fish pieces and yellow fish with dried meat pieces. Peking roast duck is loved by gourmets at home and abroad. The dish is prepared by crispy fat duck and chufa and served with steamed buns. Local family style noodle dishes are excellent also, because noodles are more popular than rice in Beijing.

>>Beijing cuisine street

>>Beijing famous dishes

>>Peking roasted duck

Shanghai Cuisine

Sweet taste, rich in sauces and blending of styles are the Shanghai cuisine's characteristics. The cuisine is mainly derived from the rural cooking methods in neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces with a little bit influence of the Western style. The outstanding features in Shanghai cuisine are the methods of braising and stewing, rich sauces and cured meat are popularly used also. Making the good taste and the beautiful color of the dish by controlling the cooking time and the intensity of the fire, "Shanghainese braise fish" is an excellent example of this. Shao Xing Yellow Wine is a produce in Shao Xing County in Zhejiang Province, its aroma taste adds much fragrance to many dishes, especially fish. Use of brown vinegar is very popular also.

>>Shanghai Cuisine Street

>>Shanghai Xiaolongbao

Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan cuisine has a long history and it is very famous throughout the world. The cuisine was originated in ancient Ba and Shu states, and then widely developed during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Sichuan style includes the tastes of Chengdu, Chongqing and some other places in the province. The typical characteristics of the style are hot, spicy and sour, thus the tastes of dishes are very strong.

The strong chili taste is to stimulate the taste buds and appetite in hot and humid weather during summer, as well as to make people feel warmer during miserable winter in Sichuan Province. Well known Sichuan recipes are Sichuan beef and re-cooked pork, which is a dish of pork, cooked in boiled water, and then stir-fried in a very hot pan with cooking oil and put sauces on it finally. Cold noodles mixed with peanut sauce is a favorite snack in Chengdu and Chongqing, it can be served either spicy or not. Ma-Po bean curd is very mouth-watering that is commonly eaten with rice. It is mainly made of fine bean curd cut to small pieces and cooked with slices of pork and peppers and chilies. The taste of the dishes, of course, is very hot.

Apart from these four categories, there are some specialties in the northwest, e.g. the kebab and beef noodles in Gansu Province, dumpling banquet and rou jia mo (a kind of Chinese style sandwich that looks like a hamburger) in Xi'an and Xinjiang's lamb grill.

>>Sichuan Twice-cooked Pork

>>Sichuan Fish-flavored Pork


China Food >>> The Themed Topic of Chinese Cuisine Features and Representatives

China Food Culture also called China Cuisine Culture as an important part of China Culture is a systematic show of Chinese cooking art. In different regions of China, different famous cuisines or dishes are most welcomed. So China has many different types of cuisine tradition. In Shandong, we call it Shangdong cuisine, which is themed with strong taste and diverse ingredients. In Sichuan, we call it Sichuan cuisine featuring the hot taste and pepper-centered ingredients. In Canton, we call the food Cantonese food, which is vividly featured of the cooking materials and diverse tastes. In Jiangsu, we call the cuisine Huiyang Cuisine, which is themed with the local delicacies of Huaian and Yangzhou. In Anhui province, We call the food as Hui cuisine, which is strongly characterized of the strong oil and taste. Differnt styles of cuisine reflect different preferences of local citizens and also release the local tradition

China cuisine



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