Dishes authentic to China are different from the ones commonly served in Western or Western-influenced countries. Traditional Chinese food is methodical, thoughtful, delicate, and packs a flavor punch to dream about.
Traditional Chinese Dishes
A few dishes are notoriously traditional in China. In the States and other Western developments, you’ll see the favorites listed below on your menu out. If you’re lucky, they’ll be prepared and served by a chef who’s stayed true to tradition.
Five best-known, traditional Chinese dishes are Peking duck, biang biang noodles, dim sum, xiaolongbao, and Sichuan hot pot.
The popularity of Peking Duck dates back to the Yuan Dynasty. It is one of the most common dishes in Chinese cooking and can be served in a variety of ways.
The most authentic preparation of Peking Duck is served with the following:
- Steamed pancakes
- Spring onions
- Cucumber sticks
- Sweet bean sauce
- Crispy duck skin with white sugar dipping sauce
When eating Peking Duck out in a restaurant, ask for the chef’s preparation recommendations.
Biang Biang Noodles
Biang biang noodles are thick, fat and all different shapes. They are cut straight from dough balls and carry a heavy but tasty dough flavor.
Traditionally, these noodles are served with the following:
Dim sum consists of bite-size pieces, usually three to four, served in a small bamboo basket. A few common bits include:
- Rice noodle rolls
- Steamed vegetables (mainly greens)
- BBQ pork buns
Traditional dim sum is steamed or fried and is a celebrated way to share time and memories with family and friends.
Xiaolongbao is a dumpling filled with soup and is easier to think of as soup served in a dumpling. The sweet soup can be alarmingly hot and surprising, so eaters must delicately approach each dumpling. The best way to eat Xiaolongbao is to bite a dumpling corner and suck the soup out or pucker your lips and let it drip onto your tongue.
Soup dumplings are traditionally filled with crab or meat and steamed in bamboo baskets before serving.
Sichuan Hot Pot
Sichuan hot pot is beloved for the sensation felt by the infamous Sichuan pepper. This pepper can not be sufficiently described as hot or spicy; it has a nature of its own that leaves a tingling sensation on the eaters’ tongues and lips.
Hot pot partially owes its popularity to its versatility, allowing diners to add ingredients of their choosing and picking their ideal dipping sauce after the hot pot is cooked.
Telltale signs of Authentic Chinese Dishes
When you are out for Chinese food, there are a few ways to tell if the dishes you’re indulging in are authentic to the country’s native cooking.
Properties authentic to traditional Chinese dishes are powerful, carefully thought through, and health-focused. Next time you’re dining out, keep an eye open or ask the waitstaff to fill you in on the following:
- Medicinal properties that focus on balancing heat and cold in the nodu
- Ingredient variety with vegetables and meat neither native nor common to the Western world
- Distinct flavors that keep any meal from tasting the same
- Stir-fried, and rarely or never deep-fried or boiled
- Seasonal selections that keep food fresh and healthy
Zhen Wei Fang invites you to explore the authenticity of Chinese food fused with our chef’s personal taste and touches of French and Asian cuisine.
Pop in to visit us on the Bowery for an unconventional, high-technology dining experience that lends itself to the most authentic dishes you’d find bopping around China, but with a true New York taste and elevation.
To make a reservation, call us at (646) 798-5590 or (646) 506-4420.