China has been a global power for centuries. In that time, China’s rich and diverse culture has spread across the globe. From Beijing to Boston, from Shanghai to Sydney, people all over the world have come to know and love Chinese food. There is a dish in every region of China which best represents it: Beijing Duck in Northern China; Sichuanese Chicken with Red Chillies in Western China; Cantonese-style Steamed Fish or Lobster with Ginger and Spring Onions in Southern China; Hunan-style Pork Chops with Chili Bean Paste on Rice Noodles in Central China; Mongolian Hot Pot Soup with Lamb and Vegetables around the country. One thing is certain: no matter where you go or what you eat, China dishes are always delicious.
Northern China is famous for its Beijing duck. It was originally served in the imperial Qianmen Quanjude restaurants where it became popular among the Qing Dynasty nobility. Today, the art of Beijing duck-making has become an elaborate show; waiters parade down long dining tables carrying trays upon trays of roasted ducks and cooking accouterments before guests’ eyes. They then begin to carefully carve out crisp skin pieces and fatty meat pieces using cleavers with impressive dynamic skill, all while playing up the theatricality of pushing aside one chair at a time to place a plate. In the eyes of Beijingers, Quanjude restaurants are the best places in town to enjoy Beijing duck.
In terms of taste, however, there is no consensus as to which restaurant cooks the best duck. Some people prefer the traditional method at Quanjude where a whole duck is steamed then roasted over a fire and finally deep-fried for crispness. Others argue that Jing Jue’s low-temperature roasting results in more tender meat with less grease. The two sides also argue about whether it’s better to eat their delicious skin with scallions or pancakes. All these debates aside, one thing stands true: eating Beijing duck was once considered an honor and now has become an opportunity for all who love eating.
Sichuanese Chicken with Red Chillies
Sichuan cuisine is one of the most favored china dishes in the world, known especially for its bold flavor and rich aroma. Sichuanese people like their food “la” (numbing), “ma” (spicy hot), “fen” (sweet), and “suan” (sour). And it is precisely these four flavors that they want in every dish. One of their most popular dishes is chicken with red chilies, or simply called Sichuanese Chicken with Red Chillies.
To make this dish, firstly the chicken is marinated in a mixture of egg white, ginger, garlic, and spring onion. Then it’s fried and drained before being stir-fried with chilies and garlic. For those who can’t take much space, you can always order this dish mild or half-spice. However, if you love spicy food, then we suggest that you eat it as traditionally made – to make your taste buds explode with flavor!
Western China is famous for its fiery Sichuanese dishes; one prime example is Sichuanese Chicken with Red Chillies (Sichuanese: dak dia basal). fried red chili peppers are used which are quite spicy, resulting in a numbing sensation in the mouth. The original dish uses five spices to dry fry the chicken but it often becomes too rich for many tastes these days.
Red chilies (Sichuanese: kizir) were rare and expensive until recently; before that, chili oil was usually made by frying dried red chilies with hot oil until they turned black. Today, substitutes like cayenne pepper or sweet bell peppers are common. Sichuanese Chicken with Red Chillies has also spread beyond China into Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and other regions where Sichuan cuisine is appreciated for its fiery taste and distinctive flavors.
Eating China dishes is a great way to enjoy the flavors of China without having to travel. Thanks to the popularity of this cuisine, you can find restaurants serving up delicious dishes from all over the world. Whether you’re in New York City or Sydney, Australia, there’s sure to be a great place to get your fix of authentic Chinese food. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore the best China dishes eaten all around the world!