If you’re on the flight to China right now, say goodbye to your Panda Express orange chicken, or your deep fried egg rolls. China has much more than what Western cuisine has showed us as Chinese cuisine. Of course, China is a big country, and because of this, every region has a different profile of flavors and foods that they typically prepare for meals. Either way, get your stomach ready because it is going to be a delicious ride!
Ma Po Tofu
Though it may not be the prettiest dish you could eat in China, it is definitely one of the best. With silky tofu, and a rich spicy sauce, Ma Po Tofu is a dish that makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Usually served with fresh green onions chopped on top, and a bowl of steaming fresh rice, this dish is the perfect balance of spicy, sour, sweet, and salty.
Soup Dumplings (Xiaolongbao)
Soup dumplings are literally dumplings from the gods. I have no idea how they make them! Think about this… you get a soft white dumpling, perfectly creased on the top, and the perfect size for you soup spoon. As you take a bite, flavorful soup bursts from the inside of the dumpling, piping hot, and wonderfully tasty! The soup fills the spoon as it pours from the inside of the dumpling, and you place the whole thing in your mouth. Soup, a wonderful meat and veggie filling, and a soft dumpling wrap makes your whole body relax with delight! Drooling yet?
Scallion pancakes are crispy, fried, triangles of goodness. Flakey dough is accented by scallions layered in. You can get these pancakes either on the street from vendors or in restaurants (usually as an appetizer). Try to get these when they are made fresh! They’re not as good the next day, we promise!
The egg tarts you can find on mainland China originated from Hong Kong, which was a British colony in the south east of China with other influences. For the egg tart, Portugese influences shines through in this sweet treat. These little tarts of deliciousness are made of a creamy, sweet egg yolk center, with a flaky puff- pastry like crust. They are like the chocolate chip cookie of China!
White Rabbit Candies
Ok, so maybe this isn’t a “food” per se, but White Rabbit candies are something that you must try! When you buy them, they come individually wrapped in two wrappings. The first, is the printed wrapper which obviously, you shouldn’t eat. The second wrapping, which is right around the candy, is a clear rice paper, and you eat it with the candy! Though it may seem weird at first, the rice paper wrapper is a fun textual experience, and it dissolves almost immediately as soon as it hits your tongue. The candy itself is a creamy, chewy, milky candy that will delight people of all ages!