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Newbie guide to Chinese cuisine for Interns in China

When most people consider the thought of traveling to china, in most cases there is a feeling of exploration, exploration of a new land with different people, a different language and a change in scenery.  If you ever Googled coming to china or in any case ask other people, one of the phrases you will continuously come across is culture shock.  The ‘culture shock’ stems from the fact that arguably, China tops the list as one of the unique and different places. One of the biggest concerns for newbies in China is the Chinese cuisine. Our Internship in China Program participants are given the first treat to the usage of Chop sticks with a yummy Chinese delicacy . 

We have seen and heard about the bizarre things Chinese people eat like smelly toufu, spiders, bugs, bean juice, dog meat etc. and while that is true many foreign cuisines are delicious which in my opinion, surpass some of the western cuisines. Here comes the best part…many of the bizarre things that foreigners are hesitant to eat in china are considered as the best cuisines and expensive but for the likable that foreigners consume and absolutely enjoy are cheap and are available in every street corner.

I will highlight seven best Chinese cuisines for foreigners so when planning your China Internship or Chinese language Program, you factor these in your wish list at least task as many of them as possible;

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Gong Bao Chicken 宫保鸡丁

This is a famous sweet and a little spicy Sichuan-style specialty, popular with both Chinese and foreigners. It is made up of are diced chicken, dried chili, and fried peanuts.

Western countries have created a Western-style gong bao chicken. They cover the chicken with cornstarch, vegetables, sweet and sour sauce and mashed garlic.



Chao Mian 炒面

Chao mian basically means stir-fried noodles. It is one of the easiest meals to prepare, just boil the noodles and fry them with vegetables and add meat of your choice. Chao mian is very popular in USA and the Britain.



Jiaozi 饺子

Dumpling making has a long history of more than 1,800 years, since the song dynasty with a round or crescent shape. For that, dumplings are a traditional food widely popular in China and for foreigners as well. They are boiled, steamed or fried to eat and they consist of minced meat (pork, diced shrimp, ground chicken or beef) and chopped vegetables wrapped into a thin piece of dough skin.



Beijing Roasted Duck 北京烤 鸭

This is a must-try gourmet when you travel to Beijing. With a history of more than 600 years, Beijing roast duck is very famous and considered one of China’s national dishes. It is savored for its thin tender meat and crispy skin. The Sliced Beijing duck is often eaten with thin pancakes, sweet bean sauce, or soy with mashed garlic.

The most famous Peking duck restaurants are Quanjude, Bianyifang and Dadong Roast Duck.



Sweet and Sour Pork 糖醋里脊


In the beginning there was only sweet and sour pork, but to meet demands, there have been some developments on this dish. Now, the pork can be substituted by other ingredients like chicken, beef or pork ribs.

This dish has a beautiful bright orange-red color look and good taste and the flavor of being sweet and sour is appeals to most foreigners, making it popular around the world..



Egg-fried rice 蛋炒饭

Just like Chao mian, Egg-fried rice is also easy to cook, by boiling the rice and frying it with egg, vegetables and you can choose to add meat. It is also one of the most ordered dishes at Chinese takeaways and restaurants. Some people have it as a side dish with other main dishes, while some may order it as the main food for lunch or dinner.



烧烤 – shao kao – Bbq

It is one of the best outdoor chilling street foods during the summer since they are mostly set up along the streets, while sipping beer with friends. It is prepared with meat, fish, seafood and vegetables after being heavily seasoned with different kinds of spices. After all who doesn’t like outdoor Bbq vibe?

These dishes may be one of the liked dishes among the foreigners but that does not mean that is all there is. China has a broad range of cuisines with different styles that originate from diverse regions. So when you visit Chinese restaurants, do not be shy to order weird things. You might end up surprising yourself and liking the taste. Be adventurous and you will like the experience!


Explore Chinese Culture While Traveling

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