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What Are the Popular Foods in China?

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Lauren Beck

China boasts a wealth of culinary customs, encompassing a variety of dishes and ingredients that showcase the country’s expansive landscape and cultural background. Whether you’re embarking on a journey to China or simply curious about Chinese gastronomy, familiarizing yourself with the local cuisine is crucial.

In this article, we will introduce you to 10 popular foods in China, as well as answer some common questions about Chinese eating habits. So, put on your bib and let’s dig in!

10 Popular Foods in China

  1. Peking Duck: This iconic dish originated in Beijing and is known for its crispy skin and tender meat.
  2. Kung Pao Chicken: This spicy and savory dish is made with chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, and is a popular option at many Chinese restaurants.
  3. Dumplings: Dumplings come in many varieties and are a staple food in China, often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions.
  4. Hot Pot: Hot pot is a communal dish that involves cooking raw ingredients like meat, seafood, and vegetables in a boiling pot of soup stock at the table.
  5. Mapo Tofu: This spicy and flavorful dish is made with soft tofu, minced meat, and chili oil and is a popular Sichuan dish.
  6. Xiaolongbao: Also known as soup dumplings, Xiaolongbao are a type of steamed dumpling filled with soup broth and meat [1].
  7. Congee: Congee is a type of rice porridge that is often served for breakfast or when someone is feeling under the weather.
  8. Spring Rolls: Spring rolls are a popular appetizer or snack in China, made with vegetables, meat, or seafood, wrapped in a thin pastry and deep-fried.
  9. Stir-Fried Vegetables: Stir-fried vegetables are a common side dish or main course in China, often cooked with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.
  10. Sichuan Hot Pot: Sichuan hot pot is a variation of hot pot that is known for its spicy and numbing flavor, thanks to the use of Sichuan peppercorns.

What Is the Main Food in China?

Rice is often considered the main food in China, as it is a staple ingredient in many Chinese dishes. However, the Chinese diet is diverse, and other grains like wheat, corn, and barley are also commonly used in different regions of China.

What Do the Chinese Eat for Breakfast?

Breakfast in China varies by region, but some common options include:

  • Congee: A type of rice porridge that can be sweet or savory.
  • Baozi: Steamed buns filled with meat or vegetables.
  • Jianbing: A type of Chinese crepe filled with egg, scallions, and other ingredients.
  • Dim Sum: A type of small, bite-sized dishes often served in bamboo baskets.

How Many Meals Do Chinese Eat a Day?

The Chinese typically eat three meals a day, with lunch and dinner being the main meals.

What Is a Common Chinese Snack?

A common Chinese snack is baozi, which are steamed buns filled with meat, vegetables, or sweet bean paste.

Do Chinese Eat a Lot of Potatoes?

Potatoes are not a traditional ingredient in Chinese cuisine, but they have become more popular in recent years due to western influences.

Do Chinese Eat More Rice or Noodles?

home made stir fry noodles

Both rice and noodles are staple foods in China, and which one is more popular can vary by region.

Why Do Chinese Eat So Many Eggs?

Eggs are a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine, and they are often used in soups, stir-fries, and dumplings. Eggs are also believed to be good for the body and are often consumed for their nutritional benefits.

What Do Chinese Drink While Eating?

Tea is a common drink in China and is often consumed during meals. Other popular drinks include beer, rice wine, and soy milk.


China’s diverse culinary traditions offer a vast array of flavors and dishes to explore. From iconic dishes like Peking duck and Kung Pao chicken to breakfast foods like baozi and jianbing, Chinese cuisine has something to offer for everyone. Rice is often considered the main food in China, but the Chinese diet is diverse and includes a variety of grains and ingredients. Whether you’re snacking on baozi or enjoying a hot pot, Chinese cuisine is a must-try for any food lover. So, the next time you visit a Chinese restaurant or take a trip to China, make sure to sample some of the popular dishes mentioned above and explore all that Chinese cuisine has to offer!


Lauren Beck
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