Chinese Food – Mysterious China Blog Welcome to Mysterious China Blog. The blog's main purpose is to let the world know the ancient, civilized and mysterious China. Mysterious China blog introduces all about China, including Chinese history, Chinese culture, Chinese scenery, China travel tour, Chinese food, China today, Chinese kung fu, Chinese legend and Beijing Olympics. Sun, 16 Aug 2015 22:21:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Chinese Menu Wed, 15 Feb 2012 01:09:41 +0000 the-chinese-menu

One of the best things about any visit to China is the food, at least for the independent traveler. But outside Hong Kong and big hotels and expat cafe ghettos on the mainland, few restaurants have English menus.

Menus generally open with liang cai (cold dishes). Except in top-class Sino-foreign joint-venture restaurants, you are strongly advised to avoid these cold dishes, especially if you’re on a short trip. The restaurant’s specialties also come early in the menu, often easily spotted by their significantly higher prices, and if you dither, the waitress will recommend them, saying, “I hear this one’s good.” Waitresses always recommend ¥180 dishes, never ¥18 ones. Occasionally, some of these may be made from creatures, or may contain an odd material like swallow saliva (the main ingredient of bird’s nest soup, a rather bland and uninteresting Cantonese delicacy).

Main dishes come next, various meats and fish before vegetables and doufu (tofu), and drinks at the end. There are rarely desserts, although Guangdong (Cantonese) food has absorbed the tradition of eating something sweet at the end of the meal from across the border in Hong Kong, where all restaurants have something to offer of this kind, if only sliced fruit.

Soup is usually eaten last, although dishes arrive in a rather haphazard order. Outside Guangdong Province, Hong Kong, and Macau, rice usually arrives toward the end, and if you want it with your meal you must ask (point at the characters for rice, below, when the first dish arrives).

There is no tipping. Tea, chopsticks, and napkins should be free, although if a wrapped packet of tissues arrives, there may be a small fee. Service charges do not exist outside of major hotels, and there are no cover charges or taxes. If you are asked what tea you would like, then you are going to receive something above average and will be charged. You should be careful, since some varieties of tea may cost more than the meal itself.

Most Chinese food is not designed to be eaten solo, but if you do find yourself on your own, ask for small portions (xiao pan). These are usually about 70% the size of a full dish and about 70% the price, but they enable you to sample the menu properly without too much waste.

Chinese Traditional Food — Jiaozi Mon, 12 Jan 2009 18:56:30 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-e28094-jiaozi

The Jiaozi is the traditional food well received by Chinese people. It is a kind of very yummy food. The Jiaozi is the essential food in Chinese New Year.


1 pound flour

10 ounce pork

1/2 pound Chinese cabbage, finely chopped, mixed with 1 tablespoon salad oil to coat

3 cups cold water

Wet ingredients: 1/2 tablespoon wine, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons salad oil, and 1/2tablespoon sesame oil

Spices and flavorings: 2 ounces minced green onion, I ounce minced ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon


To make the dough:

1. Mix flour with cold water in a food processor until it forms tiny and moist pieces.

2. Place the flour mixture in a bowl and knead until dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

To make the stuffing:

1. Mix pork with wet ingredients and stir in one direction until sticky.

2. Add spices and flavorings, and stir again in the same direction until blended.

3. Add cabbage and stir in the same direction until mixed evenly.

To make the Jiaozi:

1. Knead and roll a piece of dough into a log shape, about half an inch in diameter.

2. Cut the log-shaped dough into pieces about a square inch or smaller. Flatten the pieces with a rolling pin to form a thin circle 1.5 inches in diameter.

3. Place 1/2 teaspoon stuffing (add more as you perfect your skills) in the center of each circle, fold in half, and press the edges together with your fingers until they are tightly sealed.

To cook the Jiaozi:

1. Boil water and drop in the Jiaozi one at a time. Stir gently to separate them.

2. Return to a boil and add 1 cup cold water. Do this twice more, then remove the jiaozi from the water and drain.

Tips: Some Chinese use a concoction of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic juice, chili sauce, and sesame oil as the sauce.

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Chinese Traditional Food — Yuanxiao Sun, 11 Jan 2009 16:18:11 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-e28094-yuanxiao

Yuanxiao is also named as Tangyuan, rice glue ball, sweet soup balls or rice ball. It is a traditional food for the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the first Chinese lunar month, which is generally considered the end of the Chinese New Year season. The word Yuanxiao means “eve of the first day” and its round shape is symbolic of family reunion, a major theme of the Chinese New Year.


1 package glutinous rice powder (about 1 pound)

1 cup hot water

4 ounce Chinese date paste or red bean paste or sesame paste

2 cups cooking oil

1 ounce sugar


1. Mix rice powder and water to form dough.

2. Add sugar into date paste or red bean paste or sesame paste and stir evenly.

3. Shape date or bean paste or sesame paste into 20 portions.

4. Knead dough gently and roll into a log about 1 inch in diameter; divide into 20 slices.

5. Press each piece of dough at the center to make a hollow and place a portion of paste in it.

6. Gently press the dough to close it and shape it into a ball (the Yuanxiao).

7. Boil Yuanxiao in a pot. Serve warm!

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Chinese Traditional Food — Rice Cake Fri, 09 Jan 2009 16:28:30 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-rice-cake

While northerners eat Jiaozi to celebrate the Chinese New Year, people in the South cannot do without Rice Cake (Niangao), because its pronunciation can be interpreted as “Life improves with each passing year” They believe that eating Rice Cake (Niangao) on the eve of the Chinese New Year will bring them good fortune in the year to come.


10 ounce glutinous rice flour (available in Asian groceries)

1 cup water

2 ounce sugar

16 jujubes (Chinese date)

2 ounce preserved fruit


1. Mix rice flour, water, sugar thoroughly.

2. Add jujubes and preserved fruit, stir until paste forms.

3. Spread the paste on a lightly buttered heatproof plate.

4. Set the plate on a steamer tray and steam on high heat for two hours.

The cake is done when a chopstick (or cake tester) inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Chinese Traditional Food — Laba Porridge Thu, 08 Jan 2009 23:40:16 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-laba-porridge

Laba Porridge (rice porridge with nuts and dried fruit etc) is an important part of traditional Chinese food, and there are numerous kinds in various regions of China. Laba Porridge is known to every Chinese, as it marks a particular day, namely, the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, which is usually at the beginning of January. Most Chinese treat it as a reminder of the approaching Chinese New Year. In fact, Laba Porridge was originally used to celebrate the day when Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, experienced his first revelation after six years of practicing asceticism, surviving on one meal of rice every day.


6 ounce sugar

Dry ingredients:

1/2 pound glutinous rice; total of 1/2 pound red bean, mung bean, jujubes, peanuts and lotus seeds (available in Asian groceries), or other nuts and dried fruit.


1. Rinse the dry ingredients, then add them to a pot half filled with water.

2. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to medium.

3. Add sugar and simmer for 1.5 hours, until ingredients are softened.

4. Stir until blended, and serve.

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Chinese Traditional Food — Zongzi Wed, 07 Jan 2009 21:16:54 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-zongzi

Zongzi (a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves)

Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food similar to tamale. It is a special treat for the Duanwu Festival or Loong Boat Festival.


1 pound glutinous rice

1/2 pound red bean paste

3 ounce preserved fruit

2 ounce raisin

20 pieces dried bamboo leaves (available in Asian groceries)

Length of cotton twine or strong white thread


1. Rinse glutinous rice and soak for 4 hours, then drain.

2. Divide preserved fruit and raisin into 10 portions.

3. Overlap two bamboo leaves lengthwise to make a sheet one-and-a-half leaves wide.

4. Fold the bamboo sheet to form a cone.

5. Add 1 tablespoon glutinous rice to the cone, then one portion preserved fruit and raisin. Top with 1 tablespoon rice.

6. Fold the edges over to cover the top of the cone. Fasten securely with twine or thread so that no contents leak out.

7. Boil the Zongzi for three hours. Drain, then arrange on a platter and serve.

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Chinese Traditional Food — Moon Cake Wed, 07 Jan 2009 00:12:46 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-moon-cake

Moon cakes, shaped like the full moon, are traditional Chinese snacks for the Mid-autumn Festival, which takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth Chinese lunar month (near the beginning of October), when the moon looks the brightest. On that evening, Chinese families will customarily get together and eat moon cakes, along with fruit and wine. As they enjoy the beauty of the full moon, they commemorate the Moon Goddess, Chang’e. The significance of this festival is comparable to the American Thanksgiving.


1.5 pound flour

6.5 ounce butter

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

6.5 tablespoon peanut oil

2 ounce peanut kernel

5 ounce sesame seeds

1 egg, beaten

1 ounce salt and pepper powder mixture



1. Cut 6 ounce butter into 0.5 pound flour to make “buttered dough”. Divide into 10 portions.

2. Melt 0.5 ounce butter and add 1/2 cup water. Stir in another 0.5 pound flour to make “water-oil dough.” Divide into 10 portions.


1. Steam last 0.5 pound flour 15 minutes and let cool in a bowl. It should look slightly darker, with a rough texture, and be slightly hardened, but the lumps should be easy to break.

2. Add sugar, peanut oil, peanut kernel, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper powder to the steamed flour and mix evenly. Divide the stuffing into 10 portions.

Make the moon cakes:

1. Flatten each piece of water-oil dough into a circle, forming a “wrapper”.

2. Wrap a piece of buttered dough in each water-oil dough circle and then flatten again into a new circle (wrapper).

3. Distribute the stuffing among the wrappers and press each into a floured pattern mold, 3 or 4 inches in diameter, to make a cake.

4. Brush the cakes with the beaten egg. Bake at 180°C for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Halfway through baking, turn the cakes over and brush the other side with the egg.

Let cool before serving.

Tips: You may add various kernel or dried fruit into stuffing of moon cake.

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Chinese Traditional Food — Shaobing Tue, 06 Jan 2009 03:56:07 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-shaobing

Shaobing (Baked Crispy Sesame Cake) is one of the numerous cake snacks eaten for Chinese breakfast. Shaobing is as popular as American muffin or biscuit in China.


1 pound self-rising flour

1 cup lukewarm water

2 ounce peanut butter

1 ounce sesame

4 tablespoon syrup


1. Mix flour with water and knead until soft dough forms (make sure dough is not sticky).

2. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface into circle about 1/3-inch thick.

3. Spread peanut butter on circle and roll circle up into a log.

4. Slice log into 1.5 inch thick pieces. Flatten pieces into about 1/3 inch thick cakes.

5. Brush the surface of cakes with syrup, and then sprinkle sesame on the surface.

6. Bake the cakes at 190°C until lightly browned.

You may enjoy the yummy Chinese Shaobing at once!

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Chinese Traditional Food — Spiced Beef Mon, 05 Jan 2009 23:34:46 +0000 chinese-traditional-food-spiced-beef

The Spiced Beef cooking technique described in this recipe is peculiar to the Chinese. The cooked beef, cooled and sliced, is a favorite Chinese cold dish.


1 pound beef

pinch powdered chicken bouillon

few drops of sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients: 1/2 cup soybean paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon wine, 1/2 can beer

Spices and flavorings: 2 pieces Chinese cinnamon, 5 anise seeds, 1/2 ounce green onion, 1/2 ounce squashed ginger


1. Submerge beef in water in saucepan. Boil until meat turns gray and water becomes foamy.

2. Drain beef. Submerge in a fresh pot of water.

3. Add wet ingredients, salt, spices and flavorings and boil again.

4. Skim off any foam, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours.

5. When beef is tender (can be easily pierced with a chopstick), increase heat to thicken the sauce. Add powdered chicken bouillon and sesame oil to flavor.

6. Cool (optional), slice and serve.

Chinese Caramel Pork Thu, 01 Jan 2009 21:09:00 +0000 chinese-caramel-pork

The Chinese caramel pork, known as “Braised Pork in Brown Sauce” too, which subtly combines the sweet flavors of caramel and salty soy sauce.


600g pork

2 onions

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

8 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons pepper

2 tablespoons wine

1 / 2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons oil


1. Cut the pork into cubes. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, cubes of pork and pepper. The meat is well coated with sauce. And let it cool 1 hour.

2. Cut onions into thin slice, chop the garlic after removing the seeds. Squeeze the lemon.

3. In a wok, add the onions in oil. Add the drained meat (keep the marinade!) and cook 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, lemon juice, water, wine and marinade. Cook for about thirty minutes on medium heat.

4. Make a caramel by melting the sugar in a pan (high heat). When the caramel is brown, pour into the wok and bake about twenty minutes.

Good appetite!

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