China’s winter cuisine is a bit different from that of the other seasons, and surprisingly diverse, with dishes changing in cooking methods and flavors. Many Chinese people in winter are particularly fond of stew or spicy flavor, so as to stay warm.
Do your interests lie in Chinese food? Feast yourself on the most popular winter snacks and dishes in China!
1. Hot pot (火锅)
Winter is just the season for hot pot! Most famous in Sichuan and Chongqing, hot pot now is must-have food in winter for all people in the country. Family members and friends sit around a dining table with a simmering metal pot at the center. While the hot pot is kept simmering, you can cook all kinds of ingredients, including sliced meat, beef, fresh vegetables, mushrooms and seafood. Enjoy the food with a dipping sauce. If you like spicy flavor, add much hot chili pepper and hua jiao or Prickly Ash like what Sichuan people do.
2. Jiao zi or dumpling (饺子)
China’s most famous dish to foreigners – dumpling – takes the form of pieces of dough wrapped around a filling, and is a traditional food served at many of Chinese important festivals, like the Winter Solstice and Spring Festival. The fillings are varied from meat, beef to all kinds of vegetables. And the cooking method of dumpling includes boiling, steaming, simmering, frying and baking.
3. Nourishing stew (滋补炖汤)
The Chinese regimen focuses a lot on a healthy diet. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that winter is the best time to adopt a healthy diet for nutritional supplement and speeding up the metabolism. Stew based on nourished ingredients and some medicine herbs can help protect us from the cold and dryness, stay warm and build a healthy body in winter. Famous Chinese winter stew include radish & briskets soup, black soy bean & catfish soup, Braised Mutton with wolfberry, Lotus Root and Rib soup, etc.
4. Sweet soup balls or Tangyuan (汤圆)
Traditional food for Chinese Lantern Festival, Tangyuan denotes family union, harmony and happiness. It is made of glutinous rice flour as the wrapper, and with rose petals, pumpkin, sesame, bean paste, jujube paste or sugar as the filling.
5. New Year Rice Cake (年糕)
Another Spring Festival (Chinese New Year Festival) food, this traditional snack is varied in different places, and mostly made of sticky rice or glutinous rice, and combines with sugar, ham, sesame, peanuts, red jujube, etc. Rice cake can be cooked by steaming, frying or baking.
6. Barbeque (烧烤)
Barbeque is a winter favorite in China. All kinds of food can be ingredients for barbeque here.