Discover the Many Flavors of Breakfast in China

It’s hard to beat various kinds of Chinese breakfast as one of the most authentic and vibrant ways to experience the local cuisine.

When travelling in China, instead of seriously having Western buffet at hotel, why not search out for the most usual yet popular and mouth-watering breakfast? Whether you are obsessed with feasting on Chinese dumplings and noodles, sipping a nutrition soup or chewing the yummy big pancakes, the following Chinese breakfast is to whet your appetite.

Guangzhou – stick rice with chicken 

Guangzhou Breakfast

Guangzhou is hailed as the food paradise in China and boasts very special tea dim sum as daily breakfast. Stick rice with chicken covered by lotus leaf is one of them, which looks fairly plain but stands out for excellent taste, light lotus scent and surprising stuffing including barbecued pork, mushroom and salted egg yellow.

Shanghai – steamed pork bun

Shanghai steamed bunShanghai breakfast

Many food cultures have been influencing Shanghai’s breakfast. Steamed pork bun originally from Yangzhou city is favored by both Shanghai people and visitors as breakfast and snack. It is big in size and eaten with a straw to sip the fresh pureed soup first. Steamed pork bun always reminds visitors of the unique flavor of Shanghai.

Guilin – Guilin rice noodles 

Guilin Rice Noodles

Guilin is not only famous for its surreal (Karst) landscape, but also the yummy rice noodles – a must for all local people in the morning. This breakfast needs complex skill on making ingredients, fine brine and bone soup, and could be very spicy if you prefers.

Yellow Mountain – fresh soup wonton

Yellow Mountain Food

A visit to Yellow Mountain or Huangshan city, you should never miss the fresh soup wonton at a vendor’s stall or snack shop for breakfast. The wonton wrapper is hand-made into crystal translucent, while the soup is carefully processed by pork bones.

Beijing – soya bean milk and fried dough stick

Beijing Breakfast

Soya bean milk and fried dough sticks is a perfect match and the most usual breakfast for millions of Chinese people in the morning, especially for Beijingers. Other usual breakfast in Beijing include cruller, porridge, pancake, etc.

Tianjin – Fruit pancake 

Tianjin Food

A very popular kind of breakfast and snack in Tianjin, the fruit pancake has spread to all over China. It is made up of an egg pancake, caraway, cruller and matched with spicy or sweet soybean sauce. Local people call cruller guozi (fruit), thus fruit pancake.

Chongqing – Xiao Mian (Little noodles) 

Chongqing Breakfast

Xiao Mian noodle is known as the standard breakfast for Chongqing people, featuring rich aroma of pepper. It pay much attention to the dozens of ingredient and seasonings, including fried peanuts, soybean, sesame paste, pepper powder, caraway, garlic, sesame oil and so forth.

Dumplings 

Chinese breakfast Dumpling

Famous Snacks to Try in China’s 10 Cities

Chinese are good at cooking, any ingredients could be cooked into delicacy, and this is evidence in the street food, which is fun, special, absolutely delicious and great value! Make sure you try the snack food when visiting China’s top cuisine cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou…

1. Beijing

Douzhi’er (豆汁) is the most typical traditional drink in Beijing, which is made from mung beans and tastes slightly sour, loved by old Beijingers.

Fried Sauce Noodles or Zhajiangmian (炸酱面) is a flavorful dish of thick wheat noodles covered with a mixture of ground meat stir-fried with fermented soybean paste.

Kaorouwan (烤肉宛) refers to a barbecue restaurant located in Inner St., Xuanwu Gate, Xicheng District, first found in 1686. It is most well-known for roast beef and favored by many famous people such as painter Qi Baishi and Beijing Opera artist Mei Lanfang.

2. Shanghai

Steamed Buns (小笼包) are the iconic food of Shanghai, famous for thin peeling, fresh stuffing, multi juice, delicious flavor and cute shape. Try the Steam Buns of Nanxiang with a history of over 100 years in Town God Temple, which is known as “the heaven of snacks”.

3. Xian

Dumpling Banquet (饺子宴) is renovated from traditional dumpling, and brought forth new ideas on the color, taste, shape and the cooking method, with nearly 120 varieties. Xi’an Jiefang Road Dumpling Restaurant and De Fa Chang Dumpling Restaurant are the best places to have authentic Dumpling Banquet.

Paomo (泡馍) is a featured Xian snack, with a great amount of baked bun soaked in mutton soup or beef soup, called Yangrou Paomo (羊肉泡馍) or Niurou Paomo (牛肉泡馍).

4. Nanjing

Fuzimiao Dining Street (夫子庙小吃街) – Strolling on this bustling dining street, you’ll find a variety of local specialties including griddle-fried pancakes, spicy Gan Si, wheat cake baked with duck oil, tea eggs, bean boiled in tea, dumplings…

5. Kunming

Yunnan Rice Noodles or Crossing the bridge noodles (过桥米线) are served with a large bowl of boiling hot soup and the soup ingredients separate. Ingredients may include several slices of ham, chicken, tine peas, chives, vegetables and rice noodles. And the more you pay the more ingredients you’ll get.

6. Chengdu

Long Chao Shou (龙抄手) is what Sichuan locals call wontons, similar to dumpling, also stuffed with pork and vegetables, but of thinner crust and served in a bowl of soup.

7. Fuzhou

In Fuzhou An Tai Lou Restaurant (安泰楼, located on No. 39, Jibi Road), visitors will have chance to feast on the most famous Min dishes like Fo Tiao Qiang and Li Zhi Rou (Litchi Pork), as well as fun local snacks as many as 200 varieties, including Yu Wan (Fish Ball), Li Bing (Oyster Cake), Chun Juan (Spring Roll), Yan Pi (Dried Meat)…

8. Guangzhou

Chang Fen or steamed vermicelli roll (肠粉) is a very popular dim sum in Guangzhou. It is a thin roll made of rice, filled with pork, fish, beef, shrimp or vegetables inside, and often topped with soy sauce.

9. Taipei

For people fond of oysters or seafood, Oyster Omelet (蚵仔煎) is a great choice in Taipei. It is available at almost every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are wrapped by an omelet coated in potato starch and tapioca. Oyster Omelet taste sweet and sour, and sometimes spicy if mixed with chili sauce.

Bun in a Bun or Dabing Bao Xiaobing (大饼包小饼) is one of the most popular snacks in Taipei’s Shilin night market. A crispy bun, the ‘xiao bing.” is wrapped by a flour tortilla, which is the ‘da bing”. Various flavors, of both sweet and salt are served.

10. Hong Kong

Gai daan jai (鸡蛋仔) is mainly made of egg, sugar, flour, and light evaporated milk, crispy, fragrant and simply delicious. Some stores create different flavors by adding chocolate, strawberry and other ingredients. Remember to eat Gai daan jai before it gets cold.

Put chai ko or Red Bean Pudding (砵仔糕) is a good dessert especially loved by children with a sweet flavor.

A Brief Introduction of Chinese Cuisines and Cooking

The Chinese saying “food is heaven for the people” is no exaggeration. Chinese people, at all levels of society, enjoy eating delicious food. And cooking has developed into a very sophisticated art.

Husband and wife lung slices, Sichuan Cuisine, China Culinary Tours

Husband and wife lung slices – pieces of addictively spicy beef offal served cold.

The development and diversity of Chinese cuisine is also representative of China’s long history. With each dynasty, new recipes were created. However, the most significant development in Chinese cuisine took place in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). At the time, a most famous dinner, called “Man Han Quan Xi” (literally Manchu Han Imperial Feast), consists of at least 108 unique dishes from all the very best of Man and Han Cuisines.

China is divided into 34 provinces, each with its own distinct culinary heritage that reflects its unique geography, climate, history and culture. Cooking styles are inspired by fresh, local ingredients and spices. All these factors lead to the evolution of what are called the “Eight Cuisines” and “Four Flavors”.

Eight Cuisines
Chinese cuisine is classified into four schools (the north, south, east, and west), which are further divided into eight main regional cuisines, namely Eight Cuisines.
1. Shandong Cuisine
2. Sichuan Cuisine
3. Cantonese Cuisine
4. Fujian Cuisine
5. Jiangsu Cuisine
6. Zhejiang Cuisine
7. Hunan Cuisine
8. Anhui Cuisine

Buddha jumps over the wall, Fujian Cuisine, China Culinary Tours

Buddha jumps over the wall – a rich stew made from sone of the most expensive ingredients from the land and sea.

Of course, there are many other local cuisines which are famous, such as Beijing Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine. In addition, China also has imperial dishes, dishes of ethnic minorities, as well as Buddhist and Muslim sub-cuisines within the greater Chinese cuisine.

Four Flavors
Importantly, cuisine in China is always appreciated through all the senses. A dish is first judged for its appearance and aroma, then its taste and texture. And a good-quality dish should have one of the following characteristics or a combination of several.

Lion's head, Jiangsu Cuisine, China Culinary Tours

Lion’s head – Fist-sized meatballs made from three parts meat and seven parts fat.

1. Xian (鲜) – the natural, heightened flavor of ingredients, such as the sweetness of prawns, or the taste of high-quality butter.
2. Xiang (香)– a fragrant aroma found in dishes that combines smell and taste harmoniously.
3. Nong (浓) – the richness of a sauce; a concentration of flavor.
4. you er bu ni (油而不腻) – the taste and texture of fat without greasiness of stodginess or stodginess.

For travelers, there has never been a more exciting time to eat in China. Easy Tour China offers several “China culinary tours” for choice. There would be great opportunities for visitors to try a variety of regional dishes, as well as participate in cooking classes.