Traditional Chinese Foods

Chinese food can be found with ease across the world, but it is fascinating to consider the long and unique histories of the meals we are now used to ordering. Here are some of the traditional dishes you should try if you are a lover of Chinese food.


The dumpling is everywhere in China and was invented by Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty more than 1,800 years ago. When you travel in the region, you can see how vital the steamed dumpling is and how it varies with fillings of pork, lamb, cabbage, fish and leek. These delicious bite-sized packages make the Chinese New Year an exceptional celebration. This is the way to say goodbye to the old year and say a joyous hello to the new.

From about 220 to 280 A.D during the Three Kingdoms Period, the dumpling began its remarkable reign as a great ambassador for Chinese food. In terms of folklore, the dumpling represents good fortune and family reunion.

Chinese Noodles

Noodles are synonymous with Chinese and Asian food. This staple has been around for 4000 years or so and has been documented during the Jin, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties. It is, after all a crucial part of culinary life in the region. During the Tang Dynasty, noodles were associated with long life, so people started to eat this wonderfully innovative food on birthday celebrations. The noodles were made as long as possible. Look out for regional varieties like Lanzhou, Beijing and Sichuan Dandan noodles.

The dried noodle, as we now know it, was first produced during the Yuan Dynasty between 1271- 1368 AD.

Wonton Dishes

Wonton style is an absolute classic of Chinese design, with a very thin dumpling that can be cooked in a soup. In fact, Wonton dumplings are so delicate they can be almost transparent. For centuries they were known as just dumplings, but during the Tang Dynasty, the term Wonton was used to describe this great traditional food. Later during the Song Dynasty, the custom of eating wonton foods on the Winter Solstice became a much-enjoyed custom. Fillings can vary, but it is common to use barbeque pork, yam and meat, pork and shrimp and numerous regional flavours.

Spring Rolls

One other great Chinese food invention is the Spring Roll, and they have been enjoyed, according to the history books, from the Jin Dynasty of the 5th Century onwards. Accounts show that this ingenious way of deep frying a filled wheat wrap was traditionally enjoyed during the spring time, especially on outdoor excursions. Later on, during the Yuan Dynasty, the spring roll became the mix of pork, cabbage and spices that are known and loved the world over. Eating this snack on the first day of spring is a great custom to welcome the new season and bid a farewell to the winter.

Moon Cakes

These delicious sweet treats are traditionally made for the middle Autumn Festival. This calorific dessert is round in shape, and symbolizes all things connected to family union. In ancient folklore, this cake is a sacrifice to the Moon God. The fillings can vary from using red bean paste, a five-nut mix, lotus seed paste, dried plum and black sesame. If you want to try something very sweet, ancient and traditional then the moon cake is highly recommended.