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What to eat with Chinese food?

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From kung pao chicken to chow mein, there are various Chinese cuisine delicacies that have been adopted worldwide. Original Chinese food is extremely spicy, where as Western influenced dishes are a lot sweeter.

Depending on the recipe, but most likely Chinese food is prepared with the addition of many spices to achieve depth of flavor. It can be tricky to blend and find the right pairing when serving Chinese cuisine with beverages, side dishes, appetizers and desserts. 

What to eat with Chinese food? Chinese food can be paired with red and white wine depending on the ingredients of the dish. However, a side of steamed rice, fried rice, noodles, soup, pickled and steamed vegetables are fairly customary.

When it comes to appetizers, egg drop soup, dumpling, spring roll, and Chinese pickled cucumber salad are popular choices to start the meal.

After the meal, nian gao, red bean soup, rice pudding, and egg tarts are served to end the dinner on a good note. 

Chinese cuisine typically uses fried or stir-fry technique, and includes ingredients such as cabbage, chicken, chili peppers, cinnamon, duck, fish, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, peanuts, pork, rice, scallions, seafood, sesame oil and seeds, shrimp, snow peas, soy sauce, star anise, chicken stock, sugar, tofu, green vegetables, rice wine vinegar, and wheat noodles.

In general, Chinese meals comprise starch or carbohydrates accompanied with stir-fried veggies, meat and fish. Chinese dishes focus on balancing aroma, taste, and appearance. Let’s now look at the different flavors and sides to serve with Chinese foods. 

What should I serve for Chinese dinner?

During a typical Chinese meal, flavor and freshness are crucial. Chinese dinner usually consists of soup, rice, and three to four side dishes made of fresh seafood, bite-sized portions of poultry or meat, or seasonal vegetables. 

The foods commonly served for Chinese dinner include:

  • Vegetables: wood ear mushroom salad, Chinese mustard greens, stir-fried Chinese broccoli, garlic broccoli stir fry, lettuce wraps
  • Noodles: chow mein, Shanghai noodles, lo mein
  • Rice: steamed rice, fried rice, congee
  • Appetizers: scallion pancakes, sesame tofu, egg rolls, dumplings, dim sum
  • Meat: beef teriyaki, peking duck, Mongolian beef, kung pao chicken
  • Soup: egg drop soup, wonton soup, hot pot

What to serve with chow mein?

Sweet and salty, pan fried noodles with crisp vegetables and lean meat, chow mein is fun and delicious signature Chinese food that is highly favorited worldwide. It is pretty sumptuous and versatile to make meat-lover or vegetarian, but it tastes even better when paired with the right sides. 

Side dishes to serve with chow mein include:

  • fried rice
  • stir fry vegetables
  • marinated chicken
  • sautéed snap peas
  • egg drop soup 
  • salad
  • green beans
  • bok choy

Top 20 Chinese dishes

Whether it contains chicken, beef, pork, or tofu, Chinese dishes offer various tastes inspired by regional spices. Most dishes contain ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and chili peppers to create beautiful unforgettable balance of flavor.

Here are the top 20 Chinese dishes that are a must-try and worthwhile to add on your bucket list:

  • manchurian 
  • dimp sum
  • chow mein
  • dumplings
  • spicy tofu
  • sour and sweet pork
  • wonton soup
  • kung pao chicken
  • egg-fried rice
  • spring rolls
  • monchow soup
  • chili chicken
  • peking roasted duck
  • egg noodles
  • chicken manchurian
  • chili potato
  • chop suey
  • darsaan
  • gong bao chicken
  • fried shrimps and cashews

What is the best Chinese dish?

With a very long history, numerous styles, exquisite cooking, and unique taste and texture, Chinese cuisine is one of the most significant constituents of Chinese culture. 

Traditional Chinese dishes are known for their sweet aroma, taste, color, and appearance. 

Some of the best Chinese food dishes include:

  • peking roasted duck
  • kung pao chicken
  • hot pot
  • sweet and sour pork
  • dumplings
  • ma po tofu
  • dim sum
  • char siu
  • chow mein
  • fried rice
  • wonton soup
  • twice-cooked pork slices
  • sichuan pork
  • zhajiangmian

What flavor goes well with Chinese food?

So, what makes Chinese food sumptuous? Spices and herbs are great representation for every dish including ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and pepper.

With this in mind, here are classic Chinese food flavor combinations for you to try:

  • cabbage + chicken stock
  • garlic + ginger + pork
  • ginger + rice wine + soy sauce
  • soy sauce + sugar
What to eat with Chinese food

Eat with Chinese Cuisine: Conclusion

If planning to prepare Asian food, start with flavorful veggies, filling noodles and rice dishes that complement the main course. Most Chinese dishes are cooked, stir-fried or fried with ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, wine, oyster sauce, and pepper to create savory flavor. 

Start the meal with egg drop soup, dumplings, spring rolls, and pickled cucumber salad to intrigue the tastebuds. End with a good note on dishes like nian gao, red bean soup, rice pudding, and egg tarts.

When serving Chinese dinner, consider various vegetable dishes such as wood ear mushroom salad or sautéed mustard greens to pair with chow mein, steamed rice or congee. 

As a main entree, peking duck, Mongolian beef, and kung pao chicken complement well with any type of rice or noodle dish.

However, when consuming chow mein, add a side of stir fry vegetables, sautéed snap peas, green beans or bok choy to create color and crunchy texture. 

Whether you are adding new recipe to your cookbook or creating bucket list of the best Chinese food dishes, use the guide to fulfill your goals when eating Chinese cuisine.

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