What Kinds of Foods Do Chinese People Eat?

kinds-foods-chinese-people-eat Credit: Jenny Jones/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Rice is the most important food in Chinese cuisine, and it's usually served alongside dishes made from various ingredients, including vegetables, pork, chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, cabbage, ginger and scallions. China has four different culinary regions with their own cooking styles: Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghai and Szechuan, and the ingredients used are based on what is available agriculturally.

Northern Chinese dishes often use wheat as a staple, such as in noodles and dumplings. Southern Chinese cooking relies much more on rice as a staple, and the food tends to be spicier than Northern dishes. Typical Cantonese dishes include egg rolls, sweet and sour pork and wonton soup. Mandarin cuisine often features noodles, pancakes and dumplings. Peking duck is a very popular Mandarin dish. Shanghai style dishes often include seafood, and they usually have strongly flavored sauces. Szechuan food is known for being spicy, due mainly to the common addition of leeks, onions, garlic and hot chile peppers.

Some Chinese dishes feature meats that other countries consider exotic, including frog, shark fin, snake, dog and cat. Tea is China's national beverage and is served at most meals. The most popular teas are oolong, green and black, and it's usually served without any additions such as sugar or milk.