What dish best represents China?

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The paragraphs are written in Chinese. Here’s the translation:

Tomato and scrambled eggs indeed.

There are eight major culinary traditions, each with its own way of frying tomatoes and eggs.

The key point is, our national flag has exactly this color scheme.

The paragraph is written in Chinese. Here’s the translation:

Braised pork.

The paragraphs are written in Chinese. Here’s the translation:

I think, let’s go for hot pot or barbecue.

Firstly, these have been around since ancient times and have a long history.

Secondly, from the south to the north, and from east to west, most have their own special features and flavors, and the various culinary styles don’t clash.

Lastly, these are now popular among the people, and everyone likes them.

“Bamboo shoots stir-fried with pork is a dish that can be enjoyed by people from both northern and southern China, as well as those from the east and west. Its only drawback is that it is usually served to young children.

“Do you only remember stir-fried tomatoes with eggs?

I have something to say about stir-fried shredded potatoes.

“Stir-Fried Green Peppers with Pork

The peppers are spiral peppers, and the meat is tenderloin.

After being hungry all afternoon, dinner was cooked at home and served steaming hot. I quickly grabbed a chopstick and scooped up some rice, which was also steaming hot, and then took a big bite. I followed it with a piece of meat directly into my mouth. This is the taste of home.

“It’s definitely Braised Pork!

Simple ingredients that can be found everywhere, the art of caramelization representing fire, the concept of Chinese cuisine where taste is brought out and blandness is eliminated. Whenever you’re braising, you must caramelize; these principles can all be seen in this dish.

Furthermore, it doesn’t require advanced knife skills or cooking techniques. Anyone can make it; you can cook it for a long time or a short time, and it can still turn out great. That’s why it can grace the tables of ordinary households.

“Pork, Chinese Cabbage, and Glass Noodle Stew.

Pork: Differentiates from Islamic cultures that don’t consume pork and Christian cultures that primarily eat beef and lamb.

Chinese Cabbage: A native Chinese vegetable, considered common and suitable for wartime consumption.

Glass Noodles: A unique Chinese food processing technique, with northern regions producing ‘fenpi’ and ‘fentiao,’ while the southern regions have ‘fen si’ and ‘changfen.’ Typically, additional ingredients like blood sausages and tofu skin are also consumed by Chinese.

“If it’s Chinese people choosing, there might be a fight. If it’s foreigners choosing, the most famous one should be Beijing roast duck.

“The national dish should be the most common and widely consumed dish. In other words, it is a dish that is eaten by the most people and can be easily enjoyed.

So, I choose ‘stir-fried tomatoes with eggs.’

“Twice-cooked pork is the first. Braised pork is the second. Boiled dog meat is the third.


To the best of my limited knowledge, tofu is a food that originated in China, from raw materials to production to cooking. Tofu that has been introduced to foreign countries and tofu products developed abroad are hardly worth mentioning when compared to China.

Furthermore, all Chinese culinary traditions have a rich variety of tofu cooking methods, and tofu and soy products can even be considered as a separate culinary tradition.

It can be seen as a marvel of Chinese cuisine.

“For Chinese people, it should be stir-fried tomatoes with eggs, right? Regardless of ethnicity, age, region, wealth, religion, or dietary restrictions, this dish is enjoyed by people all over China… Of course, for foreigners, it should be ‘Kung Pao Chicken.’

Category: Tomatoes, Potatoes, Chinese Cabbage, Tofu

Meat: Pork, Beef, Lamb, Chicken

With this combination, we have the following dishes:

  • Chinese Cabbage Stew with Tofu
  • Pork Stew with Glass Noodles
  • Spicy and Sour Shredded Potatoes
  • Potato Stew with Chicken
  • Tofu Salad with Scallions
  • Stir-fried Tomatoes with Eggs
  • Lamb Soup
  • Potato Stew with Beef
  • Lamb and Chinese Cabbage Hot Pot

These eight dishes and one soup. Are you planning to serve rice, steamed buns, or noodles with this meal?

I don’t know how the official determination is made, but if we were to determine what our national dish is, it’s probably these most down-to-earth home-cooked dishes.

When hosting a banquet for guests from all directions, after serving an array of cold and hot appetizers and desserts, and drinking until half-drunk, the host inquires, “Should we add more dishes? How about a main course?”

The host and guests respond enthusiastically, “No need for a main course; let’s have a plate of hot and sour shredded potatoes!”

Everyone agrees, “Yes, it must be part of our national cuisine!” A large plate of hot and sour shredded potatoes is brought to the table, and everyone eagerly takes their chopsticks and quickly finishes it. The extravagant dishes left on the table now seem a bit awkward.

In the northwest, it seems that everyone loves shredded potatoes. Especially the people from Gansu, who can’t do without potatoes. One comrade claimed that it’s not considered a meal without potatoes. No matter how many plates and bowls of elaborate dishes you prepare, it’s not enough. This has made many southern wives quite frustrated.

In fact, not only people from the northwest but also people from the south love shredded potatoes. Cold or hot, sweet or sour, many people consider it their top choice for the national dish.

Tangy, spicy, and crisp, each strand distinct, it serves as both a staple and a side dish, and it’s never tiring to eat. It’s the most delicious food for many people.

The so-called national dish, in my understanding, doesn’t necessarily have to be a dish that appears at state banquets. Any dish loved by people across the country can be called a national dish. Whether it’s the elegant Peking roast duck that graces the grandest halls or the everyday dishes seen on ordinary dinner tables, they can all be considered national dishes.

In this regard, if we talk about the dish with the highest popularity among the Chinese people, stir-fried tomatoes with eggs is at the forefront. The ingredients are simple – who doesn’t have eggs and tomatoes in their fridge?

It’s also easy to make; you can prepare a large plate in five minutes. It pairs well with rice, noodles, and anything else, and its vibrant colors, with red and yellow accented by green scallions, make it an indispensable family favorite.

Next, many people would mention braised pork. Chinese people have always valued drinking from big bowls and eating big chunks of meat. Speaking of eating large chunks of meat, ancient martial arts novels often depict heroes ordering two pounds of beef with ten pancakes and two pots of good wine at restaurants. Of course, this excludes gourmands like Huang Rong.

In those days, it was considered refreshing for people to order boiled beef with pancakes. However, in modern times, the idea of just having beef with pancakes seems a bit lackluster.

How can we do without a variety of poultry, fish, meat, vegetables, and fruits? Boiled beef seems too rustic, doesn’t it? Braised pork, on the other hand, is a complex process, with a slow simmer over low heat filling the room with the aroma of meat. It’s incredibly satisfying to eat.

Whether it’s the sweet and savory version favored by Shanghai locals or the salty and spicy version enhanced with doubanjiang (broad bean paste) preferred by Sichuanese, both have a large number of fans. Every household even has its own secret recipe.

Whether it’s the braised Dongpo pork simmered by Su Dongpo himself, Mao’s braised pork that’s sweet but not cloying, or the hearty Lu-style braised pork with its rich colors and flavors, they all require carefully selected pork belly. The finished product is enticing in terms of appearance, aroma, and taste.

“When a piece of braised pork enters your mouth, your lips gently close, the lean meat is tender and succulent, not dry; the skin is smooth and tender, with a subtle elasticity between bites.

Finally, as your tongue takes another bite, the layer of fatty meat that’s already exuded its oil in the middle melts in your mouth.” Wow, how can this not make your mouth water?

Making braised pork is a delicate task that requires attention, endurance, and time, which makes it seem quite solemn.

If someone is willing to spend half a day carefully stewing a fragrant pot of braised pork for you, it’s probably an undeniable expression of true love (except for chefs who make a living from it).

As delicious as braised pork is, it lacks the simplicity and speed of hot and sour shredded potatoes and tomato and egg stir-fry, which can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, to satisfy your cravings and appetite.

In the eyes of people in the northwest, the best way to enjoy meat in large quantities is to eat hand-pulled lamb skewers. Boiled lamb ribs in plain water, held with one hand, a pinch of raw garlic in the other, dipped in chili salt – this is the right way to enjoy meat in large quantities.

The meat must be served in a large bowl. Put aside plates and chopsticks;

Thank you for the invitation~ To the benefactor of the forsaken heavenly emperor

The national dishes that can best represent China must meet the criteria of being vivid in appearance, symbolically rich in both tradition and distinctive Chinese characteristics. They are the renowned Cantonese dishes: “Dragon and Tiger Duel” and “Dragon and Phoenix Feast.”

“Dragon and Tiger Duel”: A whole cat placed in the center, with a snake coiled around it. The snake represents the dragon, and the cat represents the tiger. This symbolizes the confrontation between the dragon and the tiger. It is often used as a welcome banquet at the beginning of diplomatic negotiations and business discussions, representing the two parties holding their respective positions and starting a fierce competition, with the hope of a positive outcome.

“Dragon and Phoenix Feast”: A whole chicken placed in the center, with a snake coiled around it. The snake represents the dragon, and the chicken represents the phoenix. This symbolizes the close and harmonious relationship between the dragon and the phoenix. It is often used as a celebratory banquet after successful diplomatic negotiations and business discussions, representing that the two parties have reached a consensus, and everyone is happy.

“Dragon and Tiger Duel” and “Dragon and Phoenix Feast” serve as the main dishes in traditional and symbolically significant Chinese national cuisine. They have been popular for at least several hundred years and continue to exist today, although they are not widely publicized or consumed. Is it regrettable? It is indeed a bit melancholic. To restore these traditional national dishes in Chinese cuisine, it requires the efforts of knowledgeable individuals in the Chinese culinary world.

Cooking Venison with Bear Fat,

Derived from the Rites of Zhou.


Firstly, China is too vast. Unlike European countries, which are relatively small in size and mostly fall within one climate zone, China spans multiple climate zones due to its extensive territory. Different regions of China experience varying weather conditions.

Secondly, China’s topography is complex. Its unique geographic location, influenced by the interaction of several major tectonic plates and various geographical factors, results in diverse geographical features. Therefore, even within the same latitude, differences in longitude can lead to variations in climate.

Thirdly, China has a rich culinary history, and each region has developed its own unique culinary traditions, which can vary significantly from one another. Unlike some immigrant nations where history and cuisine are relatively uniform, China’s culinary diversity is vast.

It is not possible to select a single dish to represent Chinese cuisine. Most often, dishes chosen as representatives are those served at state banquets, but state banquet dishes do not equate to a national cuisine. State banquet dishes incorporate the diverse culinary traditions of different regions. For instance, when the Premier designated Huaiyang cuisine as the basis for state banquets, it was not meant to represent the entirety of Chinese cuisine but rather chosen for its adaptability to different styles and tastes, helping to mitigate conflicts with the dining cultures of other countries.

China can only select regional specialty dishes, but it cannot choose a single dish to represent all of its people. Even something as fundamental as the staple food varies across regions in China, so it is challenging to find a dish that can universally represent the entire nation’s cuisine.

It is said that the dishes used in state banquets are Huaiyang cuisine, which represents the pinnacle of Chinese cuisine and is not affordable for ordinary people. Huaiyang cuisine originated from salt merchants and was initially a cuisine for the wealthy. It’s understandable that ordinary people cannot afford it. From the perspective of the wealthy, Huaiyang cuisine can be considered a national dish.

However, if viewed from the perspective of an ordinary person, Shandong cuisine undoubtedly holds greater overall appeal than Huaiyang cuisine. Setting aside the luxury associated with Huaiyang cuisine, Sichuan cuisine is too spicy, and Cantonese cuisine is too exotic. Shandong cuisine, on the other hand, aligns better with the tastes of the general population.

China’s vast geographical diversity means that, in terms of latitude, Shandong cuisine is the northernmost among the four major culinary styles. It can be said that north of Shandong, there are no famous cuisines. Shandong serves as the dividing province between north and south, as well as a division of wealth. Therefore, Shandong cuisine is more closely connected to ordinary people. From the perspective of the common people, Shandong cuisine can be considered a national dish that’s within reach. If it’s out of reach, then what can be considered a national dish?

Boiled cabbage in hot water, simplicity in the highest form. What seems ordinary is the most extraordinary, achieving ease with great difficulty.