Learn Mandarin, learn Chinese food! We are back to my favorite topic, food! China has so many different cuisines and dishes that make it a wonderland of food that never stops giving! Here are some tasty winter dishes that are bound to warm you up.
I have to start with this one because hands down this are the most popular winter dish. Imagine a pot of broth (spicy, bone, tomato, anything goes) in the middle of the table that you slowly add food too, that you then dip into a sauce. Hot Pot not only warms you up but it’s a great social occasion, as you normally eat it with friends and family. At restaurants like “海底捞” (hǎi dǐ lāo), a popular chain store, you might have to wait 3 hours to get in. But it’s worth it, just to watch as a noddle master dances in front of you stretching noodles with Kung Fu moves thrown at your face, before adding the noodles to the pot. It’s a sight not to be missed.
Winter usually means the flu! Nothing cures the flu like a good bowl of porridge, most are sweet but some can be savory. Most porridges are made with a rice or millet base and then have different vegetables or beans added depending on the region. Best eaten with an egg and chive pancake, or for those with a sweet tooth, red bean paste pancake. The most famous porridge is “八宝粥” (bā bǎo zhōu), eight treasure porridge, there are different stories on how it came about but the most famous is based on an Emperor. His people were starving, so he added all the ingredients he could find into a pot creating the eight treasure porridge.
Lanzhou beef noodles
If it isn’t obvious from the name, imagine a beef broth soup mixed with 5 spice topped-over shredded beef, fresh hand-pulled noodles, to which Chinese onion and coriander is added to. The best noodles can be found in Lanzhou although there are some good copies and brands outside of Gansu to be found. In winter nothing tastes better than Lanzhou beef soup. There are lots of other very good noodle-based dishes that can be eaten in winter like the Xinjiang spicy beef or chicken noodle that just melts in your mouth, this dish will also include potatoes.
Soup dumpling or “小笼包” (xiǎo lóng bāo) is another tasty food! Imagine a dumpling and a soup combined! These can be filled with all kinds of meat and complementary broths, so that once you bite into it your mouth is filled with warm soup, be careful though it can be hot. These come in cute little bamboo steamer baskets.
Which one do you want to try the most during the winter time?!