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One question people always have about China is “What is Chinese food really like?” Many are well aware that the kind of Chinese food that is available in their country isn’t quite like the real thing. There’s also that old saying that “Chinese people eat everything with four legs except the table.” So, what do people in China actually eat? We take a closer look at the 3 meals in China in this post. Follow the links for more detailed descriptions of each meal along with some common dishes.
How does China like to start their morning? Breakfast in China is generally a small and simple meal, especially in the big cities where people are busy rushing to work. Common breakfast foods include steamed stuffed buns (包子 – bāo zi) and porridge (粥 – zhōu). My personal favorite is a jian bing (煎饼 – jiān bǐng), which I suppose you could call a “Chinese crepe.” Check it out along with other breakfast favorites in this short video:
Lunch in China can either be quick and easy or an epic feast. If you’ve only got a short break, typically lunch means leftovers from home or a trip to a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The trifecta of an easy Chinese lunch is definitely noodles (面 – miàn), rice (米饭 – mǐ fàn), and dumplings (饺子 – jiǎo zi). Those who have the means and the time like to enjoy a big, leisurely lunch in a nice restaurant. Take a tour of real Chinese lunch food in this short video:
Finally, it’s time for a big meal. A Chinese dinner tends to be a marathon eating session with multiple dishes, whether it’s taken in a restaurant or at home. Dinner is usually family style, with everyone gathered around the table sharing multiple dishes. Often you’ll start out with some cold dishes (凉菜 – liáng cài), and your soup (汤 – tāng) usually comes last. Common dishes differ from region to region. Check some of them out and learn more about Chinese dinner in this video: