As consumers, we are not always told the absolute truth when it comes to products which we find in stores, and manufacturers will often lean on a certain country’s culture to best sell their wares. Often however we find that the products which we enjoy, are not even available in the country which they are purported to originate from.
This is often the case with Chinese drinks and Pan-Asian cuisine which we do enjoy here, cannot be found in many places within the Red Dragon itself. This has been the case for many years and there is of course nothing wrong with it at all. What this does create however is even more interest in truly authentic products, and when it comes to China, here are 5 genuine drinks and foods which you must try out.
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Pearl Milk Tea
Currently one of the most popular drinks amongst the younger generation is pearl milk tea. The drink consists of a sweetened milk tea which then has jelly-like bubbles inside. The black bubbles in the drink give the appearance of pearls hence the name of this Taiwanese-imported drink.
Salt Soda Water
Another classic Chinese drink is salt soda water, which has been enjoyed by millions for a number of decades now. In fact. this was the go-to soda of choice before the behemoth Coca-Cola hit the shelves, and it is still a tasty drink enjoyed throughout the country. The refreshing drink often has lime and mint added in order to lift up the flavor a bit.
Whilst meat is used throughout Chinese cuisine there is also a heavy reliance on soy-based ingredients such as tofu. This offering, in spite of its name, is a delicious version of tofu which has been heavily fermented for a long time. The strong smell which comes from that fermentation process gives way to the name of this dish, which tastes absolutely delicious. The tofu is served steamed, stewed or deep-friend and enjoyed with chili or soy sauce.
Most people have a good understanding of what their favorite Chinese dish is for lunch or dinner, but few opt for a Chinese dish for breakfast. Congee however is a perfect option, a rice porridge which is easy and quick to prepare, and which will fill you up for the day ahead. Congee is usually served as a savory option but can be sweetened with sugar.
Another vegetable-based dish which you will fall in love with is liáng bàn qié zi, seasoned and steamed eggplant. The result of this cooking process is a soft and tender eggplant which perfectly absorbs a range of flavors. The eggplant is cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil and served with fresh greens. This can be enjoyed as a dish on its own or to accompany a main dish.
Have you tried any of these authentic Chinese dishes or drinks?