Can babies eat chinese food

Can Babies Eat Rice? Everything You Need To Know

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I love Chinese food. So, it’s only natural that the grandbaby would want to dive right in and try a handful of rice, too! However, the first time he had rice he started choking over one small grain of rice.

I had to double-check when it was okay to feed babies rice. Thankfully, he must have just had a distaste for the plain rice. Babies can safely eat rice at approximately eight months when they can eat most other solid foods. 

Table of Contents

  • 1 Can Babies Eat Rice?
  • 2 When Can Babies Eat Rice?
    • 2.1 Most Babies Start Pureed Foods At Six Months Old
    • 2.2 You Have To Feed Infants One Food At A Time To Check For Allergies
      • 2.2.1 It Is No Longer Recommended That You Avoid Foods That Are Common Allergens
    • 2.3 Next, You Feed Your Baby Finger Foods
    • 2. 4 Foods To Avoid During This Stage
    • 2.5 Finally, You Can Feed Your Baby Solid Foods
  • 3 Tips For Feeding Babies Rice
    • 3.1 Make Sure That The Rice Is Cooked Thoroughly
    • 3.2 Babies Need Teeth To Eat Rice
    • 3.3 Never Leave Your Baby Unsupervised
    • 3.4 Make Sure That There Are No Choking Hazards In The Rice Dish
  • 4 What About The Arsenic In Rice?
    • 4.1 Arsenic Is A Natural Element
    • 4.2 Rice Has Slightly More Arsenic, But It’s Still Natural
    • 4.3 Should You Be Concerned About Arsenic In Rice?
  • 5 In Conclusion

Can Babies Eat Rice?

Babies can eat rice! Most babies will need to take some time to learn about the new texture. Then, they will happily begin to enjoy the different types of rice that the rest of the family does. I love rice, from Chinese food to Spanish rice, and so does my grandbaby. 

However, it’s important to make sure that you fully understand when babies can eat rice. You’ll also need to know how to give your baby rice to make sure that it is not a choking hazard. 

When Can Babies Eat Rice?

Babies can eat rice when they are ready to eat solid foods. Most doctors recommend that you start with pureed baby foods. You’ll need to take your time, and follow the appropriate timeline for introducing solid foods before giving your baby rice. 

Most Babies Start Pureed Foods At Six Months Old

This does tend to vary with babies. When my daughter was a baby almost twenty years ago, they started babies on baby food at four months old. She could not even sit up on her own yet. With the grandbaby, however, things changed.

His pediatrician recommended that he not start eating baby food until he was able to sit up. His feeding specialist said that he should be able to control his movements enough that he could sit up and lean forward to take a bite. 

Keep in mind that this timeline might be a little later for some babies. Because the grandbaby was premature, he wound up not eating baby food until he was almost eight months old.

Most doctors do not recommend that babies start eating food before they are six months old. This is because infants should be getting most of their nutrition from formula or breastmilk until they are one year old. 

You Have To Feed Infants One Food At A Time To Check For Allergies

When you start to feed your little one baby food, you’ll feed them one new food at a time. For example, if you feed them bananas first, you won’t feed them another food for 3-5 days after that to make sure that there is not an allergic reaction.

You’ll do this as you work through all of the beginner foods. (Beginner foods are baby food purees with single ingredients, such as apples, bananas, pears, green beans, etc.)

During this period, your little one cannot eat rice as you can. However, you can give them pureed rice dishes once you are done checking for allergies. Pick up a food processor to make your own pureed baby food, such as pureed rice. 

It Is No Longer Recommended That You Avoid Foods That Are Common Allergens

Long ago, when my daughter was a baby, it was recommended that you did not feed babies foods that were known to be allergens. It was said that this would increase their risk of developing an allergy to the food.

Now, we know that to be false. You can feed your little one peanut butter, honey, eggs, etc. before they are a year old. Don’t forget to wait three days before feeding your baby another new food in case there is an allergic reaction. 

Next, You Feed Your Baby Finger Foods

Finger foods naturally come after baby food purees. Your baby is ready to eat finger foods when they can are able to pick them up and can chew food. Even though your baby won’t have a lot of teeth yet, they’ll be able to chew soft foods with their gums.

Most store-bought finger foods dissolve easily in a baby’s mouth too. For example, fruit puffs. You can also start giving your tiny pieces of banana instead of banana puree.

Remember, it needs to be soft, small, and dissolvable is always a great option. 

Rice is not typical finger food. However, you can mash up rice to give to your baby during this stage.

If you’re a fan of your baby eating what the rest of the family is, you can find a way to make most foods work by throwing them in a food processor or mashing them up.

Make sure that your baby doesn’t take bites that are too large to prevent choking. 

Foods To Avoid During This Stage

When it’s time for your baby to eat finger foods, you’ll naturally want to start giving them new foods to try. Giving your baby foods more texture is a great idea!

They’ll need that stepping stone before eating solid foods. Some babies can start taking smaller bites of real food, too! There are still some foods that you need to avoid, though. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Rice that is not mashed up
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Hot dogs
  • Hard fruits
  • Raw vegetables unless pureed
  • Marshmallows
  • Chunks of food that you need teeth to eat, such as meat and cheese

Feeding your little ones these foods can be a choking hazard. Wait until they are older and better able to chew before introducing them. If you’re not sure about a food, avoid it until you double-check to determine if it is a choking hazard. 

Finally, You Can Feed Your Baby Solid Foods

By the time your baby has mastered finger foods, you should be ready to start feeding them solid foods. Most babies will reach this milestone by the time that they are 9 months, but this might be later for some babies.

Babies will need a few teeth to chew solid foods. This is particularly true for rice. Try to keep mashing it up until your little one has the skills to eat solid foods. Babies are typically on a solid food diet by the time that they are one year old. 

During this stage, make sure that you continue to cut your baby’s food into bite-sized pieces. Foods like cherry tomatoes and grapes may look small, but these are the same size in your baby’s airway.

Cut them in half to prevent choking. If anything is bigger than half of a grape, you need to cut it up. You’ll also want to continue to cut up pasta, such as spaghetti noodles, to prevent choking. 

Tips For Feeding Babies Rice

I understand wanting to include your little one in mealtimes and letting them enjoy the same foods that the rest of the family does. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when feeding your baby rice, though. 

Make Sure That The Rice Is Cooked Thoroughly

When rice is not cooked all the way, it is hard. You’ll notice this if you try to mash it up. However, if your baby is already eating all solid foods, you might not.

That is why it’s important to pay special attention when cooking the rice. If it’s not cooked thoroughly, it can present a choking hazard to babies. 

Babies Need Teeth To Eat Rice

Babies need to be able to chew foods with their teeth to eat rice. It can be difficult for little ones to chew rice with their gums, even if it is cooked until it is done. Instead, babies might try to swallow rice whole, which can be a choking hazard.  

Never Leave Your Baby Unsupervised

Choking is often a silent thing. Your little one will not always cough when they are choking. This is because food blocks the airway, so the baby can’t cough. Do not leave your baby unsupervised when eating food, especially rice.

When rice is cooked thoroughly it can be sticky. Your baby might try to eat more than they can, which makes them more likely to choke. 

Make Sure That There Are No Choking Hazards In The Rice Dish

We rarely eat plain rice. Instead, rice is combined with a variety of foods to form quite a few delicious dishes. Some common ingredients, such as peas and chickpeas, can be hard for younger babies to chew and swallow.

Make sure that all of the ingredients in the dish are soft and easy to chew. It’s a great idea to take a few bites yourself to double-check before making your little one a plate. 

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What About The Arsenic In Rice?

Gerber and other major brands of baby food came under fire for the levels of toxic metals and arsenic that were discovered in their baby food products.

This led to millions of parents tossing rice-based infant cereals and other rice-based products due to the fear of there being arsenic in them.

It’s understandable that this can be concerning, but there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to feeding your baby rice. 

Arsenic Is A Natural Element

Arsenic naturally occurs in our environment. It can be found in the Earth’s soil, water, and even in fish that we eat.

When it is combined with other elements, it can form several different compounds that are also found in the foods we eat. These levels are so low that they don’t usually pose a health risk. 

Rice Has Slightly More Arsenic, But It’s Still Natural

Rice tends to absorb more arsenic from both the water in the fields and the soil than other plants do. Because of this, rice has a higher level of arsenic than most other grains do.

Rice-based products also have slightly higher levels of arsenic due to this happening as the rice plant grows. No one is putting arsenic in baby food or rice. 

However, it can still be toxic. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element, but it is one of the most toxic elements found.

Because of pollution, it continues to make its way into things like drinking water and higher levels of arsenic are being found in rice and rice-based products. 

Should You Be Concerned About Arsenic In Rice?

Yes and no. Obviously, levels of arsenic in your food are a concern. However, it’s impossible to know how much unless you have a lab at home to measure the levels of arsenic yourself.

You would also have to consume quite a bit of food that has arsenic in it to experience arsenic poisoning. 

Most people continue to eat rice, and even feed their children rice-based cereal. This is because it’s typically not a concern unless rice is one of your staple foods. For example, people that cannot eat gluten often eat more rice.

So do people with an Asian-based diet. In those situations, rice is often consumed daily. Sometimes, it’s consumed multiple times a day. Unless you fall into this category, there is nothing to worry about.

For more information about arsenic poisonings, such as signs and symptoms, check out this article. 

In Conclusion

Your baby can eat rice at any stage, provided it’s prepared properly. Wait until your little one has teeth to chew and is on all solid foods before feeding them rice without mashing it up or making it into a puree.

Avoid giving your baby too much rice in one bite, and never leave your little one unsupervised while eating. Choking is usually silent. 

Amber Dixon

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!

What Babies Eat Around The World

When it comes to making baby food, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut: peas and chicken tonight, avocado and tuna tomorrow, turkey meatballs the next day, repeat. While you don’t have to ditch those tried and true favorites, you can add a bit of variety by taking culinary inspiration from these popular baby food dishes served around the world.

Chinese Babies Eat Steamed Fish

Steamed, deboned fish is abundant in China, and this healthful protein-packed meat is often prepared in a dish called congee. Congee is the rice cereal of the Asian world; it’s a neutral comfort food that can be easily altered with any ingredients you have on hand. In China, congee is often made with bamboo shoots or tofu in addition to steamed fish. Rice doesn’t grow as well in the climate of Northern China, so families in northern cities substitute rice with other ancient grains like millet.

Korean Babies Eat Seaweed

…and moms eat it too! Miyeokguk, or seaweed soup, has been a postpartum tradition since the eighth century. Babies seem to love the taste and texture of seaweed, and it’s rich in nutrients like iron, iodine, and fiber. Nori seaweed can be purchased at almost any health food store, and it makes a great occasional snack for your little one. It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids (hello, brain power!), calcium, vitamin B12, and more. Plus, the texture is so fun! It starts out crunchy but dissolves in your baby’s mouth, so it isn’t a choking hazard.

Spanish Babies Eat Paella 

Paella features saffron, one of Spain’s favorite spices, and a host of other tasty and healthy delicacies. Recipes depend on what’s in season, but all are some combination of meat or seafood, rice, and vegetables. Paella is popular because it’s easy to make with whatever you’ve got in the fridge, and you only use one pan to cook it all. Want to make it truly authentic? Add snails!


Swedish Babies Eat Bologna

Okay, so it’s not exactly bologna. But falukorv is a classic Swedish comfort food, and it’s prepared a lot like your average bologna. Typically made of pork or beef mixed with potato starch and basic spices (salt, pepper, onion, etc.), falukorv comes precooked and ready for eating. It can be sliced like a deli meat, fried, or baked with a tasty cheesy topping every baby will love. Falukorv makes a great addition to mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, or as a bacon replacement at breakfast. Like most sausage, it’s high in fat and not exactly the healthiest choice, so save it for a treat or snack time.

Indian Babies Eat Mung Beans

What, exactly, is a mung bean? Like other beans, these legumes are high in protein and fiber. Stateside, mung beans are most commonly found in their sprouted form, especially as a salad topper. In India, mung beans are known as moong daland are staples in several recipes for both adults and babies. Mung beans have a flexible flavor and will take on the taste of whatever you choose to cook them with. Plus, they cook much faster than other beans, so they’re a wonderful last-minute vegetarian meal. Rachel Ray suggests a porridge of mung beans, coconut milk, and ginger. Sounds delish!

Mexican Babies Eat Achiote

Achiote is a spice blend of annatto seed, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vinegar. Sound intriguing? Your baby will think so, too! Achiote adds depth and interest to your daily staples. Try rubbing it on grilled chicken or stirring it into the water you use to cook rice. Achiote is like a superspice – it’s a blend of several antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory spices. Smoky but not spicy, this underused flavor will punch up your meal and impress your baby’s palate.

Japanese Babies Eat Octopus

Octopus isn’t something most adultswould consider eating, but it’s a common dish for people of all ages in Japan. This delicacy is frequently served in dumpling form as either takoyakior akashiyaki. These little balls of yummy are fluffy and light – akashiyakiis typically made with egg, while takoyaki is made with flour. Either makes a great finger food for your toddler!

is poisonous and very dangerous! 🦉🇨🇭 Switzerland Business

Chinese food is on store shelves in almost every country. We have already gotten used to the fact that clothes from China are sold at low prices and - most often - are of the same quality. And what about food?

Did you know that such beautiful apples from China are extremely toxic? Graphic: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS

In recent years, Chinese food has been increasingly entering the markets of other countries. The rules for creating, storing and exporting products require great care and caution. However, not everyone is ready to comply with them. To reduce their costs or "extend the shelf life" of a product, manufacturers go to extremes and treat it with toxic substances. As a result: the product lasts longer, but has devastating side effects on human health. We tried to figure out which Chinese "goodies" are best avoided in order to avoid dangerous consequences for the body. Read the details in this material of the Portal "Switzerland Business".

Beware! Chinese food

Asian cuisine is famous for its varied and low-fat diet, which is mostly based on rice and legumes such as soybeans or beans. For many gourmets, Chinese food is attracted by unusual ingredients: seafood (squid, pangasius fish, tilapia and pufferfish), an unusual combination of meat and vegetables, and sometimes even plants (for example, bamboo). However, how to understand whether the products intended for export are of good quality?

Foods so familiar to us on supermarket shelves like apple juice, cod or garlic may come from China. To save as long as possible trade dress product and reduce costs, the Chinese manufacturer can use toxic substances and resort to genetic engineering . The use of such a product not only harms the human body, but can also lead to irreparable consequences. Moreover, China's massive environmental problems further exacerbate the problem of poor manufacturing.

Bad ecology

The first reason why Chinese food obviously will not serve a healthy and long life, is a bad environment. According to a World Health Organization report, China is one of the 90,005 most polluted countries in the world 90,006: in almost 2/3 of all national cities (128 cities), the level of maximum permissible air pollution is exceeded by 5 times. According to representatives of the Chinese authorities, the smallest particles that are formed from burning coal without prior purification enter the air. Today, almost 80 percent of all China's thermal power plants run on this fuel, which is the cause of environmentally toxic emissions. Also, an immense amount of exhaust gases enter the atmosphere every day (for example, the population of China in 2016 is more than 1.378 billion people, where there are an average of about 310 private cars per 1,000 inhabitants) and smoke from industrial and toxic industries.

Pictured: sunset in Shanghai; The sun, before reaching the horizon, plunges into smog. Graphic: Suicup

Water is another Achilles' heel of the country: About 75 percent of rivers and lakes and 90 percent of groundwater are heavily polluted and most are not even suitable for watering plants. According to the results of the analyzes carried out, elements of cyanide, arsenic, oil and mercury were found in them. A large number of industrial wastewater emissions have made the rivers completely unsuitable for raising fish.

In turn, agricultural land suffers from pollution from solid industrial waste, pesticides and mineral fertilizers. More than 33’000 square kilometers are considered completely unsuitable for agriculture due to heavy pollution. For comparison: such an area corresponds in size to a quarter of the fertile lands of Germany.

The increased demand for crops has led to the forced sowing of even those fields that did not meet quality standards. As a result: the resulting crop already contained unacceptable harmful substances.

Instead of solving the problem, it is shifted onto the shoulders of others: part of the goods is sold abroad (and especially to Russia and Kazakhstan). Unfortunately, due to the ban on the import of goods from the EU, where there are high requirements for food production, many Russians are forced to poison themselves with Chinese food.

Dangerous export

Today, China is one of the largest exporters in the world. The heyday of the foreign trade activity of the state falls on December 2014. Then came a two-year period of decline due to weak demand for the product in the international market. China's share in world exports is 13.8 percent. In April 2016, the level of China's exports decreased by 1. 8 percent. It is important to note that China's export is one of the main key components of the rapid successful growth of the Republic's economy. However at what cost? After all, it is rare that goods and Chinese food that go abroad are of good quality.


Due to the high content of antibiotics, Chinese fish is dangerous to your health. Graphic: Rajesh dangi, CC BY 2.5

Seafood makes up a significant share of China's exports. According to the director of the Fish Information Center of Hamburg (German: Hamburger Fisch-Informationszentrum - FIZ) Matttas Keller, very often the caught seafood "is delivered to production in China, where the raw materials first undergo the necessary processing and then are frozen for further transportation for sale abroad." This procedure allows you to save money on logistics issues, but, accordingly, product quality also comes under attack.

Cod and Tilapia are the two main representatives of this dangerous export. A few years ago, a report was presented in China, where it was said: due to the severe pollution of Chinese water bodies, fish farm keepers feed fish with strong antibiotics and growth hormones , which help the fish survive in unsuitable conditions.

According to a report by US company Whole Foods Markets , about 80 percent of the world's exported tilapia comes from China. The annual amount of deliveries of goods is more than 408 million Swiss francs. In America, tilapia imports account for 77.8 percent. About 51 percent of cod in the US is exported from China, a shipment worth more than 100 million francs a year. According to the head of the FIZ, two-thirds of all cod varieties in the German markets are 90 thousand tons out of 130 thousand tons of fish are Chinese imports.

Rospotrebnadzor (full name - the Federal Service for Supervision and Protection of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare in Russia) in its letter dated 05. 06.2009 No. 01 / 7905-9-32 published information on the following substances that were found in exported fish products from China:

- high content of polyphosphates;

- glaze from 20 to 40 percent;

- exceeding the natural background of phosphorus by 70-80 percent;

- Carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide have been used in the packaging of raw fish.

All these substances together cause serious harm to the human body : polyphosphates affect the level of cholesterol in the blood; an excess of phosphorus leads to disruption of the nervous system and kidneys; and carbon monoxide has a detrimental effect on the human cardiovascular system. In turn, the procedure for “glazing” fish is a kind of freezing method. The “glaze” found during the analysis indicates the incorrect use of technology: the product may not be preserved and, as a result, deteriorate.

Apples and apple juice

Apples and apple juice are another common Chinese export: 2/10 of all apples in Germany come from the Middle Kingdom, an average of 3,600 tons of fruit per year. Nearly 50 percent of all apple juice on US supermarket shelves is Chinese exports—about 367 million gallons a year.

According to the Epoch Times, China is recognized as the country that uses the most dangerous toxic pesticides in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables : the plant is sprayed 2-3 times a week, not during the harvest season.

This chemical is hazardous to human health. Thus, pesticides accumulate in the cells of the body and thus can cause obesity, the development of type 2 diabetes, and even fatal diseases.


Garlic from China will cause poisoning not only in a vampire (as is customary in legends), but also in any person. Graphic: Donovan Govan, CC BY-SA 3.0

About 30 percent of all garlic sold in the US comes from China. The product is shipped to the US annually for nearly 311 million Swiss francs. However, the natural origin of the product has repeatedly raised doubts. According to the information released on May 8, 2013 in the House of Representatives of Foreign Affairs (UK) at a hearing on the threat of unsafe consumer products from China, garlic with the designation “organic” did not turn out to be organic. Just think: a third (!) of a grocery product from China has not been tested and has not been certified. In other words, every third garlic from China contains poison.

The analysis revealed that the "natural product" contained a large number of chemical elements, and in particular - pathogens . They give garlic a strange aftertaste, but too much of it can upset the balance of the gastrointestinal tract and cause infections.


Salt from China is another dangerous export product. So for several years, under the guise of edible salt, consumers have been receiving industrial salt , which is not intended for human consumption. Moreover, microplastic particles were previously found in its composition. The reason for this is the difficult environmental situation in the country. The use of such industrial salt by a person can cause a violation of the reproductive function of the body, the occurrence of psychological and physical problems.


Would you like compote from China? Think carefully: in October 2012, more than 11,000 people in Germany were forced to seek medical help due to food poisoning. The cause of the disorders was Chinese strawberry compote, infected with norovirus, which was able to survive when frozen at -18 degrees. The Chinese did not carry out any other disinfection due to the lack of legal requirements.

Milk and pet food

Over the past five years, China has begun to export dairy and pet food to the US in large quantities at an inexpensive price. However, as it turned out later, the constituent ingredients were contaminated with melamine - a by-product of coal processing, which also includes plastic. This element is used in the industrial field, and its excessive consumption can cause a variety of diseases and reproductive disorders.

Poisonous Chinese food in circulation

Poisonous Chinese food has repeatedly found itself at the center of international scandals. So, in October 2008, there was a so-called "milk scandal": it turned out that Chinese manufacturers added melamine to their products in order to increase the measured protein concentration. The cost of production was significantly reduced, but the finished product was dangerous to human health. As a result, more than 300,000 infants and children were hospitalized with melamine disease, and almost 12,000 of them were hospitalized. Total during the "milk scandal" in China 6 children died .

After the "milk scandal" many prefer to keep their children away from Chinese milk. Graphics: Stefan Kühn, CC BY-SA 3.0

However, these products also made their way abroad: some of the goods were exported to New Zealand. Food company Fonterra was involved in a crisis due to cooperation with the Chinese dairy company Sanlu.

As a result of past events, on July 6, 2010, the UN Food Standards Commission adopted new standards for the acceptable level of melamine content in products: in children - 1 mg / kg, in adults and animal feed - 2. 5 mg / kg.

In 2013, there was a scandal around the main food product for China - rice . It was found to have an increased content of cadmium : this is a by-product as a result of the abuse of chemical fertilizers and the influence of industry. In turn, the Food and Drug Administration of Guangzhou City (Guangdong Province) reported that 44.4 percent of rice was problematic.

The news triggered a massive inspection of rice mills across China. As a result, on May 21, 2013, a grain processing plant in Yuxiang County, Hunan Province was closed and all of its goods were withdrawn from sale.

Is it all about quality standards?

The Chinese government has long pursued the main goal of ensuring the food safety of its products. However, did they come even one step closer to her? After China joined the World Trade Organization, there was a need to significantly raise the quality standards of the goods sold, because now this issue also affected other participating countries. In the agricultural sector, it was necessary to improve the technical equipment and train farmers in the necessary skills to work effectively with the introduced technologies. As a result, such policies have partially borne fruit, but measures to improve transparency of activities, quality and sanitation have not been achieved. China's trade policy review for 2015 shows no change in support for the business sector. In other words, Chinese food - is still poisonous and extremely dangerous .

WTO experts believe that China's successful economic growth is due to significant exports. However, achieving such results requires strict adherence to food safety quality standards, which are now at an all-time low. Therefore, it is worth weighing the pros and cons before buying goods from China.

By the way, do you know why you can't find food from China in Switzerland (or you can only find a few that have passed the strict Swiss quality requirements)? If you do not know, then read this article again and - in any case - notify your friends and acquaintances about the risk of Chinese food.

Food in China - Chinese national cuisine, eating habits, popular food in China and prices

In Chinese culture, and in the life of every Chinese, food plays a very important role, it is almost the main topic of any conversation. The Chinese, even at a meeting, instead of “Hi, how are you?”, They are interested in whether the person has eaten today, and I am absolutely not joking. The phrase "Did you eat today?" (你吃了吗 - Ni chi le ma?) has long been a common form of greeting.

Chinese National Cuisine

It is difficult to characterize traditional Chinese cuisine unambiguously, because China is a huge country, inhabited by 56 nationalities, each of which has special culinary traditions and recipes. But that is why Chinese cuisine is so diverse and unique.

To summarize, we can distinguish two main geographic regions: north and south. The main difference is that in the north, noodles are the main dish, or dumplings (fried, boiled, steamed) and unleavened bread (mantou). In the north, food is more salty, fatty and nutritious.

In the south, preference is given to rice dishes (boiled rice, rice noodles, rice cake). At the same time, southern traditional cuisine is characterized by sweeter and spicier food.

As in other hot countries, in ancient China, pepper was used for disinfection, because at high temperatures it is difficult to guarantee the freshness of food, and in order to avoid various intestinal infections, all food was generously sprinkled with hot spices. In addition to the north and south, Sichuan cuisine is also distinguished, which is most famous for its spiciness, they serve such spicy dishes that not every Chinese will be able to digest it, but for the locals, all other food seems too insipid.

But do not think that the abundance of pepper is found only in the south, for most foreigners, almost any Chinese food will seem spicy, simply because we are completely unaccustomed to such an abundance of seasonings and spices.

In general, the Chinese are very fond of various kinds of spices, seasonings, additives and actively use them in cooking. They distinguish five basic tastes and five ingredients that are responsible for them: hot - pepper and ginger, sour - vinegar, salty - salt, bitter - wine, sweet - molasses. In the market, even eyes run wide, there are so many things that we don’t even suspect. The most popular are garlic, hot red pepper, ginger, cumin, cloves, anise and others. All this gives Chinese dishes a unique taste and aroma.

At the same time, unlike us, the Chinese practically do not eat salt and sugar. Salt replaces soy sauce, which is part of almost any dish, but they don’t particularly like sugar at all, and even more so they don’t add it to tea like we do. But they are very fond of adding various flowers and dried fruits to tea.

The advantage of Chinese cuisine is the use of a large amount of vegetables and herbs, while the processing of most of them is minimal (scald with boiling water, boil a little, steam), which allows you to save more useful substances and vitamins. In general, China has a very wide range of vegetables and fruits all year round, not only in the south, but also in the north of the country. Here and in winter you can buy tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, all kinds of cabbage and more. The locals have not even heard about conservation, why, if everything is sold fresh on the market?

The main measure of weight among the Chinese is one jin ( jīn), which is equal to 0.5 kg, so the price of all products by weight is indicated in jing, not kilograms. Prices for vegetables depend on the season: in winter and spring everything costs a little more than in summer or autumn, it also depends on the province: cheaper in the south, more expensive in the north. Here are the approximate market prices:

  • broccoli - 6-8 yuan,
  • eggplant - 6,
  • cucumbers - 3.5-4,
  • cherry tomatoes - 5,
  • cabbage - 2.5,
  • green beans - 6-7,
  • potatoes - 2-2. 5,
  • marrow - 4.

    In addition to our usual vegetables, the Chinese eat lotus roots, bulbs and seeds, bamboo sprouts, tree mushrooms, and so on. Surprisingly, many of these are very tasty!

    The variety of fruits here is also amazing, in addition to the banana-oranges already familiar to us, in China you can buy papaya, dragon fruit, jackfruit, durian, lychee, mango, delicious pineapples. Many of these fruits are available in supermarkets all year round, but it is still better to buy seasonal fruits, because they are cheaper and have more vitamins.

    In early autumn, the most common fruits are watermelons, melons, apples, grapes, papaya and dragon fruit. At this time, papaya and dragon fruit will cost about 5 yuan each, sometimes you can buy 3 for 10 yuan.

    Persimmons, tangerines, oranges start selling from November, the price will be about the same from 2.5 yuan per jin.

    In February, the pineapple season starts, the price is from 4 yuan per jin, in March-April there are a lot of mangoes in China, which costs 7-10 yuan per jin (the price depends on the size, small ones are cheaper, large ones are more expensive).

    Strawberries, coconuts, lychees, peaches will appear in May-June. As already mentioned above, the price is usually indicated per jin, but seasonal fruits are often sold at a so-called discount, for example, 3 jing - 10 yuan, that is, the price is indicated for 1.5 kg. Large fruits such as papaya, coconut or dragon fruit are often priced per piece. Now (April) the market prices are as follows: coconut 10/piece, lemon 2.5/piece, tangerines, apples, bananas 2.5-3 per jin, mangoes 8 per jin.

    Is it true that the Chinese are omnivores

    No matter how terrible it sounds, the Chinese really eat almost everything that runs, jumps, flies and crawls. In addition to poultry, pork and beef, in some provinces of China they eat the meat of dogs and cats, pigeons, snakes, frogs, turtles, monkeys, and even rare and protected animals. It is illegal to eat rare animals, but this does not stop the Chinese, believe me. Not so long ago, the Chinese were arrested, who sold the meat of a panda listed in the Red Book, what else can I say? In the course are all kinds of viscera. In ancient times, this was due to the fact that there was not enough food for everyone, and it was not necessary to sort out, in order to survive, people ate everything they could catch. Nowadays, when it comes to exotic dishes, it is more of an opportunity to demonstrate your financial well-being. Another reason to turn to the exotic is the desire to improve your health. The Chinese believe that turtle soup will give longevity, dog meat will cure diseases, and a snake will make you smarter and more cunning. All plants that could be used in cooking are also used. So, in my opinion, they are really omnivores.

    Peculiarities of food intake

    The Chinese have one very good habit: they have a well-defined meal regimen since childhood. Indeed, most Chinese eat by the hour:

    • breakfast from 7:00 to 9:00;
    • lunch from 11.00 to 14.00;
    • dinner 17.00 to 19.00.

    Perhaps it is because of this that they do not have problems with being overweight. During these periods, all establishments are overcrowded. It is at this time that a large number of stalls with various street food leave the streets. The rest of the time, the establishments also work, but there is no hype, only single visitors who, for one reason or another, got behind the schedule, come to refresh themselves.

    Everyone knows that the Chinese eat with chopsticks, but not everyone knows that certain etiquette must be observed. But the Chinese are completely fluent in this skill, they even have a cartoon on this topic that teaches children how to properly handle chopsticks. From what I remember: you can’t leave vertically stuck chopsticks in a plate (a bad sign and a symbol of death), you can’t lick the chopsticks, since food is taken from a common plate, you can’t point with chopsticks at those sitting at the table, knock them on the table or plate, you can’t sorting through food in search of the best piece, what you touched, then take it, and much more.

    Another feature of the Chinese is that a very small percentage of people cook at home, most of the population prefers to eat in establishments or take food to go. Sometimes it is amazing that many women absolutely do not know how to cook or, if they know how, they will not spend time on it. Holidays are an exception, and even then not in all families. In fact, it is very convenient and cheap, sometimes it seems to me that cooking at home is even more expensive. Moreover, on every corner there are a lot of different establishments for every taste and budget.

    By the way, Chinese food is also different from ours. If in our restaurant everyone orders a separate dish for himself, then the Chinese are completely opposite. If there is more than one person at the table, then several different dishes are always ordered for everyone. Large common dishes and separate bowls of rice or mantou are served on the table according to the number of people. Everyone takes a little from each dish. Many establishments have made special round tables with a rotating stand to make it easier to get all the dishes.

    If we start our meal with liquid (soup), then the Chinese finish it, believing that it is better for health. At the same time, their soup is absolutely not like ours, it has no meat, no potatoes, nothing that we are so used to. It's more like a viscous cloudy broth with egg, herbs, perhaps rice.

    The Chinese also litter a lot at the table. Everything that cannot be eaten, such as seeds or skins, pieces of pepper is not spat out on your plate, but straight on a common table or on the floor. In general, for me personally, eating at the same table with the Chinese is not entirely pleasant, because we have completely different ideas about the correct behavior at the table, what is natural for them is bad form for us.

    Foods and dishes that are unusual for us

    As I said, the Chinese eat everything. I call it zero waste , on the one hand, it's good that they find ways to get the most out of everything, on the other hand, it's strange when people in an expensive restaurant eat various offal or gnaw bones. One such wonderful dish, "Claws of the Phoenix" (泡椒凤爪 - pàojiāo fèngzhǎo), sounds pretentious, doesn't it? In fact, these are chicken legs, the ones with claws. Don't believe? See for yourself. Chicken paws marinated in various sauces are sold in stores, these are the so-called snacks or in Chinese 小吃 xiǎochī, the Chinese often gnaw them with beer. In addition to chicken legs, they also eat duck necks, paws, heads, and mutton heads, cow stomachs, there is even a duck blood dish, but I think we can do without a photo, because I personally hate to look at it, so you have to take my word for it .

    Soy milk products

    I don't know if this is true or myth, but the Chinese consider lactose intolerance as a national trait. Most of them do not consume the dairy products we are used to, instead they eat soy cheese and drink soy milk. For the most part, they are unaware of the existence of products such as kefir, fermented baked milk and cottage cheese. Foreign cheeses, butter and yoghurts are very expensive and not everyone can afford it. In the morning, the Chinese often drink soy milk, and various dishes are prepared from tofu (soy cheese).

    For the most part tofu (豆腐 - dòufu) is a harmless and sometimes tasty dish, but there is one of its varieties - chhou tofu (stinky tofu - 臭豆腐 chòudòufu), from the smell of which it really does not rise. You have to feel it in words, but the stench is really terrible. coated with a special composition of ash, lime, salt, soda, plant leaves and left in a special place where air does not enter, ripen for 1-3 months.After the eggs are thoroughly washed, peeled and aired.It turns out such an unusual dish. They say it doesn't smell very nice, but it tastes normal, but I didn't dare to try it.0003

    Strange taste preferences

    The Chinese are big fans of unusual flavor combinations, for example, on supermarket shelves you can find potato chips with cucumber, tomato, lime, honey and even chocolate.

    Ice cream with peas, corn, beans, salty meat candies, sweet buns with beans or meat rope and much more will be familiar to them. Gourmets, in a word.


    Sea urchins, swallow nests, shark fins, monkey brains, snakes, turtles and other exotic foods are quite common in Chinese cuisine, but the pleasure is not cheap. Such dishes can be tasted in many restaurants in China.

    But the most extreme in this regard is the southern province of Guangdong, with the capital Guangzhou. Local taste preferences shock not only foreigners, but also many Chinese from other provinces. Despite protests by animal rights activists around the world and Chinese government bans, smugglers here trade rare species of animals that are then eaten or used in Chinese traditional medicine. Personally, I am against all this exoticism, but if anyone is interested and wants to try, then you are welcome. Here are the names of some exotic dishes:

  • fried frog in soy sauce 红烧田鸡 hóngshāo tiánjī,
  • sea cucumber (trepang) fried with onions

There is one dish, it is called "the fight of the dragon with the tiger", its poetic name attracts many, but only as long as they do not know that snake meat acts as a dragon, and cats act as a tiger. Ingredients are not written on the Chinese menu, and if you are completely unfamiliar with Chinese cuisine, then from the name it is not at all clear what this or that dish is prepared from. In good restaurants, of course, there should be a menu in English, but this is not always the case and everywhere. In large tourist cities, this is really easier. In small ones, most likely, you won’t find anything at all except Chinese, it’s good if there are pictures, and if there aren’t even those, then it’s really bad. In this case, it is better to have a translator with you, it can be easily installed on your smartphone.

By the way, the Chinese do not eat various insects in everyday life. And all these skewers with scorpions, grasshoppers, cockroaches and caterpillars, which are offered at Wangfujing in Beijing, or other cities, are nothing more than a tourist attraction. Perhaps it used to be food, but not now for sure. Although with the Chinese you can't be 100% sure. Our borscht, aspic or herring under a fur coat also seem absurd to the rest of the world.

Popular food in China. Things to try

Peking Duck (北京烤鸭 běijīng kǎoyā)

This is almost the first thing that comes to mind when mentioning China. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of trying a dish that has actually become one of the main symbols of Chinese cuisine. You can taste it in any city in China, and although the duck is called Peking duck, the original recipe for its preparation came from the Shandong province. In many cities there are restaurants that specialize in cooking Peking duck, and bear the appropriate name, but in an ordinary restaurant or cafe it will be no less tasty. The peculiarity of this dish is that before cooking, the duck is marinated in a special sauce of honey, jam and various spices. Sweet and crispy crust is the main highlight of this dish. Before serving, the duck is cut into small pieces, similar to plates, but they can be served whole, and then cut in front of guests. Peking duck can be tasted not only in a restaurant, but also bought in special street shops. They do not have to order the whole duck, you can take half or even a quarter.

Sweet and sour pork (糖醋里脊 tángcù lǐji)

Another one of my favorite foods that I would recommend to order while in China is sweet and sour pork, or as it is also called tangsuliji. Small pieces of meat rolled in starch and fried in a wok, then a special sauce is added, the finished dish is sprinkled with sesame seeds.The dish is very pleasant: tender, sour and sweet are very well combined in it, and, most importantly, it is absolutely not spicy.By the way, in some places pork replace with chicken, it turns out pretty good too.0003

Marinated carp or sweet and sour fish (糖醋鲤鱼tángcù lǐyú)

This dish is very similar to sweet and sour pork, but instead of meat it uses fish, as the name implies, mostly carp. The fish is cooked and served on the table as a whole, and to make it more convenient to eat with chopsticks, special cuts are made. For cooking, the same sweet and sour sauce is used, but the dish itself is more tender. The only negative, in my opinion, is that it is not very convenient to choose bones with chopsticks, and I have not learned how to deal with fish like the Chinese. For fish, as well as for almost all other dishes, rice must be ordered separately. For lovers of a combination of sour and sweet, I recommend trying both fish and pork.

Noodles in beef broth (牛肉面 niúròu miàn)

The signature dish of all Chinese Muslims is noodles in beef broth (niu rou mien) . in northwest China.Noodles are hand-cooked, boiled and poured with beef broth.Then put greens (cilantro, onion), pieces of meat and spices in a plate.If you do not like spicy, you can ask not to add pepper, but by itself the broth is not spicy.0003

Noodle making is mostly done by men, because it is a very difficult job and requires strong hands, at least I have not seen women doing this. The dough is punched, stretched, and then beaten on the table, and so on several times. The thinner the resulting noodles are, the more skillful the master is considered to be.

Fried noodles (炒面 chǎomiàn)

By the way, in China, noodles are not just a dish, but also a good sign. Long stripes symbolize long life, so the Chinese believe that eating it is not only tasty, but also healthy. In addition to Muslim noodles, you should also try fried noodles (chao mien). In a special sauce, the Chinese fry the noodles along with an egg, various vegetables, meat or seafood. It turns out tasty, but, as for me, too greasy.

Personally, I think that Chinese cuisine is quite fatty and therefore hard on the stomach, but how many people have so many opinions. I once asked why add so much oil to all dishes, it's tasteless. Then a familiar Chinese woman explained that earlier, not only in ancient times, but also after Mao Zedong came to power, the majority of the country's population lived very poorly, and they could not afford the use of oil. It was considered a sign of prosperity and well-being, so now, pouring oil on the dishes abundantly, they want to show that everything is fine with them and they do not feel sorry for anything for the guests.

Baozi (包子 bāozi)

Chinese baozi are large, steamed dumplings, or unleavened dough patties. Their filling can be both meat and vegetarian (various greens, carrots, mushrooms).

They are usually served with vinegar, which is also dark in color, so don't confuse it with soy sauce, and various seasonings. Baozi can be bought both on the street and in a restaurant. In China, there is even a famous fast-food chain that exclusively deals with their preparation.

Jiaozi (饺子 jiǎozi)

Jiaozi are Chinese boiled or fried dumplings. They can also have absolutely any filling, they differ from baozi in size and method of preparation.

Gongbao chicken (宫保鸡丁gōngbǎo jīdīng)

Another famous Chinese dish is Gongbao chicken. Traditionally, it belongs to Sichuan cuisine and is very spicy. I don’t eat spicy myself, but I really like the combination of ingredients in this dish (chicken, peanuts or cashews, carrots, cucumber or zucchini). When I order a non-spicy gongbao chicken, the Chinese laugh and get angry, and they always say that without hot Szechuan pepper, it becomes completely different. If you are a fan of spicy, then you should try the dish prepared according to the original recipe, and if not, you can always ask for it to be made without pepper, you just have to say bu yao lazi (不要辣子bùyàolàzi)

Ho-go (火锅 huǒguō)

There is another interesting dish in China called ho-go (or samovar). It is interesting because visitors cook their own food. Either one large container with broth or several small ones (depending on the number of people) and raw prepared foods are brought to the table. It can be various types of meat, seafood, tofu, mushrooms, vegetables, herbs. The container is placed on a heating surface, and when the broth boils, it means that it is time to throw food there. When the products are cooked, they need to be taken out and eaten with special sauces. The broth and sauces are different, spicy and not, with various additives. In fact, this is a very pleasant way to spend time in the company, and the Chinese very often go to eat ho-go, and at the same time sing karaoke right there.

Spicy frying pan (麻辣香锅 málàxiāng guō)

For this dish, you must first choose the ingredients, like on a buffet. It can be vegetables, mushrooms, meat, seafood, tofu, and then they are cooked in a special sauce and spices. The price depends on the number of selected products. Usually the price for vegetables is one, for meat and seafood another. When you have chosen the ingredients, they are weighed, and the price is determined by weight.

Pork in fish sauce (鱼香肉丝 yúxiāng ròusī)

For this dish, the meat is cut into strips and fried over high heat, adding sauce, garlic and hot peppers. According to the most Chinese, the sauce gives the dish a fishy smell, so the literal translation of the name sounds like "fish-flavored pork." In fact, the fishy taste is not felt there, and the dish is quite tasty and interesting.

If you don't eat meat, it won't be a big problem in China, because there are quite a lot of different vegetarian dishes, in this case you need to know the word - su 素 sù, which means lean, or vegetarian. Meat will be hun 荤 hūn. For example, you can say wo bu chi hong de 我不吃荤的 (wǒ bù chī hūnde) I don't eat meat, or show them this phrase, they will understand you and offer food for vegetarians.

Chinese desserts

As such, there are no desserts in Chinese restaurants, nor in traditional Chinese cuisine, there is no abundance of sweets even in stores. In fact, the Chinese do not really like everything sweet, somehow it has not worked out for a long time. Therefore, I would say that China is not a country for the sweet tooth. Delicious sweets here are only imported. But they found an excellent and healthier substitute - fruits.


As a dessert, restaurants often serve sliced ​​papaya with some kind of sweet syrup, or sometimes it can be other fruits, such as mango or pineapple.

Most often, a Chinese festive meal ends with a large platter of beautifully arranged fruit, although fruit can be served at the very beginning, there are no strict rules on this. Fruit plates are ordered even in bars for beer.

Street vendors everywhere sell another fruity treat called tanghulu - fruits on a stick (糖葫芦 tánghúlu) drenched in either caramel or sugar syrup. Any fruit can be used, but most often these are small Chinese apples. Worth a try for a change. By the way, the Chinese also refer to the cherry tomato as a fruit, so it can be found in fruit juices, and in sweet salads, and even on cake decoration, and in such tanhulu too.

Even before I came to China, when I went to our Chinese restaurants, I tried an amazing dessert - fruit in caramel (拔丝水果básīshuǐguǒ, and was very surprised that I could not find them in my supposed homeland. If you you will be lucky to see something like this in the restaurant menu, be sure to try it, it must be very tasty


Pastries and cakes 蛋糕

cakes and other desserts. But I can’t call them delicious.Chinese cakes and pastries look insanely beautiful and appetizing, each cake is a work of art, but, unfortunately, they don’t have special taste qualities.So different in appearance and taste they are all the same: a biscuit, a lot of cream and fruit on top, this is where the fantasy of Chinese confectioners ends.Influenced by the West, in recent years, the Chinese have become I am excited to buy cakes, although there was no such tradition before.

Egg cream tartlet (蛋挞 dàntà)

These tartlets are in great demand among the Chinese and are sold both on the streets, supermarkets, pastry shops, as well as in cafes and restaurants. The puff pastry base is filled with a delicate egg cream and baked. Such a delicacy is also cheap, from 3 yuan apiece.

Golden and silver mantou (金银馒头 jīnyín mántou)

In general, mantou is a kind of Chinese unleavened bread, but there is also a kind of dessert. Steamed buns are served with condensed milk. Buns of two colors are laid out on one dish, hence the name. Golden ones are covered with syrup and baked in the oven, they are more tasty, white buns are quite bland.

Holiday sweets

There are special desserts in China that are eaten only on certain holidays, such as mooncakes (yuebin), zongzi yuanxiao, niengao (new year cake) and others. They start selling them only on the eve of the holidays. Read about these dishes in the article dedicated to Chinese holidays.

Safety and cleanliness

Compared to our cafes and restaurants, many Chinese establishments look extremely unpresentable, they are not particularly clean, and much is prepared right on the street, the seller takes the money right there, cuts the meat with the same hand. Plus, visitors themselves litter a lot, and it is not always cleaned properly, the only exceptions are expensive restaurants. Many first-time visitors to the country experience shock and horror, and I myself was like that. I always tried to imagine, if it's such a mess in the hall, then what's going on in the kitchen? But, to be honest, neither with me, nor with my acquaintances and friends, any food poisoning or other food-related troubles have happened here in 4 years of my life, no matter where we ate.

Most importantly, try to choose crowded and relatively clean places. If the cafe is tasty, then every day there will be a lot of people there, if the place is empty, this is already suspicious. However, the attendance of a place must be judged by time, because, as you remember, the Chinese observe the regime. If the cafe is empty during dinner or lunch, this should be alarming, but if it is empty at other times, then this is almost normal.

Personally, I doubt the quality of China's food products, in fact, everyone knows that this is a country of fakes, and food is no exception. Every now and then I read in the news about another scandal, then fake meat went on sale, then fake eggs, then banned substances are found in products. Sometimes the news is also broadcast about unscrupulous owners of establishments who put drugs in food in order to ensure a constant influx of customers. So you always need to be careful, because health depends on it.

When you live here all the time, it's not funny at all. Many Chinese prefer to buy more expensive but higher quality imported products. But still, I hope that not everything is as bad as it seems, and there are still at least some useful substances in Chinese products. Of course, if we compare it with home-made ones, then our products are of higher quality, and somehow everything is tastier.

Food prices

Food prices in China are completely different, it all depends on the status of the establishment and the city. The cost starts from 1-2 USD per serving of rice with vegetables or noodles and goes up to infinity. Naturally, in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, food prices not only in establishments, but also in stores will be higher, in small towns they will be lower. The price also depends on the quality of the ingredients.

The cheapest food is from street hawkers. In addition to the fact that in every city there are entire streets and markets where food stalls are located, every day, hourly, hawkers go to universities, schools and other public places. For breakfast here for 1-2 USD you can buy a sandwich with an egg, sausage or vegetables, soy milk, boiled egg, corn, fruits on a stick. At other times, kebabs, vegetables are fried here, they sell cold noodles, various flatbreads and other snacks. I would advise you to try the local hamburger, it is called "joujiabing" (肉夹饼, ròujiābǐng) flatbread, inside of which they put fried meat with spices, very tasty and satisfying.

In seaside towns, hawkers prepare seafood and fish; in Muslim cities, various kebabs. In general, of course, in every city you can find very tasty and interesting dishes on the streets, and most often it is quite safe to eat street food in China. You should not be afraid to buy food on the streets, but, of course, hygiene must be observed and places chosen carefully.

A meal in small cafes and eateries will cost a little more. But also within 2 USD you can order a portion of boazzi or jiaozi. For the same money you can buy a portion of fried noodles or rice with egg and vegetables, or with meat, but there will be very little meat. Usually meat dishes are more expensive, vegetarian ones are cheaper. In most establishments, a portion of boiled rice costs 2 yuan - 0.31 USD, you can take any other dish with it, for example, the average price for pork in sweet and sour sauce in an inexpensive cafe will be 20-30 yuan (3-5 USD), if you take, for example, eggplant in fish sauce (鱼香茄子yú xiāng qiézi), it will be less than 20 yuan.

But the prices depend on the city and location of the institution. In tourist places, everything will be about 2 times more expensive. With the exception of rice, which is served individually, portions in China are large enough for two to fill up.

In a restaurant, the price for one dish on average will start from 50 yuan and more, it all depends on the restaurant itself and the quality of service.

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