Classic Chinese Dishes for the Holidays

Why not celebrate Christmas by serving a classic selection of Chinese food at the dining table? 

Here are just some of the finest Chinese food staples that would make the festivities even merrier:


1. Chinese BBQ Pork Char Siu

Originating from Guangdong, China, char siu means “fork roasted” in Cantonese (cha shao in Mandarin). It’s widely known for its developed signature sweetness, stemming from being marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce and roasted and seasoned with honey. 

Char Siu. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


2. Chow Mein

Chow Mein is a Chinese dish from Guangdong that literally means “stir-fried noodles.” It’s usually served with tons of vegetables doused in soy sauce, while its noodles are lightly covered in flour. Chow mein variations are diner’s choice, such as chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu. 

Chicken Chow Mein. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

3. Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp is a popular and classic Cantonese dish that originated from Hong Kong. It can easily be found in most Chinese restaurants. The crispy fried shrimp is  coated in a creamy sweet sauce and topped with candied walnuts — the perfect combination of sweet and savory!

Honey Walnut Shrimp. Photo courtesy of California Walnuts.


4. Sweet and Sour Pork

With multiple provinces in China claiming to be the birthplace of this dish, the sweet and sour pork has since become Westernized Cantonese cuisine. It’s commonly served in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and many Filipinos are known to have adapted this dish. It appeals to most palates with its tangy sweet and sour sauce. Even vegetarians or vegans can still opt for this dish as some restaurants offer a vegan protein version or sweet and sour fish option. You can also whip it up in your own kitchen!

Sweet and Sour Pork. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


5. Beef with Broccoli Dish

This Chinese dish usually consists of beef, broccoli, oyster sauce, seasoning, and sesame oil. The simple yet delicious dish also offers a good mix of protein and veggies. And it has become a well-known homemade recipe around the world, most especially in the Philippines. 

Styled Beef with Broccoli. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


6. Dumplings 

Dumplings are a traditional 1,800-year old Chinese dish dating back to the Han Dynasty. Fans of this Chinese food can thank its supposed creator, Zhang Zhongjian. Dumplings can have various fillings ranging from meat to vegetables, as well as different cooking methods, such as fried or steamed. 

Dumplings. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.


7. Mango Pudding

Make this Christmas twice as sweet with Mango Pudding, a very popular dessert found in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Macau. The sweet mango pudding dish is made of the fruit itself, evaporated milk, and cream. If you’re aiming for a healthier option, coconut milk can also be a good substitute.

Mango Pudding. Photo courtesy of Salu Salo Recipes.

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