Chinese
Food

How Aussies
Chow Down

Since the first Chinese immigrants landed on our shores to work the gold mines in the 1850s, Aussies have devoured Chinese food with wonton abandon.

In fact, Chinese ranks as the most popular cuisine among Australians of all generations - who would’ve thought that the Boomers have something in common with Gen X?!

So, what’s with our enduring love affair with Chinese food? Whether it’s the delicate balance of sweet and sour, the indulgent flavours, or the alluring aromas, one thing’s for sure, Aussies have always been - and will always be - all in on our Chinese food.

Read more about the history of Chinese food in Australia.

The top 5
Chinese dishes
Ordered on Menulog

Western
Chinese
vs
Authentic
Chinese

Are these dishes authentic Chinese food?

Lemon Chicken

Not Authentic

Lemon Chicken has been a staple in Australian Chinese restaurants for decades, but the deep fried chicken covered in a zesty lemon sauce does not hail from China.

Next ⟶
Yes
No

Beef & Black Bean

Authentic

Black Bean or Douchi fermented and salted black soybean are used to make black bean sauce dishes. It’s a popular flavouring in Chinese cuisine.

Next ⟶
Yes
No

Dim Sims

Not Authentic

Dim Sims were invented in Australia in 1945 by Wing Lee. He adapted the delicate pork mince dim sum dumplings - siu mai - to suit the Australian palate. Dim Sims can be either steamed or deep fried.

Next ⟶
Yes
No

Mongolian Beef

Not Authentic

Despite its name, the beef stir fry was created in Taiwanese restaurants in the 1950s.

Next ⟶
Yes
No

Chicken Soup

Authentic

Chicken soup, also known as Egg Drop soup or Egg Flower soup has a few variations. Ingredients can include corn, crab meat, tofu and green onions.

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Yes
No

Mapo Tofu

Authentic

Mapo Tofu or Mapo Doufu originates from Sichuan province. Ingredients include tofu set in a spicy sauce, fermented black beans, minced pork or beef.

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Yes
No

Fortune Cookies

Not Authentic

Fortune cookies originated in Japan during the 1800s, with the original version being larger, darker, and containing slightly different ingredients. The modern day version first popped up in California during the early 20th century.

Next ⟶
Yes
No

Peking Duck

Authentic

Peking Duck has been served for centuries, even prepared for the Emperor of China during the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th Century. It’s usually served with steamed pancakes, spring onions, cucumber sticks and a sweet bean sauce and crispy duck skin.

Yes
No
Discover more about Westernised Chinese Food.

Styles of Chinese food

Cantonese Zhejiang Jiangsu Fujian Anhui Shandong Hunan Sichuan

There are no fewer than eight regional cooking styles that make up Chinese cuisine as we know it. To layer on another level of complexity, cooking techniques and ingredients from nearby countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand have also influenced traditional Chinese cooking styles and dishes.

Now, fire up those taste buds because we’re about to take you on a quick culinary adventure. Because, the more you know…!

Click to find out more about the great 8 Chinese cuisines.

Roll over a region on the map to learn more about it.

Cantonese, Zhejiang & Jiangsu

Cantonese, Zhejiang & Jiangsu

Taste: favours fresh seafood, sweet flavours and colourful presentation.
Examples: Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings), Barbecue Pork Buns

Fujian & Anhui

Fujian & Anhui

Taste: incorporates ingredients from the mountains and the sea.
Examples: Spring Rolls

Shandong

Shandong

Taste: crispy and tender dishes, with an emphasis on seafood.
Examples: King Prawns

Sichuan & Hunan

Sichuan & Hunan

Taste: renowned for their bold flavours and spiciness.
Examples: Mapo Tofu and Kung Pao Chicken

Did you know...

Yum Cha means ‘drink tea’ and dim sum means to 'touch the heart'.

Dishes of Hong Kong

Surprisingly, many of the Chinese dishes Aussies love most actually originated in Canton area, including Hong Kong, Guangdong, Guangxi and Macau. Sweet and Sour Pork, Wontons, Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Har Gow) are all from Cantonese cuisine. Similarly, meals native to Hong Kong are also heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine, specifically Cantonese. If you’ve ever been to Yum Cha, then you’ve most definitely indulged in a delightful Hong Kong feast!

Check out the top tips for eating Yum Cha here.

Choose your 3 favourite Yum Cha dishes

Har Gow (Prawn dumplings)
Chicken Feet
Rice Noodles
Siu Mai (Pork dumplings)
Sticky Rice
Barbeque Pork Buns
Mango Pancakes
Chinese Broccoli
Spring Rolls
Submit & reveal results

SEAFOOD

Prawns (or shrimp) feature heavily in Chinese food, and are creatively prepared in many enticing dishes.

Discover more about Chinese seafood dishes here.

How do you like your Prawns?
With Honey
or
With Garlic

Dumplings

Aussies swoon over these scrumptiously savoury bags of goodness. Dumplings are as delectably delicious as they are addictive (and we don’t use that word lightly). One of these perfect parcels is never enough, but then again, neither is five, or six, or seven...

The question is, what kind of dumpling foodie are you -- steamed, boiled, or fried?

Noodles

Fat, thin, pulled, or knife-cut, no matter what your preference, a piping hot bowl of noodles is always a slurpin’ good choice. Drenched in a steaming bowl of soup, or stir-fried in sweet and sour sauce, noodles are a familiar staple of Chinese food.

As diverse as they are delicious, noodles complement oodles of dishes across the wide gamut of Chinese cuisine.

But, while you think you may know your noodles, there are many different types. Which of these most popular noodles are your favourite?

Did you know...

Wheat noodles are more common in northern China. Rice noodles are more common in southern China.

Rice

For centuries, the humble rice grain has been central to Chinese culture - bridging agriculture, economics and of course food! Rice is almost always (always) featured in every Chinese meal.

While boiled white rice is the perfect match to rich flavourful Chinese dishes, it seems Aussies are obsessed with Fried Rice, in all its multicoloured, multi-textured glory! Fried Rice is the number one Chinese dish ordered on Menulog.

And, there are so many varieties to choose from. Do you prefer egg or prawn? Vegetarian or pork? The combinations are endless!

Did you know...

About 1,097,877 servings of Fried Rice are sold on Menulog in one year.

That’s the same weight as 3,843 adult Pandas!

How to Chopstick

Have you ever wondered why chopsticks were invented?

Legend has it that the great Chinese philosopher Confucius believed having sharp objects at the dinner table was not a good idea! Sharp knives could evoke violence and kill the harmonious mood, so to speak, that should reign at meal times.

Learn more about how to use chopsticks here.

Have you mastered eating with chopsticks or still struggle with sticks? Here’s a How To Slide Show to help you fill your stomach quicker! Chop Chop!

"The honorable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen. And he allows no knives on his table."

Confucius

Lighter Options

With a range of fresh vegetables in Chinese cuisine, it's easy to opt for lighter dishes, which tend to be lower in calories. Check out some of our veggie-packed favourites.

Click on which dish you think has the lowest calories.

Guide to greens

Loading up on crispy Asian vegetables can be a fabulous way to enjoy a Chinese feast! Here’s a handy guide to the most popular greens.

Click on the name of a green to see its picture.

  • Bok Choy
  • Choy Sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
  • Wombok (Chinese cabbage)
  • Dow miu (Snow pea shoots)
  • Eng Cai (Water spinach)
  • Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli)
Bok Choy
Choy Sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
Wombok (Chinese cabbage)
Dow miu (Snow pea shoots)
Eng Cai (Water spinach)
Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli)

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