What to order in a Chinese restaurant to eat like a Chinese

First a clarification: here we are not going to talk about fried rice, nor rice three delights, nor spring rolls, nor chop suey, nor chicken with almonds. Zero. This post is to talk about the real food that Chinese people ask for when they go to a restaurant.

As we all know, Chinese food is incredibly delicious . It may even be your favorite and you can not live without it ( hello, I speak for myself ). Now, are you sure that the Chinese food you enjoy so much is really Chinese food? Ok, ok, you're eating it in a Chinese restaurant, it has to be true!

Or not?

When Chinese immigrants started opening restaurants in American and European countries, They changed their traditional recipes to adapt them to the palate of the westerners. They eliminated some ingredients either because it was difficult to find them or because they were very "rare" for their potential new customers and little by little they were "westernizing" Chinese food. The result? The Chinese food that we mostly know today in our countries. Food that must be made very clear: it is unquestionably delicious, but it is not the authentic one.

However, if you live in a city with a decent Asian community, then the chances of you eating real Chinese food are much higher than living in a place where there are only 4 restaurants of dubious origin.

Why? Well, because the more Chinese immigrants there are, the more demand there will be for restaurants where they can eat the dishes as they like, as they prepare them in their country of origin. And this is good, it is very good for those who love the flavors as they really are.

Easy example: you are Peruvian and you are in Madrid, where are you going to eat a dish from your country? To the modern and surely expensive fancy restaurant that appears in the Internet guides? Or the place where your countrymen are pure, where the cooks are Peruvians like you and therefore you will feel at home?

Applies the same for food from any country in the world, including the one we Compete at this time.

So, are you interested in true Chinese food? What do they eat? Well here I leave all my recommendations so that, when visiting a Chinese restaurant (of the authentic) know what to order and you can enjoy this rich and magnificent cuisine.

Use chopsticks

If you are going to enter the world of authentic Chinese food you must do it with all that implies: use chopsticks. They are fun and really useful for this type of food.

White rice

Forget sautéed rice with vegetables, eggs or meat. If you want to eat real Chinese, ask for an individual serving of white rice. It will also be your central ingredient and the only unmovable part of this list.

Pasties, dumpligs ...

Stuffed Chinese dumplings (vegetable or pork) are a great way to start your experience. They usually put some accompanying sauce, usually soy, but it could also be hoisin or spicy sauce.


Tofu is wonderful. It is a magnificent source of protein and has an interesting property: it absorbs the flavor of anything you cook it with.

Ideally, you should order some tofu casserole with vegetables, if it is spicy, better.

If they have a dish called Mapo Tofu, PLEASE IMMEDIATELY.They are usually served in casseroles, stewed and there are slightly spicy versions very delicious.

Always, whenever you go to a Chinese restaurant, ask for aubergines, it's the best.

Green vegetables

You can order a serving of green seasonal vegetables. They can be some kind of vanilla, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, spinach, Chinese lettuce or a mixture of some of these. Steam them and perfectly accompany whatever you're eating.

Mushrooms and mushrooms

In many letters there are servings of mushrooms or fungi. They are usually in soy sauce or some other mild flavor preparation.

They can come with green vegetables, so you would not need to order them separately.

Some meat (if it's pork, better)

Gastronomy China gives a lot of importance to vegetables, but this does not mean that they do not eat meats, which are also delicious. The one that predominates is the pork and if in the restaurant they have some spicy casserole, ask for it.

Fish and seafood are also very common.

Pig intestines, duck tongue or some animal entrails

Yes I know, this is the part that does not make you very funny, but leaves fear, the skewers of chicken hearts are delicious, and if you have eaten tripe, you need not fear.

These dishes are usually stewed or roasted and presented on skewers.


In the case of soups, two things can happen: ask for a small cup of soup as a simple starter, a wonton soup or a simple seafood broth, or you can order a SUPER SOUP of noodles, or dumplings that will be so big that it will become your only pl ato de comida.

Roasted Duck or Peking Duck

Duck is also very popular in Chinese food. You can eat it asado, simple and exquisite or you can ask for Peking Duck, in this case we are talking about a legendary meal, once a dish of emperors.

It is always a great option to eat duck.

Hot Pot

If you go to a restaurant Chinese where prepare Hot Pot forget all that I said earlier in this post and ask for this culinary delight.

The Hot Pot is one of the great wonders of Chinese cuisine. It's so amazing that I've dedicated an exclusive post to talk about him. I recommend you read it:

  • Eating Hot Pot

Although I talk about my experience in a specific restaurant in Madrid, the description is valid for any Where else in the world do you go to eat Hot Pot?

And the noodles?

A good plate of noodles, whether in soup or sautéed, can be a great option to eat in a Chinese restaurant.But never the vegetables.

  • If you ask for noodles, eat only noodles.
  • Use chopsticks.
  • Want to know more about what the Chinese food, in China? Read my post about it:

    • This is Chinese food in China.