The heat continues even after 立秋. with the average daily temperature above 30 degrees Celsius, Chinese people keep refreshing the menus to cope with the scorching heat.
While watermelon is widely known as the most popular summer fruit, what else do you know about Chinese summer foods? Here, we've picked 5 top treats that the Chinese people would go for during the hottest days.
1. 拍黄瓜/凉拌黄瓜 Smashed cucumbers with sesame oil and garlic
One typical cold dish is smashed cucumbers with sesame oil and garlic, which is called “Pai Huanggua” in Chinese.
Simple recipe: smash the cucumbers and splatter the sauce made with sesame oil, garlic and vinegar, add chilies if you like. Then you will be able to enjoy the cool and crunchy delicacy.
One interesting fact is that though Chinese people from the North and from the South have different preferences for food. You could find this cold dish in restaurants all across the country.
2. 绿豆汤 Mung bean soup
Mung bean soup is a soothing and nutritious dessert commonly made in China. It's a great source of protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals. It's also quite easy to make, as you would only need beans, water and rock sugar. A secret, it tastes much better when served ice cold.
What's more, mung beans are considered as having a 'Yin' feature in traditional Chinese medicine. With the cooling property, they could flush toxins in human body.
3. 仙草 Grass jelly
Grass jelly is a jelly-like dessert that originated in Taiwan and southern China.
The jelly itself has a slight bitter taste, with a translucent dark brown color. Most typically, the sweet treat is served chilled (or hot) in a bowl, either by itself or with fruits, peanuts, taro balls or red beans as you like.
4. 米酒/酒酿/醪糟 Chinese rice wine
Rice wine, made from fermented glutinous rice, is a beverage widely consumed in China, especially in southern areas of the country. You can buy it in Chinese supermarkets, have a taste in Chinese restaurants, or try to make it at home!
Fun fact: rice wine can also be served or cooked alongside a lot of food!
In Xi'an, people like to boil it with milk, eggs and Chinese dates, with black sesame on top.
In southern China, especially Zhejiang province, people like to boil it with glutinous rice dumplings (sticky rice balls).
And you may also be surprised by the new creations these days, like rice wine cold brew, rice wine yogurt/smoothie bowl!
5. 凉皮 Cold skin noodles
Chinese cold skin noodles, also known as Liangpi, are one of the most popular street foods in the north-west of China. But I'd rather say it's popular all across the country, even among those who can't put up with much spicy food, as they can easily ask for some adaptions.
Imagine when temperature hits 40 degrees in your city and you feel boiling, what's better than some cold, springy noodles, seasoned with a tangy, spicy, savory sauce?
Got more Chinese food you'd like to know about? Let us know in email, or book your first FREE Trial Culture NeuLingo Class!