Our top 5 favourite Chinese takeaway dishes:
- Peking duck.
- Sichuan dishes.
- Hot pot.
It often surprises people when they travel and learn their favourite Chinese takeaway dishes are actually Australian adaptions. The flavours we see today date back to mid-to-late 1800s, where almost a third of all cooks in Australia were of Chinese descent. By working in pubs, on stations and cookhouses on the goldfields, the cooks blended their own home favourites with the flavours more commonly known and available in Australia.
However, we all have our go-to Chinese dishes we opt for every time we get a takeaway or dine in our local Chinese restaurant. It’s time to expand your tastebuds! Here are our favourite dishes you need to try next time you’re eyeing the Chinese food menu.
What are the best Chinese takeaway dishes to order?
1. Baozi, otherwise known as steamed or pork buns, are not what they seem.
On the outside, this individually served bread-like dumpling appears to be a white, steamed lump of dough. However, on the inside is a nook of delicious filling—often pork—in Australian restaurants.
You may also see the same doughy dumpling referred to as a ‘steamed bao bun’ on menus. These are more like a steamed bun ‘taco’ or sandwich, where the filling isn’t fully encased. This style of baozi will generally have more fresh, uncooked fillings along with your meat (or tofu) of choice.
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2. There is nothing quite like traditional Peking duck.
If you’ve tried Peking duck and you weren’t sure it was for you, find somewhere known for this popular Chinese dish and try it again. Reviews on the takeaway shop’s Localsearch business profile will help you out here.
When cooked to perfect, the duck meat is irresistibly tender and moist, with crispy yet slightly chewy skin. Duck is abundant in fats, so the flavour is rich without being greasy. Peking sauce is a balance of sweet and savoury and is traditionally a reddish-brown colour.
The dish is commonly served with thin, almost transparent ‘pancakes’ or in a bao bun.
3. Sichuan anything will become a spice-lover’s favourite Chinese takeout dish.
Sichuan cuisine comes from Southwestern region of China, known as the Sichuan province. The region’s style of cooking, using hot and spicy seasonings, such as garlic, chilis, star anise, Sichuan pepper and the like, is prominent in many Australian Chinese takeaway favourites.
Almost anything containing Sichuan pepper tends to get the name here, so beware, if you’re not a fan of mouth-numbing goodness, it’s best to stay clear.
4. Hot pot will normally need to be enjoyed in a Chinese restaurant instead of as a takeaway dish.
We couldn’t not draft our list of Chinese dish favourites without mentioning Hot Pot. When you order a Hot Pot, you’ll be presented with a literal pot of hot (AKA ‘spicy’) broth, which can be ordered mild. You then get to customise your own pot of steaming goodness.
Some Chinese restaurants will give you a selection of sauces, meats, vegetables, and additions, or have a buffet-style selection for you to pick from. All you need to do is select your favourites and add them to the pot, have a chat and wait as the broth does its magic.
You’ll also find the Hot Pot on menus in other Asian restaurants, such as Korean BBQ-style venues.
5. Dumplings are a favourite for many and can be steamed, boiled or fried for a slightly different taste and texture.
Oh, dumplings. These little half-moon shaped delights are filled with a selection of meats and vegetables and may also be listed as Pot Stickers. Most Chinese restaurants will offer prawns (or other seafood), pork, chicken, cabbage, carrot and mushroom as the normal selection, but you’ll find many have their own creations.
We recommend trying them boiled, steamed and fried, as everyone has their own preferred method. Although be careful when you bite into them, as they can develop a little broth-like juice inside while cooking, which is absolutely delicious.
Where is the best Chinese takeaway near me?
Find out on Localsearch! We’ve added a search bar below so all you need to do is enter your suburb and we’ll bring up a list of all the Chinese restaurants in your area.
Want to take this list with you? Download our 5 favourite Chinese takeaway dishes here!
Feature image source: Pooja Chaudhary on Localsearch.