What else is there to know about the ever-popular Chinese food? Well, besides their dumplings and noodles, Chinese food has a remarkable variety of flavour and diversity, in terms of cooking style.

Being the third-largest country in the world, China’s cuisine can be classified based on different geographical areas of origin, with each area carrying a distinct style of cooking. The ingredients used in their dishes are often based on the natural agricultural products of the region. According to China Highlights, in Northern China, for example, wheat is eaten more than rice as staple food. Food using wheat as main ingredient such as noodles and dumplings is prevalent in the northern region of China.

In Southern China, however, is considered a ‘rice region’ and is known to use rice more, with such staples as rice noodles and zongzi – or sticky rice wrapped in leaves. Southern food is also typically more spicy, with chillies part of the people’s everyday meal.

This Marhaba Food File aims to introduce our readers to a range of popular Chinese food and destinations in Qatar:

Bubble tea
Bubble tea

Chinese Teas

It is believed that Chinese people have been enjoying drinking tea for more than 4,000 years, not only as a hot beverage but more so for its health benefits. Besides green and black teas, popular Chinese teas include Oolong tea, white tea, Dragon Well tea and a variety of ‘scented teas’.

Currently, people are getting crazy over Chinese bubble teas. Also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Taichung, Taiwan during the 1980s. The term ‘bubble’ refers to the chewy tapioca balls, also referred to as pearls, commonly added to the drink. Most bubble tea recipes are tea-based and mixed with fruit or milk. Similar to slushies and milkshakes, ice-blended versions of bubble tea are also mixed with fruit or syrup. There are many variants of bubble tea, ranging from green tea to taro and other more, imaginative and unusual blends. You can try bubble tea at the Wok of Fame restaurant in Villaggio Mall.


With a long history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings are a traditional food widely popular in North China. Dumplings consist of minced meat and chopped vegetables wrapped into a thin piece of dough skin. Popular fillings are minced meat, diced shrimp and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming or frying. Dumplings are considered a traditional dish, also served and eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve.


Similar to dumplings are wontons. It has been a custom for people to eat wontons on the winter solstice since the Tang Dynasty (618–907). The most versatile shape of a wonton is right triangle. Wontons are commonly boiled and served in soup or sometimes deep-fried. The filling of wontons are either minced meat or diced shrimp.

Ma Po Tofu
Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu

With a history of more than 100 years, ma po tofu is one of the most famous dishes in Chuan Cuisine. Ma describes a spicy and hot taste which comes from pepper powder, a kind of condiment usually used in Chuan Cuisine. The milky tofu is enriched with brownish red ground beef and chopped green onion.

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum, cylindrical in shape. The filling of spring rolls could either be vegetables or meat, and the taste could be sweet or savoury. After fillings are wrapped in spring roll wrappers, the rolls are fried until golden yellow. The dish is especially popular in Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.

Beijing Roasted Duck
Peking Roasted Duck

Peking Duck

Peking duck is a famous dish from Beijing and considered among China’s national dishes. It is served two-way or four-way. Its crispy skin is eaten with a slice of celery, rolled in thin dimsum paper. Sliced Peking duck is often eaten with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, or soy with mashed garlic.

Sweet and Sour Meat

Sweet and sour is a popular dish which combines the delicious taste of sweet and sour flavour as sauce for fried meat, fish or vegetables. In most Muslim countries like Qatar, the dish features fried chicken, beef or shrimp.

Author: Ola Diab

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