How Many Chinese Dishes Have Rice?

China is a vast and diverse country with a rich culinary heritage that spans thousands of years. Renowned for it’s bold flavors, unique cooking techniques, and wide variety of ingredients, Chinese cuisine has captivated the taste buds of people all around the world. It isn’t only a source of sustenance but also a significant cultural symbol. From fluffy steamed rice to savory fried rice, there’s an array of delectable Chinese dishes where rice takes center stage. However, the question arises: how many Chinese dishes actually incorporate rice? Whether it’s the beloved classic of Yangzhou fried rice, the comforting goodness of congee, or the fragrant aroma of sticky rice dumplings, Chinese cuisine offers a diverse and extensive range of dishes that beautifully incorporate this versatile grain. Join us on this culinary journey to discover the many Chinese dishes that celebrate the wonderful world of rice.

Is Rice a Main Dish in China?

Rice has deep roots in Chinese culinary traditions and is indeed considered a main staple in China. Unlike in Western meals where it’s often viewed as a side dish or accompaniment, rice takes central stage in Chinese cuisine. It forms the foundation of any Chinese meal, with meat and vegetable dishes revolving around it.

Popular Rice Dishes in China, Such as Fried Rice, Claypot Rice, and Congee

  • Fried rice
  • Claypot rice
  • Congee

Chinese cuisine is known for it’s diverse and flavorful dishes, and rice plays a central role in many of them. From the aromatic Chinese Sticky Rice to the savory Sizzling Rice in Tomato Sauce, there are numerous rice dishes that showcase the culinary delights of China. Whether you’re in Tibet enjoying a bowl of Dresil or in Guangdong savoring Yin Yang Fried Rice, there’s a rice dish to satisfy every palate. In this article, we will explore the 9 most popular Chinese rice dishes that you must try when visiting China.

What Chinese Dish Has Rice?

In China, rice is a staple food and is included in a variety of dishes. It’s difficult to determine exactly how many Chinese dishes have rice, as the cuisine is vast and diverse.

One well-known Chinese rice dish is Dresil, which is a traditional Tibetan dish made with rice and butter, often served with meat or vegetables. It’s a simple and satisfying meal that’s enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Another popular rice dish is Chinese Sticky Rice, also known as Lo mai fan. This dish originated in Guangdong and features sticky rice cooked with various ingredients such as meat, mushrooms, and vegetables, wrapped in lotus leaves and steamed. It’s a unique, fragrant flavor and is often enjoyed during festive occasions.

Yin Yang Fried Rice is another delicious rice dish commonly found in Guangdong. It’s made by combining white and brown rice, along with a variety of ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and eggs. The contrasting colors of the rice make for an appealing presentation, and the dish is known for it’s savory taste.

Fried Rice with Bean Sprouts is a simple yet flavorful rice dish that can be found throughout China. It’s made by stir-frying cooked rice with bean sprouts, along with other ingredients such as meat, eggs, and vegetables. This dish is popular for it’s light and refreshing taste.

Hokkien Fried Rice is a stir-fried rice dish that originated in the Fujian province. It’s made with fragrant jasmine rice, along with a mix of ingredients such as shrimp, pork, vegetables, and soy sauce. The dish is known for it’s aromatic flavors and is a favorite among locals.

Sizzling Rice in Tomato Sauce is a unique and delicious rice dish that’s popular in many parts of China. It features crispy rice that’s cooked until it sizzles, and then topped with a savory tomato sauce. The combination of textures and flavors makes this dish a crowd-pleaser.

Claypot Rice is a popular rice dish that’s cooked and served in a clay pot. It typically consists of rice, meat (such as chicken or beef), and vegetables, all cooked together in the pot to create a flavorful and comforting meal.

Lotus Leaf Rice is a traditional Cantonese dish that’s made by wrapping seasoned glutinous rice and various fillings (such as meat, mushrooms, and nuts) in a lotus leaf, and then steaming it. The lotus leaf imparts a distinct flavor to the rice, making this dish a favorite among locals.

Rice Dumplings: A Traditional Chinese Dish That Consists of Glutinous Rice Stuffed With a Variety of Fillings and Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves, Then Steamed or Boiled.

  • Rice Dumplings: a traditional Chinese dish that consists of glutinous rice stuffed with a variety of fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves, then steamed or boiled.


From classic dishes like fried rice and rice noodles to steamed buns and dumplings, rice is an essential component that brings texture, flavor, and satiety to Chinese meals. So, whether you're indulging in a savory stir-fry or relishing a comforting bowl of congee, rice continues to be a vital ingredient that defines the richness and authenticity of Chinese gastronomy.

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