10 Popular Chinese Foods to Warm You Up in Winter

In cold winter, Chinese people prefer food ingredients which can warm them up, such as mutton, beef, Chinese yams, pumpkins, radishes, Chinese cabbage and lotus roots. Soups are quite common for Chinese in winter, for the nutrition in soups can be absorbed more easily, hence to strengthen immunity and to prevent from getting cold. Here are the 10 popular winter food in China, which are worth a try.

1. Instant-Boiled Mutton Hot Pot

Chinese Name: 涮羊肉 shuàn yáng ròu
Eating mutton in winter can warm you up and protect you from coldness. Instant-boiled Mutton Hot Pot is a popular winter food in China, especially in Beijing. Sitting around a table with a pot of boiling soup with friends, the coldness would be dispelled soon. The thin mutton slices are boiled directly in the hot pot for several seconds and dipped with sauce then enjoyed, tasting umami and juicy. The sauce can be seasoned with various condiments according to your taste.

Mutton Hot Pot
Instant-Boiled Mutton Hot Pot
Stewed Mutton with Radishes
Stewed Mutton with Radishes

2. Stewed Mutton with Radishes

Chinese Name: 白萝卜炖羊肉 bái luó bo dùn yáng ròu
Stewed Mutton with Radishes is a popular Chinese food in winter for mutton could protect people against cold, and radishes could boost immunity of our body. Boil lamb brisket loaves and remove the scums, pick them out. Then peel the radish and roll cut it into loaves. Stew the boiled mutton and radish loaves together with the root of straight ladybell for 2-3 hours. When the mutton is tender, season with salt.

Chinese Name: 羊肉泡馍 yáng ròu pào mó
It is a famous traditional dish with tender mutton and thick soup in Xi’an, which has a very long history since 11th century BC. It has the effect of warming the body up, thus suitable for cold winter. You need to tear up the flatbread into small dices before eating, and the smaller the pieces are, the tastier the dish will be. After, giving your flatbread pieces to the chef, he or she will cook the delicious Yangrou Paomo with mutton soup for you immediately, topped with chopped coriander and sliced mutton. You can add chili sauce or sugared garlic according to your taste.

4. Beef Stew with Potatoes

Chinese Name: 土豆烧牛肉 tǔ dòu shāo niú ròu
The popular Chinese dish from north China is rich in various nutriments so that it achieves the effects to strengthen immunity, improve looks, and improve anemia, etc. The cooking method is mainly braising, which can better preserve the nutrients of the ingredients. Although it is beneficial to the human body, you cannot eat too much because it is hard to digest.

Read more: Recipe - How to Make Beef Stew with Potatoes

Beef Stewed with Potatoes
Beef Stewed with Potatoes
Glutinous Rice Balls
Glutinous Rice Balls

5. Glutinous Rice Balls

Chinese Name: 汤圆 tang yuán
Glutinous Rice Balls is a popular Chinese food as well as the traditional festival food on Lantern Festival, to symbolize family reunion and happiness. In some places in southern China, people eat it on Winter Solstice as well. According to Chinese medicine theory, glutinous rice benefits the human body and can keep out the coldness. As humans are easier to get a cold in winter, the hot Glutinous Rice Balls would be a good choice. The common fillings are sweet black sesame paste and peanut paste. If boiled together with some rice wine, the function of keeping out the coldness would be better.

6. Braised Pumpkin with Egg Yolks

Chinese Name: 蛋黄焗南瓜 dàn huáng jú nán guā
Braised Pumpkin with Egg Yolks is a well-known special dish. In winter, eating pumpkin can warm you up and prevent from having a cold. Thus Braised Pumpkin with Egg Yolks became a popular winter food with multiple nutrition. The recipe is quite simple so that you can cook it at home easily. Deep-fry starched pumpkin chunks to be medium done, then stir-fry them with salted egg yolks clockwise. When the egg yolks melt and starch on the surface of pumpkin chunks, the dish is done. It is glutinous and tastes sweet with salty crispy skin.

7. Stir-fry Chinese Yam with Black Fungus

Chinese Name: 木耳炒山药 mù ěr chǎo shān yào
Chinese Yam is a popular winter food with the effect to help digestion. It can soften the lungs for stopping a cough in cold and dry winters, and protect the heart and cerebral vessels from the discomfort caused by the large difference of temperature indoors and outdoors. Stir-fry Chinese Yam with Black Fungus is tasty, crisp and refreshing.


8. Red Dates and Lotus Seeds Porridge

Chinese Name: 红枣莲子粥 hóng zǎo lián zǐ zhōu
Blood circulation can become slower in cold winter, Red Dates and Lotus Seeds Porridge can help warm the body up and nourish blood. Meanwhile, as red dates and lotus seeds are of highly nutritious value, this dish has the effect to benefit spleen, stomach and heart, and to soothe the nerves as well. It is suitable for most people, in particular, women, the elderly, teenagers and people who just have recovered from an illness. The cooking is easy: boil pitted red dates, lotus seeds and rice together with sugar till they become soft and thick.

9. Fish Slices in Hot Chili Oil

Fish Slices in Hot Chili Oil
Fish Slices in Hot Chili Oil

Chinese Name: 水煮鱼 shuǐ zhǔ yú
Fish Slices in Hot Chili Oil is a popular winter food that stem from Chongqing. It is spicy, numb and hot, thus a fine dish to warm you up on cold days. To cook it, marinate the fish slices with salt, cooking wine, starch and egg liquid at first. Stir-fry thick-bean sauce, shallots, ginger, garlic, peppers, chili powder and dried chili. Then, add fish head and tail to continue stir-frying with cooking wine, soy sauce, pepper powder and sugar. Add hot water to boil them with salt. When the water is boiling, add fish slices and boil for another 3-5 minutes. Pour them into the bowl with boiled soybean sprouts. Finally, top some chili and pour in hot oil.

10. Corns and Spareribs Soup

Chinese Name: 玉米排骨汤 yù mǐ pái gǔ tāng
Corns and Spareribs Soup is a popular home cooking dish with healthy tonic effect in winter, such as helping blood flow smoothly in cold days and moistening lungs in dry weather. To cook it, stew fresh spareribs, fresh corns, diced carrot, red dates and lycium barbarum in pressure cooker for half an hour with two drops of vinegar. Then, add two or three drops of sesame oil and some salt to season the soup. Afterwards, you can enjoy the wholesome dish. 

- Last updated on Apr. 21, 2021 -
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