When it comes to pairing drinks with Chinese food, there are a few options that are sure to complement the bold flavours and spices commonly found in this cuisine.
Below are our recommendations for the best drinks you can pair with specific Chinese dishes.
Drinks to Pair with spicy Szechuan dishes
Beers are great to pair with Chinese food. A light, crisp lager or pilsner is a great option to pair with Chinese food. These types of beers can help to cut through the rich, savoury flavours of dishes like Kung Pao chicken or Szechuan beef. Additionally, the carbonation in beer can help to cleanse the palate and prepare your taste buds for the next bite.
For those who prefer a little sweetness to complement their meal, consider a nice glass of sweet wine, like Riesling. The sweetness in the wine can help to balance out the spiciness of the food and bring out the sweetness in the dish.
Drinks to Pair with savoury Cantonese roast meats
Cantonese roast meats, also known as siu mei, are a staple of Cantonese cuisine and are traditionally served as part of a Chinese banquet or as a takeaway dish. The meats, which can include pork, duck, and char siu (barbecued pork), are marinated and slow-roasted to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy, flavourful interior. They are often served with steamed rice or in a bun as a sandwich. Some popular Cantonese roast meat dishes include roast pork, crispy roasted duck, and char siu. These dishes are often savoury and slightly sweet in taste and are a popular delicacy enjoyed by many.
Drinks to pair with sweeter Cantonese dishes
Cantonese cuisine is known for its diverse range of dishes, including sweet and savoury options. Some popular sweet Cantonese dishes include egg tarts, which have a flaky pastry crust filled with a creamy custard filling, and mango pudding, a chilled dessert made with mango puree and gelatin. Another classic Cantonese sweet dish is the steamed sponge cake, which is a light and fluffy cake made with rice flour and sweetened with sugar. Dim sum sweets like "tong sui" are also popular, which are sweet soups made with ingredients such as black glutinous rice, red bean, and lotus seed. These dishes are often enjoyed as a dessert or as a sweet snack, and are a staple in Cantonese cuisine.
Drinks that pair well with any Chinese dish
Pairing Chinese food with wine can be a bit of a challenge, as the bold flavours and spices in the cuisine can be difficult to match with traditional Western wines. However, with a little bit of knowledge and experimentation, it is possible to find wines that complement and enhance the flavours of Chinese dishes. In general, it is best to pair Chinese food with wines that have a high acidity and a moderate to low tannin content. This helps to cut through the rich and spicy flavours of the food and refresh the palate. For example, Riesling, which is known for its high acidity and low alcohol content, is a great match for dishes with spicy and sweet sauces, as it can balance out the flavours. Similarly, a Sauvignon Blanc can be a good match for dishes with a lot of ginger and garlic, as it can complement and freshen the flavours. Sparkling wines, such as Prosecco, Champagne, and Cava can also be a good pairing for Chinese food as the bubbles can help to cleanse the palate.
Overall, when it comes to pairing drinks with Chinese food, there are many options to consider. From beer to tea, water to wine, there's a drink out there that's sure to complement your meal perfectly. The key is to experiment and find what works best for you and your taste preferences.