Chinese flavors captivate the world’s palates

Hotpot is one of the earliest Chinese culinary styles to go global. /CFP

Hotpot is one of the earliest Chinese culinary styles to go global. /CFP

The allure of Chinese flavors has sparked a craze in recent years to queue up to dine at many overseas Chinese restaurants as Chinese cuisine steps up its efforts to go global.

Stir-frying, stewing, boiling, steaming… the unique cooking methods of Chinese cuisine, along with the ingredients, seasonings, and recipes passed down through generations, offer flavors quite distinct from Western cuisine and provide foreign diners with new culinary experiences.

Chinese roast duck entered overseas markets decades ago. /CFP

Chinese roast duck entered overseas markets decades ago. /CFP

In fact, going global is nothing new for Chinese food. Several famous Chinese hot pot and roast duck brands began entering overseas markets decades ago. However, the types of Chinese cuisine in the latest wave of exports have become more diverse.

A store of a new-style Chinese tea beverage brand /CFP

A store of a new-style Chinese tea beverage brand /CFP

New-style Chinese tea beverages have emerged as a new force. For instance, “Milksha” have nearly 4,000 outlets overseas, and “Chagee” rushed into overseas markets just two years after its establishment.

Different types of regional Chinese cuisines have also begun to shine, with the brands of the Zhejiang and Hunan cuisines being particularly active.

Fish head with chopped chili peppers is a famous dish in Hunan cuisine. /CFP

Fish head with chopped chili peppers is a famous dish in Hunan cuisine. /CFP

Although Southeast Asia is often the first stop for entering the global market due to its large overseas Chinese population, some brands have begun to choose the United States or Europe for their first overseas stores.

Social media has also contributed to the popularity of Chinese cuisine. On TikTok, videos tagged “Chinesefood” have been viewed more than 2.2 billion times, helping to spread Chinese culinary culture.

A tofu dish in Zhejiang cuisine /CFP

A tofu dish in Zhejiang cuisine /CFP

The overseas Chinese catering market is expected to exceed US$400 billion by 2026, according to recent data analysis.