It’s summer and it’s hot outside. What is better than eating foods that can keep you cool? 

Here are five Chinese summer dishes that you can eat to beat the heat! They are all vegetarian and can be vegan as well.

  1. 1 Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜 (Pāi Huáng Guā)

    Smashed Cucumber Salad 

    Take something as simple as cucumbers and pair them with black vinegar, fresh raw garlic and fresh chili to transform them into something extraordinary.   

    拍黄瓜 (pāi huáng guā) is one of the most popular summer dishes in China. It originated from the northeastern provinces of China. 

    It is also a very common everyday dish that you can eat on the regular. Cucumbers in general are perfect for the summer. The cucumbers can be cut into smaller pieces or smashed, hence this dish’s name. 

    Try this delicious salad with this recipe!

  2. 2 Mung Bean Soup 绿豆汤 (Lǜ Dòu Tāng)

    Mung Bean Soup

    绿豆汤 (lǜ dòu tāng) is a traditional summer dessert. It is usually eaten chilled during very hot days. It can cool you down instantly. Mung beans look like little oval-shaped peas. They are packed with many vitamins, minerals and proteins. 

    I definitely always look forward to drinking mung bean soup during the summer. For me, it is not summer without mung beans! Try it out with this recipe. 

  3. 3 Wood Ear Mushroom Salad 凉拌木耳 (Liáng Bàn Mù Ěr)

    Mushroom and Cilantro Salad Recipe | Bon AppétitWood Ear Mushroom Salad

    The colors of this dish might be off-putting at first glance but the texture and crunch you get from munching on these mushrooms are sensational. 

    In traditional Chinese medicine, wood ear mushrooms are known to cleanse the body of toxins. This includes your digestive organs and your blood. 

    Drizzle in some black vinegar and you will have yourself a very delicious, refreshing and healthy side dish for the summer. Try making this side dish with this recipe!

  4. 4 Tofu Pudding 豆腐花 (Dòu Fu Huā)

    Tofu Pudding 

    豆腐花 (dòu fu huā) has to be one of my favorite desserts. What other warm dessert melts in your mouth instantly? 

    Tofu pudding is made with soymilk and a coagulant. The process of making this dessert is much simpler than making tofu. 

    Tofu pudding is a little different in each region in China. For example, in northern China, people like savory tofu pudding; they would add savory gravy and eat it for breakfast

    In southern China, people like to pair their tofu pudding with ginger syrup to make it a perfect light dessert for the summer.

    Try making tofu pudding with this guide here!

  5. 5 Snow Fungus Soup 银耳汤 (Yín Ěr Tāng)

    Snow Fungus Soup

    Have you noticed a pattern? In Chinese cuisine, soups don’t just have to be savory. There are sweet soups too, served warm or cool. 

    银耳汤 (yín ěr tāng) is a traditional Chinese dessert. The snow fungus is similar to the wood ear mushroom.

     However there isn’t much flavor to it. It is valued for its chewy and glutinous texture after cooking it into a soup. 

    In traditional Chinese medicine, snow fungus is believed to be good for the stomach and the heart. In ancient China, women would drink snow fungus soup to rejuvenate their skin and maintain a youthful glow. 

    You can add dried or fresh fruits, such as raisins or pears, into the soup. I like mine with papaya, longan, Chinese dates and goji berries. It is best served chilled. You should definitely give this dessert a try! Here is a recipe.

    What other dishes do you know that would be perfect for the summer? Tell us below, we would love to share!

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Amie Lin

Amie Lin is currently attending Hunter College double majoring in Mandarin and Media Studies. She is such a foodie and loves Chinese dramas.
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