When traveling to South Africa, one of the most important things to experience is the wide variety of traditional cuisine. The country makes use of flavor influences from all over the world to create a unique blend of food styles. However, even with such a rich food culture, South Africans are still attracted to the complex flavors found in Chinese food. This is evident by the sheer amount of Chinese restaurants and takeaways on the street corners of almost every neighborhood in the country. Here’s a list of just some of their favorite options.
The top of the list is undoubtedly the “sweet and sour” range. Whether you prefer the traditional pork or the reinvented chicken and shrimp options, the tangy taste of the sweet and sour sauce has collected quite a number of dedicated followers. Traditionally, a rich dish like this would be paired with plain steamed sticky rice, but the South African taste buds can accommodate any food pairing so long as it’s delicious. Therefore, our second item on the list “egg fried rice” is a must have to go with the sweet and sour pork.
Chow mein is the more fun and bubbly younger sister to the fried rice. It combines all the tasty goodness of a stir-fry with the satisfying fulfillment of carbohydrates. The dish can be eaten by itself without anything as a garnish. But if you’re prepared to hit the gym on a daily basis, you might consider pairing it with black pepper steak.
There is one item on a Chinese menu that the majority of customers will order: the spring roll. There are actually quite a number of varieties of spring rolls, depending on the regional differences in China. But the South African Chinese spring rolls fairly standard. They’re made mostly of shredded cabbage, julienne carrots, and either sliced pork, chicken or prawns.
While all of these dishes are delicious, they aren’t exactly very traditional. They’ve been altered to try to accommodate Western tastes. This next item on the list, however, is 100% traditional, and is a fan-favorite in South Africa. Crispy Peking Duck is truly a Chinese treasure. It is usually roasted in a specialized oven and carved with the utmost precision so that every piece of meat will have some skin attached. It is then paired with fresh cucumber slices and spring onions, then wrapped up in a freshly made pancake. To end the perfect Chinese meal, one simply must have a fortune cookie.
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily