Taking pictures of food became a popular ritual in Asia many years ago, when mobile phones first included a camera function.

People look for different angles before they start eating, take beautiful pictures of food and share them on early social networks and sms.

After that, the ceremony swept the world, and #Food and #Foodie became the two most active hashtag on Instagram. People share big meals, organic salad, snacks, afternoon tea, milkshakes and juices.

Then, things began to change, and some people who liked to share food photos on Instagram began to pursue food that looked good but not delicious. Even some of the food was thrown directly into the dustbin after taking pictures. As a result, foods that are good-looking but not tasty designed specifically for social networks are also defined as Instagram foods.

Chinese food seems to be the opposite of Instagram food, which has become the mainstream of food express delivery in European and American markets. It’s delicious, but few people take pictures of it.

But as mentioned in our previous article, Chinese food in European and American markets is often not authentic Chinese food. In Chinese food, many foods are delicious and good-looking. This article will introduce ten of them to you.

1. Hot Pot

What is Hot Pot?

Wow, I really don’t think it’s necessary to explain what hot pot is. In short, this is a kind of Chinese food that is popular all over China. People sit around the table, and there is a continuous boiling pot in the middle of the table. Diners use chopsticks to hold the ingredients and cook them in the pot and then eat them.

The best way to take pictures

You should take a picture before all the ingredients have been delivered, but before you start eating. The angle of the picture should be taken down from the top of the table. This will allow you to get a picture of different colors of ingredients and boiling hot pot, by moving the position of the ingredients, you can achieve different composition.

Another way is that you can take a close shot of a piece of cooked meat or mushroom, keep the focus on the food hung with oil and water, and let the boiling hot pot appear as a blur background, and you may need portrait mode to take this picture.

You can also use this method to shoot food similar to hot pot.

2. Chinese barbecue

What is Chinese barbecue?

Chinese barbecue is similar to skewers in Europe and America. The difference is that there is only one kind of ingredient on each bamboo stick (or steel stick), usually mutton, but there is also beef, chicken, pork and some animal offal.

It usually appears in Chinese night markets, where people eat these Chinese barbecues, drink beer and chat with friends.

The Chinese barbecue stove is different from those in other regions. It is a metal cuboid filled with coal.

The best way to take pictures

Because the Chinese barbecue stove is very special, so filming its cooking process is an excellent choice. Dozens or even hundreds of different Chinese barbecues are neatly placed on the pot, showing an amazing visual effect.

In addition, merchants tend to pile up uncooked ingredients into mountains, which is also worth taking pictures.

3. Suzhou snacks

What is Suzhou snacks?

Suzhou snacks are a kind of snacks originating in Suzhou, China. It contains dozens of different snacks, including sugar porridge(糖粥), plum cake(梅花糕), gorgon dessert(鸡头米甜水), wonton(馄饨) and Suzhou noodles(苏州汤面).

Suzhou cuisine is famous for its sweetness, so it has bright colors. Unlike Cantonese-style dim sum, Suzhou dim sum carries more weight.

The best way to take pictures

Suzhou snacks are more suitable for close-ups, because as a snack, each serving is larger than that of Cantonese-style snacks.

You should try to shoot these foods before they come out of the pot, because they have better visual effects when they are huddled together.

In addition, Suzhou noodles have a unique visual style among many Chinese noodles, with pure soup color, white noodles and simple side dishes, giving people a sense of wabi-sabi.

4. Rice Wine

What is Rice Wine?

Rice wine is also called Chinese sweet wine, as its name, it is brewed from rice, the alcohol degree is low, often with sweet and cool taste.

Many foreigners do not like to drink Chinese spirits because liquor has a high degree, and so do young people in China. Therefore, although rice wine is a traditional food with a history of thousands of years in China, it is making a comeback recently. Rice wine is added to many Chinese desserts and milk teas.

Many brands also add sweet-scented osmanthus and honey to rice wine, which further enhances its flavor.

The best way to take pictures

The appearance of rice wine is mostly translucent white and contains a small amount of sediment (rice or golden sweet-scented osmanthus), which means it can be used as a filling for beautiful utensils.

Therefore, in fact, rice wine is the best shooting companion for Asian wine glasses. These glasses themselves are often made of ceramic or glass, and when you add crystal clear rice wine to these cups, they look as if they are glowing.

5. Hongkong style morning tea

What is Hongkong style morning tea?

Hongkong style morning tea is “Guang Shi Zao Cha(广式早茶)” in Chinese, and its direct translation is “Guangdong style morning tea”.

It is similar to Suzhou snacks, but more choices. It contains hundreds of snacks, and it is usually eaten as a companion to morning tea.

This means that every component of it is very small.

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The best way to take pictures

Like hot pot, you have to take pictures after you get all the dishes but before you start eating.

Although this is not in line with the correct eating order of Hongkong style morning tea, it does bring you the best visual effects. Usually, when people eat Hongkong style morning tea, they will order one after another instead of placing a large number of orders at one time.

However, each hongkong style morning tea dishe contains very little food, which means that close-up photos will not look so good. You need to put together a table of snacks and give them a family photo.

Similarly, because your table is full of dishes, you can adjust the position to form your favorite layout.

6. Red Braised Pork

What is Red Braised Pork?

Red braised pork is the most popular pork dish in China. Except for those who cannot eat pork for religious or health reasons, almost all Chinese have eaten red braised pork.

Not only in the taste, but also in the appearance of braised pork. Red braised pork should use Pork belly as an ingredient, not only because of the rich taste of Pork belly, but also because of its beautiful pattern.

Red braised pork is red because sugar needs to be added in the cooking process. White sugar produces Maillard reaction at high temperature, a process known as “stir-frying sugar color” in Chinese cooking.

The best way to take pictures

If you try this dish just to take pictures, be sure to pay attention to the picture on the menu. Because red braised pork is so popular in China, just like pizza in the United States. Red braised pork in most Chinese restaurants is placed on the simplest plate, which greatly reduces its visual effect.

If a restaurant uses a pottery pot or purple casserole to serve red braised meat, it usually looks very good. You need to make sure that the yellowish light shines directly on the braised meat so that different shades of red sparkle in the light.

Close-up is the best composition for shooting red braised pork, because it reflects the majestic momentum of this dish.

7. New style milk tea

What is new style milk tea?

The new type of milk tea is a new type of milk tea that has made a comeback in China since 2016. We have explained why this traditional junk food is back in popularity in Asia. To put it simply: it is no longer milk tea.

Compared with the previous generation of milk tea, China’s new milk tea has a large number of strange ingredients, such as Oreo biscuits, coconut, wine, fruit, milk sugar, sesame paste and so on. These colorful ingredients make the new milk tea no longer have the same poor visual effects as the previous generation of milk tea.

Don’t think about whether it tastes good or not, at least it looks good.

The best way to take pictures

Most of the new milk tea itself is good enough, so no matter how you take pictures of it, the effect is good. The favorite way for Chinese people is to hold up a cup of milk tea and take a picture with the sparkling milk tea shop, like this:

8. Instant noodle restaurant

What is instant noodle restaurant?

Instant noodles is another classic junk food that originated in Asia, but it has recently been redefined in China. In the traditional sense, instant noodles should be eaten at home, people will not eat instant noodles in restaurants.

But in recent years, a kind of instant noodle restaurant has become popular in China. These restaurants collect different flavors of instant noodles produced by different countries and brands around the world (mostly from Asia), and diners can place orders directly and choose to add several ingredients to them.

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Since many of these brands of instant noodles do not enter the Chinese market directly, Chinese diners will come to instant noodles restaurants to try these instant noodles with different flavors. It also provides the service of adding side dishes, so that instant noodles are no longer a simple food to satisfy hunger, but can provide more rich flavor.

The best way to take pictures

As mentioned above, instant noodle restaurants focus on restaurants rather than instant noodles, which still look like instant noodles even with expensive ingredients. Therefore, you need to find a way to integrate the panoramic view of the restaurant into your photos.

Fortunately, instant noodle restaurants are aimed at Chinese people who like to share food pic on the Internet, so it usually comes with Japanese style decoration and exquisite cutlery. Most of the time, you are the protagonist rather than the face of that picture, like these:

9. Siu mei

What is siu mei?

Siu mie is a part of Chinese Cantonese cuisine, which is popular in southern Fujian and Southeast Asian countries. It is essentially a kind of roast meat, but people usually eat it as a cold dish.

Typical siu mei includes chicken, duck, goose, pigeon and pork. Pork siu mei is also called char siu.

People usually eat siu mei with rice, noodles or rice noodles. Similar to red braised meat, the crystal clear crimson is its characteristic.

The best way to take pictures

The precautions for shooting siu mei are similar to red braised pork, because it is too popular in southern China, you should first pay attention to the container rather than the siu mei itself. If you want to take pictures, you should order siu mei at a better Chinese restaurant to make sure they use exquisite cutlery and set the siu mei plate before serving.

via chris balboa

10. Hairy crab

Hairy crab is a holiday food in China, and people will eat it(and moon cakes) on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

People will put the bought live hairy crabs directly into a steamer to steam-cook them. Unlike lobsters in French food, Chinese people do not kill or break their shells before cooking hairy crabs. So until they are on the table, they are still intact.

When eating it, Chinese people will show their skill with teeth and chopsticks, gently bite open the shell of the crab leg like eating sunflower seeds, and then use chopsticks to extract crab meat from it. The main crab shell needs to be opened by hand, and then the crab meat is taken out in the gap with chopsticks.

When eating hairy crabs, some diners do not dip in any seasoning because they enjoy the natural taste of river crabs. Others will work with vinegar mixed with shredded ginger to enhance the flavor.

The best way to take pictures

Many Chinese food contains seafood, but hairy crabs are the most worth photographing. Because hairy crabs show bright red after cooking, coupled with classical Chinese cutlery will make the picture very elegant.

Hairy crab is a kind of river crab, so its volume is not large, so you need at least two hairy crabs to get good visual effects. Usually, several hairy crabs are arranged neatly and photographed. Considering the price of hairy crabs, it will make people feel that your life is very extravagant.

In the most authentic way of eating hairy crabs, a set of tableware called “eight crab tools”(蟹八件) is used. It contains eight different tools for opening crab shells and taking out crab meat. Nowadays, most Chinese people no longer use “crab eight pieces”, but if you want to take pictures, you can try to buy such a set of tools.

Taking pictures with wine or tea is another good choice, which can balance the color in the picture.


In fact, many Chinese foods are suitable for taking pictures, and we only list those that are most easily available and distinctive to foreign tourists. If you are more interested in Chinese food, you can continue to read this article: 8 Free Chinese Food Documentaries with English Subtitles.

Besides, if you want to know anything else about Chinese food, you can leave us a message in the comments section. If you see a beautiful picture of suspected Chinese food on your timeline and want to know exactly what it is, you can also post the link at the bottom of this post and we will continue to reply.