How Chinese flavours have inspired the UK’s culinary scene

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It’s hard to imagine living in the UK without being able to order a Chinese takeaway when you fancy it. That is, because the tastes and aromas are a key part of the UK’s culinary landscape. 

Chinese cuisine is a firm favourite across the nation, with one in four people choosing it as their takeaway of choice. In fact, the Chinese food market has grown by 8.5% annually, outranking traditional UK dishes and Indian meals. 

Amongst the UK’s favourite Chinese takeaway dishes are:

  • Sweet and sour: This sauce has become a staple takeaway choice, poured over chicken, prawns or pork on a bed of rice, for a combination of sweet and tangy flavours.
  • Peking duck: A dish that has gracefully made its mark on British tables, with the act of slicing the duck at the table making it a favourite for special occasions.
  • Chicken chow mein: Said to have originally been a poor man’s dish, this has turned into one of the most requested dishes in the UK. 
  • Spring rolls: Another popular appetiser, some takeaways offer larger portions of the crispy treat that fill you up before you even touch your main! 

So, why are we choosing stir fried noodles over fish and chips or a classic balti? It’s all about the flavour! From sweet and sour, to salty and bitter, Chinese cuisine provided a palate that delights and inspires. 

Chicken & Prawn Chow Mein

How did our love affair with Chinese food begin?

In the 19th century, Chinese sailors and traders settled in major port cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool. They brought unique culinary knowledge, and set up eateries to make the tastes of home readily available.

Then, the post World War II period marked increased Chinese immigration, with communities taking up residence in other cities across the UK. From there, vibrant Chinatowns popped up. These became cultural hubs, for locals, tourists and communities, to explore the authentic tastes.

The cultural exchange created by Chinese immigration has not only enriched the gastronomic landscape but has also fostered a greater understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture among the British population. This harmonious blending of culinary traditions highlights the positive impact of Chinese immigration on the UK’s culturally diverse society.

East meets West

What’s more, the fusion of British and Chinese culinary elements has birthed a new wave of creativity in the kitchen, from Chinese-inspired Sunday roasts to dim sum brunches.

Restaurants serving a mix of British and Chinese cuisine have popped up all over the country, offering a unique dining experience that appeals to a wide range of tastes. This cross-pollination of culinary traditions has not only brought people together over a shared love of food but has also sparked conversations about the importance of diversity and inclusion in society. 

As more and more people embrace this fusion of flavours, it’s clear that Chinese immigration has left a lasting legacy on the UK’s culinary scene, enriching it with new tastes, textures, and experiences for all to enjoy.

The best Chinese food near me

So, you’re searching for delicious, authentic Chinese food near your home? Well Hey Fresto! delivers fresh Chinese takeaway straight to your door.

Our frozen ready meals provide you with a delicious and authentic Chinese meal with just a few minutes in the microwave — removing the hassle of cooking from scratch. Options include, sweet chilli chicken in sticky plum sauce and chicken and prawn chow mein.

We also have a wide range of other Southeast Asian dishes available. For a taste of Japan, why not try katsu chicken curry, or mushroom ramen? There’s also the mango & lemongrass vegetable laksa, Vietnamese style beef curry or Thai green chicken curry.

Say goodbye to bland and boring ready meals and say hello to the exciting and flavorful world of Hey Fresto! Order your ready meals today and experience the convenience and deliciousness for yourself.