If you’re looking for some delicious Chinese appetizers to whip up for your next feast, you’ve come to the right place.
Granted, trying to think of “authentic” or traditional Chinese appetizers initially left me at a bit of a loss. After all, Chinese meals don’t usually follow the “appetizer, main, dessert” 3 course combo.
In banquet situations for instance, meals will often exceed 10+ courses, meaning there’s no clear distinction as to what the “appetizer” is… and then at home, meals will often start with a soup, but then there will be several dishes served family style all at once, often with rice.
Nonetheless, there are some foods with more of an “appetizer” / starter vibe… particularly Chinese takeout classics that have made it big in Westernized Chinese food, and handy Chinese street foods that can be consumed in small bites. So let’s focus on those!
Below, you’ll find some ideas for Chinese appetizer recipes. I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for!
NOTE: This list doesn’t include soups because we have a separate post for those! Check out our list of the top Chinese soup recipes for more.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls
Crispy, juicy, and perfectly paired with a sweet and tangy sauce, Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls are one of the main Chinese appetizers frequently seen on every Westernized takeout menu.
While admittedly, this isn’t a common dish in China, nor is it the healthiest option, but it’s incredibly delicious as a treat, and you’ll be surprised to see they’re not that difficult to make at home.
Check out our full Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls recipe for more details.
Pork & Chive Dumplings
For a crowd pleasing appetizer no matter the occasion, look no further than these juicy pork and chive dumplings. As far as dumpling fillings are concerned, this is one of the most popular, and after just one bite you’ll see exactly why that is.
Check out our full Pork and Chive Dumplings recipe for more details.
Looking for a delicious Chinese appetizer that’s also vegan-friendly? These tasty Vegan Dumplings are packed with different veggies for a gloriously delicious result that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Check out our full Vegan Dumplings recipe for more details.
Dan Jiao (Egg Dumplings)
For a Low Carb and Keto-friendly take on the almighty dumpling, then be sure to give these Dan Jiao (AKA egg dumplings) a try.
Using an egg-based skin instead of the typical flour-based ones, these juicy dumplings are surprisingly easy to make once you nail the initial technique.
… They also happen to be ridiculously delicious.
Check out our full Dan Jiao (Egg Dumplings) recipe for more details.
Seafood Spring Rolls
For a crispy and addictive Chinese appetizer, these Seafood Spring Rolls are a must-make.
Packed to the brim with juicy bits of mixed seafood, the creamy dressing in each one of these rolls will have everyone coming back for seconds, thirds, and beyond.
Check out our full Seafood Spring Rolls recipe for more details.
Vegan Spring Rolls
For those seeking a plant-based version of Spring Rolls, our Vegan Spring Roll filling is a delicious must-try packed with mixed vegetables that come together in perfect textural (and flavoral) harmony.
… We might even like these better than our meat-based recipes.
Check out our full Vegan Spring Rolls recipe for more details.
Fruit and Shrimp Salad
This may sound like an unconventional combination, but if you’re looking for a quick, delicious, and refreshing appetizer to kick off your meal, this unique combination of fruit and shrimp is often served at Cantonese banquets, and couldn’t be quicker to whip up.
Check out our full Fruit and Shrimp Salad recipe for more details.
Soy Sauce Chicken Wings
If it’s comforting home-style cooking you’re after, then another great Chinese appetizer to try are these soy sauce chicken wings, which are braised to perfection in a sweet soy sauce.
They’re juicy, they’re tender, and they’re very, very easy to make.
Check out our full Soy Sauce Chicken Wings recipe for more details.
Did we miss any of your favorite Chinese appetizers?
Let us know in the comments so we can add more tasty recipes to our list!