There are so many examples of delicious Chinese dishes. It's one of the most beloved cultural cuisines in the world. Chinese restaurants can be found all over the world and many cultures have put their spin on these traditional dishes. Chinese food is also one of the most versatile cuisines, using all types of ingredients to make delicious and hearty dishes. It's a favorite of college students, vegetarians, and foodies alike.

However, a lot of what we consider Chinese food is very Americanized. If you ever want to try traditional Chinese food, you have to go right to the source. Here is a list of traditional Chinese dishes that you won't find on our side of the world!

12 Add Some Color To Your Dish: Spinach Noodles

You've seen multi-colored pasta in Italian dishes. Turns out, Chinese cuisine has a similar dish. The city of Xi'an is known for its noodles and they do not disappoint! Spinach noodles are made from, you guessed it, spinach! The noodles are usually topped with a bevy of different ingredients, such as egg, potatoes, carrots and a spicy tomato sauce. You won't be finding this dish in most American Chinese restaurants!

11 Dinner In Under An Hour: Fried Mashi

Although these noodles resemble gnocchi or shell pasta, it's not an Italian dish at all! This traditional dish is found in northwestern China. Fried mashi, is sweeter in taste and much heartier. The meat is either stir-fried or braised, depending on the recipe. It's the perfect mixture of greasy and crunchy, thanks to the many vegetables thrown on top. Fun fact: the name roughly translates to "sparrow food". I don't think that's quite accurate...

10 Staple Of Chinese Street Food: BBQ Meat

Street food is a staple of many cultures, including China. One of the meals you can find wandering the streets of China is Kǎo ròu (or barbecued meat). You can find this skewered meat in restaurants, as well as street vendor carts. They're known for being quite spicy and cooked over coals. Kǎo ròu can consist of almost any kind of meat, including braised pork, chicken, beef, and even other internal organs!

9 Twist On A Salad: Cold Vegetable Dish

This dish, named liáng cài, literally translates to "cold dish". So it makes sense that it would be a hodge-podge of ingredients. It's usually an assortment of cold vegetables, such as cucumbers, green beans, and cabbage. But there is no fixed recipe for it. For flavor, the vegetables are usually topped with a sauce, as well as tofu and peanuts. If you're in the mood for something healthy, this is a great choice!

8 Most Unsuspecting Dessert: Tofu Pudding

Tofu, all by itself, is quite bland, tasteless, and requires spices to make it flavorful. However, tofu is a staple of Chinese cuisine and can even be found in their desserts! A popular dessert is tofu pudding, which consists of soft tofu covered in either sugar or a sweet ginger sauce. If you want something your pudding to be a little more savory, you can top it off with soy sauce, chili, and peanuts.

7 It's Not Quite Noodles: Mutton Stew

This dish, also from the city of Xi'an, is a traditional stew called pào mó. Although it's usually made with mutton, you can also use pork or beef. The interesting quality about this stew is that, instead of noodles, there are pieces of unleavened bread floating in the broth. On the side, you'll usually find pickled garlic and chili sauce to compliment the stew. It's a great dish if you want something a little heartier to keep you warm.

6 The Most Unlikely Pair: Cold Mixed Tofu And Pineapple Aloe Vera

If you want to experience textures, give this dish a try! Liáng bàn dòu fu is a block of tofu flavored with oils, sesame, and chili, as well as topped with green vegetables. To accompany it, you have bō luó lú huì, which is sweet pineapple topped with chunks of aloe vera. The dishes are meant to complement each other, flavor-wise. It's also a nice twist on tofu which, by itself, can be pretty flavorless.

5 I Can't Believe It's Not Meat: Sweet And Sour Eggplant

If you're in the mood for a non-meat dish, you're in luck. A popular dish in China is sweet and sour eggplant. It consists of sliced eggplant soaking in a chili and fish sauce. Jeremy Scott Foster from TravelFreak has reported that it "tastes more like sweet and sour pork than a vegetable". Not only is this a great alternative to meat, but it's a great way to get your daily portion of vegetables!

4 The Most Versatile Of Dishes: Baozi

When it comes to choosing whether to have a meal or dessert...why, not both? Baozi are traditional Chinese steamed buns that are known for being delightfully fluffy. The buns are usually filled with vegetables and meat, usually barbecue pork. However, if you're looking for something a little sweeter, baozi can be filled with red bean paste or custard. If you're ever feeling indecisive about what to eat, this meal is versatile and satisfying.

Related: Cooked Fish Suddenly Jumps Off Of Plate At Chinese Restaurant

Peking Duck is one of the oldest dishes in Chinese culture. Its origins can be traced back to the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty during imperial times. The dish itself is duck meat, thinly sliced, and cooked so that the exterior is nice and crunchy. It's usually served with a side of onions, cucumbers, and even pancakes! If you're looking to try a dish that is the epitome of "traditional", then give Peking Duck a try.

Related: 10 Delicacies You Can Only Get In China (That You Won’t Find In Chinese Restaurants Here)

2 Not Your Traditional Breakfast: Congee

Breakfast is a great time to try some new food if you're traveling. In China, a popular breakfast dish is Congee. It's a rice porridge that is usually served with meat or fish. Another food item that is eaten with Congee is century eggs, which are eggs preserved for a century in a mixture of clay, ash, and salt. It's highly recommended that you eat this dish on a cold day or if you're feeling under the weather.

Related: Here Are The 20 Least Healthy Chinese Food Chains in America

1 Another Twist On Barbecue: Char Siu

Chinese cuisine sure knows its way around barbecue meat! Char siu is a popular Chinese dish known for its bright, red color. The dish usually consists of various cuts of pork, including loin, belly, and rump. It's cooked in a wide array of spices and condiments, including honey, fermented bean curd, and soy sauce. These spices are responsible for the meat's color. Fun fact: this dish is commonly used as a filling for baozi, traditional steamed buns.

Next: You Can Try But You Won’t Find These Common ‘Chinese Foods’ In China