Cold Chinese Dishes for a Super Summer Menu

Cool Asian Recipes for Hot Summer Days

Chinese Food

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When the weather gets hot and sticky, we start looking for ways to cool off. While most people turn to salads and popsicles for relief, there's no need to stick to these American classics. Here are wonderful Chinese recipes for hot summer days, all served cold. You'll find appetizers, main dishes, and even desserts—all with a uniquely Asian twist.

  • 01 of 08

    Restaurant-Style Vegetarian Spring Rolls

    Vietnamese vegetable roll
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    These restaurant-style vegetarian spring rolls are served cold, accompanied with a spicy ​hoisin and peanut butter dipping sauce. It's a refreshing combination of bean sprouts, carrot, lettuce, and cucumber.

  • 02 of 08

    Asian Coleslaw With Tangy Rice Vinegar Dressing

    Asian coleslaw
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    Asian seasonings lend extra flavor to a standard coleslaw recipe, using red cabbage or Napa cabbage, bok choy, carrot, and mung bean sprouts. The addition of cilantro and toasted sesame seeds to this Asian coleslaw with tangy rice vinegar dressing makes it memorable.

  • 03 of 08

    Chinese Chicken Salad

    Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

    This Chinese chicken salad is great for a luncheon, with mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles. You can also enjoy it in a wrap for a portable lunch. You'll roast the chicken breasts and shred them. If you have leftover chicken, it's a great way to turn it into a cold dish to enjoy the next day.

  • 04 of 08

    Chinese Noodles in Peanut Sauce

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    Chinese noodles in peanut sauce are tossed with a flavorful dressing and served with a peanut, cucumbers and carrots for a garnish.​​​ 

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  • 05 of 08

    Chinese Almond Float Dessert

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    This popular Chinese almond float dessert is normally served with fruit cocktail, but you can substitute any fresh fruit in season.​ You can prepare it in advance and refrigerate it to enjoy without heating up the kitchen later.

  • 06 of 08

    Mango Ice Cream

    Adrian Peacock/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Mango ice cream is the perfect tart/sweet dessert for a summer evening. If you have a good source of fresh mangoes, you will need two to three to make this recipe. You'll have to vary the amount of sugar depending on how sweet or tart the mangoes are. You can garnish the ice cream with more cubes of fresh mango.

  • 07 of 08

    Chinese Fruit Salad

    Fresh Fruit Salad
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    This colorful Chinese fruit salad is made with a Chinese five-spice and sugar topping. Enjoy it with tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, kiwi, tangerine, lychees, or longans—or with easier-to-find fruits such as melon, berries, peach, or apple. Look for Chinese peach at an Asian market; they are sweeter than many other types of peaches and a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture. 

  • 08 of 08

    Sponge Cake With Coconut Icing

    Steamed Malay Sponge Cake
    Melissa Tse / Getty Images

    This simple sponge cake with coconut icing is a nice summer dessert. While not strictly speaking Chinese (it's from Malaysia) it still has a wonderfully Asian flavor.