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 09
This vegetarian appetizer is 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 09
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 makes it memorable.
03 of 09
This 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 09
This is the Szechuan version of a chicken salad, with chicken breasts boiled and cut into matchstick-sized strips, coated in a flavorful sauce and served with cucumber slices and carrot strips.You can also add toasted sesame seeds before serving.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Cold Hakka noodles are tossed with a flavorful dressing and served with a peanut, cucumbers and carrots for a garnish.
06 of 09
This popular Chinese 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.
07 of 09
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.
08 of 09
This colorful 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.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
A simple sponge cake topped with a sweet and creamy "icing" made with pineapple juice and coconut milk is a nice summer dessert. While not strictly speaking Chinese (it's from Malaysia) it still has a wonderfully Asian flavor.