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Gaifan (盖饭), literally covered rice in Chinese, is sort of what it sounds like, except it simply means rice with meat and vegetables. You can sort of understand the term, for the meat and vegetables are not served on the side of, but literally on top of the rice. It’s basically a single-portion plate of rice that you can mainly find in hole in the wall joints around China and we’ll introduce more about gaifan below.

In China, gaifan is a typical Chinese fast food that consists of the usual meat and vegetable dishes like Kungpao Chicken, Scrambled Eggs and Tomato, Mapo Tofu, and Beef and Potatoes, served on top of a bed of rice either on a plate or in a bowl. The meat and vegetable dish can either be cooked to order or previously cooked and kept warm. Head to any kind of run-of-the-mill hole in the wall Chinese restaurant, anywhere from traditional family style, Sichuan, Chinese Muslim, and etc. to even delivery-only restaurants, and you can find a menu of selected dishes available for anywhere from 10-20 RMB.

Gaifan is popular for lunch, because it’s easy and you can get a fairly decent variety of food for a very fair price. It’s not only available for lunch, as if you’re just looking for a quick meal to fill you up while eating solo, but you can order one up for dinner too. If you ever find yourself hungry and only need a solo meal, just think of getting a gaifan.


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