In the big food staple shootout between rice and wheat, rice wins, but only just. On average Chinese eat 250g of raw rice a day - that’s about four bowls when cooked. Wheat follows closely at 230g. Wheat dominants the northern half of the country while rice rules in the generally warmer and wetter south. Always white, or polished, rice is almost invariably eaten boiled/steamed as a base for meat and vegetable dishes. In stark contrast to the way most foods are prepared in China, rice is a singularly plain and simple dish - not even salt is added to the water it is cooked in. Wheat, on the other hand is milled into flour, mixed with other ingredients, and processed into noodles, dumplings and breads of many kinds.
Figures are for China & Taiwan (1996), not including Hong Kong. Source: The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis