The Main Ingredients Of Chinese Cuisine

Rice

China is the world’s largest rice producer. Ancient China was one of the first centers of rice growing in the world. For thousands of years, the Chinese worked hard in their fields to achieve good yields. The basis of the Chinese economy has always been agriculture, and rice has occupied a central place in it. In general, rice has played a very important role in the history of China. In the past, people believed that the most precious things in life were five grains, not pearls or jade, but rice.

In China, rice is a staple food. The Chinese eat rice in much the same way that people in many other countries eat bread. Rice is cooked or steamed until it absorbs as much water as possible.

China’s national cuisine is rich in rice dishes. The most popular, and probably not only in China, can be called fried rice. Due to the variety of rice types, the cooking method, and the number of ingredients added (such as beans, pieces of meat, vegetables, eggs, etc.), an infinite number of fried rice dishes were invented.

Rice porridge is also made in China. During the preparation of porridge, much more water is added so that the rice can cook and become very soft, and so that a certain amount of water remains. Such porridge is often served and eaten with various pickled vegetables, bamboo shoots, salted duck eggs, pickled bean curd, and many other snacks. In addition to the usual dish for every day, rice porridge is often used as the basis for the preparation of medicinal dishes. Then various ingredients that have healing properties are added to such porridge.

Noodles

Noodles are one of the main dishes of Chinese cuisine. Noodles are very popular and have a very long history. The first mention of noodles can be found in documents relating to the era of the Han Dynasty (206 BC 220). Later during the reign of the Song Dynasty (960 1279) noodles became a very popular dish. There are a lot of ways to cook noodles. And they are all relatively simple. Different people can add a variety of ingredients to the noodles, according to their preferences, and then many new types of noodles appear.

Chinese noodles can be tasted in all Chinese cities. It varies in many ways. One such parameter is the width of the noodles. The noodles can be as thin as a needle and as thick as chopsticks. However, with regard to length, basically everyone is trying to make the noodles long without cutting into shorter parts. This is because, according to the views of the Chinese, long noodles symbolize for many years. Therefore, during the celebration of birthdays, people often cook “longevity noodles” in the hope of long life.

Chinese noodles The main form of noodles is made from rice flour or starch and water. A small amount of egg dye, alkali or other ingredients can be added to the noodles made from wheat flour this way the noodles acquire a yellow color and also change the texture, tenderness and taste. Regardless of the type of noodles, it cooks very quickly. For a degree of readiness al dente usually takes no more than 5 minutes, while for thinner types of noodles less than one minute will be enough.

The noodles are served and consumed hot or cold, boiled, stewed, fried, deep-fried or added to the soup. But no matter what cooking method you choose, first of all you need to mix the noodles with chopsticks so that all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Noodles are an excellent dish for a balanced diet, thanks to a small number of calories and a high content of proteins and carbohydrates.

Guilin rice noodles mi fen the most famous dish in the city of Guilin, it is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is so popular that for every 100 meters there is a restaurant where you can taste aromatic, delicate and cheap (4 yuan per serving) rice noodle mi fen.

Vegetables

Vegetables are the second most important component of Chinese dishes after rice. The Chinese are very fond of various vegetables and eat them almost at every meal. Vegetables are often pickled, salted and consumed as a snack. But the most popular dish in China, where vegetables are used, is a hogo or a Chinese samovar. After all, hogo (“hot pot”) is not so much a dish as a pleasant pastime with friends.

Many vegetables that are often eaten by the Chinese are familiar to foreigners. These are various types of cabbage, mushrooms (as Shiitake or Asian Truffles), peas and beans, hot peppers, onions, carrots, cereals, broccoli, bamboo shoots, etc.

Mostly Chinese prefer cooked vegetables to raw. Vegetables are cut into thin strips or into small pieces and cooked with meat, tofu, fish, seafood or noodles. Vegetables can also be used in soups, stews or as a filling for dumplings or baozi.

In addition, many people like pickling vegetables. A variety of vegetables marinate: cucumbers, cabbage, daikon

Eggs

A huge number of eggs are eaten every year in China. People eat eggs not only of hens, but also of many other birds, for example, such as duck, goose, pigeon.

Connoisseurs of cooking, the Chinese prepare a large number of different dishes from eggs. The most unique and famous egg dishes are probably salted duck eggs and the so-called secular eggs (canned eggs). These two types of eggs are cooked and eaten in all regions of China.

Salted duck eggs are made from fresh duck eggs. Fresh eggs are dipped in brine for about a month, until the yolk becomes bright orange and the egg acquires a characteristic salty taste.

In China, age-old eggs are made from duck, chicken and quail eggs. For this, the eggs are dipped in a substance, which is a mixture of ash, salt, lime, clay and rice straw. Eggs are kept in a similar manner for weeks or even months depending on the particular cooking method. By the end of this period, the protein becomes a dark transparent jelly, and the yolk turns into a dark green substance resembling cream. Age-old eggs emit a strong smell of ammonia and sulfur.

In Chinese, the word “egg” is pronounced as dan, which is similar to another word - dai, which means generation. In the traditional sense, eggs symbolize fertility and new life. When people marry, celebrate the birth of their baby or his first month from the day of birth, as well as for other happy occasions, they present each other eggs painted in red as a gift that should bring good luck. This gift means hope and happiness, as well as the continuity of generations in the family.

Fish

Fish in China is eaten both on the east and south coasts, and in the central regions of the country. During holidays and special occasions, fish is an integral dish on the dining table. Fish occupies such an important place in the Chinese food culture also because it is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

In Chinese, the word “fish” is pronounced “yu” - the same as words that mean concepts such as abundance, wealth, wealth. It is believed that if there is fish for the Chinese New Year or birthday, it can bring good luck next year. During gala dinners in China, especially if it is a banquet in honor of the reception of distinguished guests, fish is often served, moreover, they are cooked whole, and served, with their heads directed towards the most honored guest.

Come to Hainan Island - tours and relaxation, a variety of seafood dishes will not leave anyone indifferent. Among the most popular types of fish, shellfish and crustaceans, one can distinguish carp, sea bass, squid, soft-shell tortoise, crab, shrimp, scallops, oysters, etc.

Cooking fish is a very delicate matter. In many Chinese restaurants, when a new chef is hired, he is asked to cook fish. The restaurant’s ability to cook fish dishes well brings special glory to the restaurant. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “To rule a large nation is how to cook a small fish.”

Tofu (bean curd)

Bean curd, which is known all over the world under its original name - tofu, comes from China. Tofu is made from soy milk, water and sourdough. The process of producing tofu from soy milk is very close to the method of making cheese from cow’s milk. After soy milk turns into a solid mass, it is pressed and cut into blocks.

Tofu contains very little fat, it is very rich in protein, calcium and iron. Tofu itself has virtually no aroma or smell, but it has the ability to absorb new fragrances well. Therefore, various spices or marinades are often added to tofu. Due to its quality and high nutritional properties, tofu, which since ancient times was one of the main dishes of many cuisines of Asian countries, has recently become a popular product used in Western countries for cooking vegetarian dishes.

There is a wide variety of tofu. All these types can be divided into two categories: fresh tofu - the one that was produced directly from soy milk, and processed tofu - that bean curd that is obtained as a result of processing fresh tofu.

Fresh tofu has a white color and a very delicate texture. It contains the most moisture among all types of tofu.

Soft/silk white tofu has a very delicate texture, it contains a lot of moisture. This is a typical type of tofu used in southern China. It is usually used in making soup.

Favorite type of tofu, which is preferred in the north of China, has a yellowish color and elastic texture, it is often added to the preparation of hot dishes. This solid type of tofu contains the least amount of moisture. As a rule, it is cut into long strips resembling noodles and served cold or hot.

Meat and poultry

It is safe to say that the Chinese eat all kinds of meat: pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck meat, pigeon, etc. Pork is the most popular type of meat. It can be seen in almost every dish. Pork is so often eaten that the words “meat” and “pork” have become almost synonymous.

The Chinese eat all parts of the animal’s body, including skin, fat, blood and viscera. People even joke that if we talk about the body of a pig, then you can eat everything, and nothing is thrown out, except grunt.

The Chinese rarely eat any kind of meat raw. They cook meat in many ways. Any meat can be cooked, fried over high heat with constant stirring, stewed, baked, or marinated.

During a tour to Beijing, you can taste the most famous meat dish in China - a Peking duck. This dish has been prepared since the imperial era. It is considered one of the main national dishes of China. Duck served with tortillas, cucumber, green onions and seafood sauce.

Soups

The history of cooking soups is perhaps as long as the history of cooking in general. Chinese soup has been a very important part of Chinese food culture for a long time. Soup is considered one of the most nutritious and easily digestible types of food.

In China, soup is eaten as one of the main dishes. When preparing soups, meat, bones, eggs, pickled products, vegetables, fruits, cereals, and mushrooms are used.

There are a lot of soups in Chinese cuisine, but in general, they can all be divided into two categories: the so-called liquid soup - the one that has a clear broth and cooks fast enough, and the thick soup - the one that cooks slowly with a lot of ingredients added at the same time. Often at the end of cooking, starch or flour can be added to a thick soup to give it the necessary density.

For a long time there is a tradition to use soup for the treatment of colds or fevers. In addition to its undoubted ability to bring relief to the patient, in China it is believed that some soups have special healing properties. Many soups are loved for their taste, as well as for the ability to give strength and restore the body after an illness. All this is closely connected with traditional Chinese medicine. There is a wide variety of special tonic soups.