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A Guide To Chinese Cooking For Making Easy Dinner Recipes

Having a great historical background and one of the cultural treasures, Chinese cuisine is as famous all over the world as French cuisine. Chinese cooking is characterized by a fine selection of ingredients, precise processing, particular care to the amount of fire and substantial nourishment. Being a vast country, China possesses many different regional styles of Chinese cooking. But although cooking styles throughout China may vary, the most common elements characterizing every Chinese dinner are as follows:

Grain-foods, rice being the traditional staple for years. Long grain rice is the most popular variety. Noodles in many forms, thick and thin, made from wheat, rice or bean starch are another popular food.

Vegetables, fundamental part of Chinese cuisine, are combined to highlight their textures, flavors and colors. Many of the vegetables used in Chinese cooking are bell peppers (capsicum), carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, scallions, celery and broccoli. Other varieties of popular vegetables include wong bok, bok choy, gai lan, choy sum, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and turnips.

Fish and shellfish, a staple food in the coastal areas of China. Popular fish and shellfish include snapper, sea bass, shrimp (prawns), scallops, squid, crab, clams and oysters.

Bean curd (tofu), eaten throughout China for centuries, is a valuable source of protein. Found in two varieties, firm or soft. The soft variety is often used in soups and the firm variety can be cut into cubes and added to stir-fries and braises.

Nuts, seeds and oils are added to stir-fries and other dishes for their crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Sesame seeds are used in much the same way and are also ground into a robust flavored paste which is used in sauces. Sesame seeds and peanuts are also pressed for their oils.

Poultry, eggs and meat, are eaten regularly, and eggs are also used in a variety of dishes. Most commonly meat eaten in China is pork.

Seasonings and sauces, the essential trio of seasonings—garlic, ginger and scallions (spring onions)—form the basis of many Chinese dishes. The most commonly used sauces in Chinese cooking are soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce andblack bean sauce.

Desserts, fruit and beverages, used for special occasions or feast days. If dessert is eaten it is often fresh fruit like mandarins, melon or lychees. Fruit is also eaten for snacks.
 
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