It is believed that in Chinese cuisine the most unusual recipes and a wide variety in the menu, because in each province prepare their own unique dishes. For the inhabitants of this country, it is important to strictly adhere to the traditions of cooking, its balance, the preservation of healing properties.
Exotic dishes of Chinese cuisine.
Features of Chinese national cuisine
The Chinese pay great attention to their diet and eat everything that is created by nature: natural healthy foods. It is believed that food is a gift from Heaven, eating is an important ritual in China.
For residents of the country, it is important to combine any dishes with herbs, vegetables, spices.
The Chinese eat slowly. Any meal begins with green tea without milk and sugar. Then cold appetizers, rice, sauce, rice wine, soups, broths, tea with butter are served. It is believed that eating dishes in this order is optimal for the digestive system.
Taste of traditional cuisine
Tourists from other countries and representatives of other cultures may think that in the food of the Chinese products, tastes and aromas are incompatible. For example, meat, soup, side dish can be sweet as a dessert. And the ingredients of desserts include vegetables, spices.
Each dish of Chinese cuisine can combine several flavors – to be simultaneously spicy, sweet, bitter, sour, salty.
The Chinese have 2 additional characteristics of taste: golden, aromatic. To achieve them, you need to add kumquat seasoning to the ingredient and observe the canons of cooking.
But all food is healthy, does not cause obesity.
The main features of the cuisine of China
The Chinese adhere to the balance of products, highlighting the 3 main properties of each dish:
- taste – wei;
- color – se;
- aroma – xiang.
All food should be therapeutic, useful. In China, recipes for soups for flu, headache have been developed.
Popular dishes in China:
- vegetable soups or pork, chicken broth;
- noodles (rice, wheat);
- soy (soy milk, cottage cheese, sauces);
- sweet desserts (lunar gingerbread yuebin, cookies with predictions).
- the Chinese love street snacks – steamed pies, small kebabs from vegetables and meat. Fresh fruit is eaten in the afternoon.
Traditional cuisine has 3 levels:
- casual (homemade food from rice, vegetables, meat, sauces);
- festive (served in local restaurants);
- ceremonial – mandarin (cuisine of the nobility, served in elite restaurants, at official receptions).
Rice is the first dish in China.
The cuisine of China is more than 3,000 years old. Already 1,500 years ago, snack bars, tea houses were common in the country, the first cookbooks appeared.
The development of social philosophical thought had a strong influence on the national cuisine. In the V century BC, Confucius developed a system of proper balanced nutrition, which formed the basis of the cuisine of Shandong Province.
People from the people ate a little, used natural products for cooking.
It was believed that bad food does not exist – only cooks can be bad. The population of the common classes ate rice, soybeans, wild garlic, radish, fish, gaoliang, cottonseed oil, and chumiza.
Aristocrats ate original and exotic dishes from seafood, meat, rare fruits. The number of ingredients included in the dishes could reach 30. Golden tea was drunk exclusively by the emperor.
Cooking methods in China
40-course lunches are served during the holidays. Each guest is treated to a portion of rice in a separate bowl with chopsticks, and other dishes are placed on the table in common plates. The Chinese pay attention to serving. Dishes are cut extremely neatly, laid out in the form of animals, plants, landscapes.
- all ingredients should be cut into small pieces that fit in the mouth;
- there should be no sudden changes in color;
- first fry spices to give flavor, and then they cook dishes on an open fire for 2 minutes;
- a strict proportion of herbs, spices, spices must be observed;
- the dish should not be too fatty or bland.
The Chinese rarely serve a product cooked whole. Bones are removed from the fish before cooking to preserve its shape.
In China, it is customary to use 6 main methods of preparation:
- Frying over high heat, or the Bao technique. Food during cooking is constantly stirred with a spatula. The ingredients are finely cut, meat and sea dishes are pre-marinated in a sauce. Oil is added to the pan . First, the meat is fried until half-cooked, removed from the heat, then other products are fried and the meat is returned again to be roasted until ready.
- Deep frying – Zha. In this way, meat and vegetables are cooked in a deep pan with a net.
- Steaming in bamboo steamers, in boiling water on low heat. The Chinese prepare dumplings, fish, baozi in this way.
- Stewing and cooking in red. Shao – stewing in broth, lu – stewing in sauce. Food is stewed for several hours on a small fire. The meat is fried until a crust is formed, sauce, spices, ginger, pepper, coriander, sugar, wine are added.
- Varka, or Zheng. Products, most often vegetables, are cut and placed in boiling water. Cooked dishes are served together with sauces.
- Baking. The meat of animals and birds is baked whole in ovens, then cut, served and sauce is added.
Cuisine of China by region
Dishes and cooking features in Chinese cuisine vary depending on the region of the country, because each of the 23 provinces has its own climate, geographical location. The food of the inhabitants of the southern provinces is not similar to the dishes preferred in the northern regions.
Northern dishes are fattier, include garlic, vinegar.
In the north, they love flour products (dumplings, pies, noodles). Among the dishes of southern cuisine, spicy meat prevails, a large content of red bitter pepper.
In the North-Eastern or Manchurian cuisine, dishes that are accessible and familiar, tasty and easy to prepare at home, prevail. Ingredients used: cereals (millet, millet), soybeans, peas, corn.
Residents of the northeastern region of Heilongjiang love fried pork with Chinese sauce. To prepare it, you need to cut pork tenderloin into slices, marinate, coat with starch paste. Then fry until golden brown, pour sweet and sour sauce on top to form a crispy crust.
In Liaoning, they prefer stewed pork with vermicelli: it is considered a winter dish.
In the north-east of China, cold winters, hot summers, so fermented, pickled products prevail.
Chinese roast pork from the northern regions.
Shandong – seafood cuisine
Shandong Province is a coastal region located in eastern China. Popular dishes are sea fish, shrimp, sea cucumbers, squid. Chefs of Shandong cuisine (Lu cuisine) use 30 methods of cooking, pay great attention to preserving freshness and taste. Seafood is served together with vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, cereals, peanuts. Shandong residents love to cook soups.
Bassy digua is a local snack. This is a sweet potato with caramel and soy sauce. Another traditional dish is boiled corn. In Shandong, a delicacy is prepared – chicken in the imperial guifei.
Of the methods of preparation, marinating, frying on high heat, stewing are used.
Guifei is a Shandong delicacy.
Sichuan – the spiciest cuisine
To spice up the dishes, residents of the western province of Sichuan add chili pepper, spices, ginger. The climate is characterized by strong humidity: food must be marinated, dried, salted in order to survive longer.
Most of all they love beef, chicken kung pao (Gongbao), double-cooked pork, smoked duck.
In Sichuan, they prepare “tofu rippled old women”, or Ma Po Tofu – a traditional dish of soy curd. It is served hot along with beef, pepper, onions, the taste of the dish is spicy, sweet and crispy. Seasonings and sauces are added to tofu for brightness and flavor, fried over high heat and stewed.
Popular in Sichuan are spicy crispy syaochi – fish snacks with the addition of various varieties of pepper and spices.
Ma Po Tofu from soy curd.
Cantonese cuisine for healthy lifestyle planners
Cantonese cuisine belongs to Guangdong Province. Another name is Yue Cuisine. It is distinguished by a sweet delicate taste of dishes. Very popular are the varieties of sauces – oyster and cream, as well as sugar, soybeans, garlic, sesame oil, corn.
Spices are used in the preparation of dishes: ginger, anise, several varieties of peppers. Delicacies include meat of snakes, lizards.
Almost all dishes are prepared by stewing to preserve the aroma and natural properties: chicken with mushrooms, pork with sauce.
Suzhou and its exquisite dishes
The birthplace of Suzhou cuisine is Jiangsu Province. The dishes are dominated by a sweet, light taste. Chefs serve river fish with vegetable side dishes, Yellow Sea seafood, fish soups, carp with orange sauce.
The dishes of Lake Taihu are very popular among gourmets: restaurants are moored near the shore, in which fresh fresh freshly caught white fish, kabomba with egg balls, and other delicacies are steamed.
In Suzhou, seasonal dishes are prepared: for example, only in autumn are river dajase crabs caught and served when they have reached maturity.
Fujian Min and Taiwan
In the city of Fuzhou in the southern province of Fujian, a popular dish is “Buddha jumps over the wall.” It is aimed at saturating Qi with energy, cleansing the intestines, lungs, strengthening immunity. It contains 18 ingredients, including shark fins, pork underbelly and hooves, fish lips, mushrooms, bamboo, sea cucumber, etc.
In Taiwan, you can be fed chicken “Three Cups”. The sauce that is part of the dish is made from 3 ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine.
Chefs of Fujian cuisine prepare seafood (carp, shellfish, squid, herring), vegetables. The garnish is finely cut, stewed for a long time. In Fujian, sugar cane grows, so that the dishes have a sweet taste.
Zhejiang and Basic Products
In the southern province of Zhejiang, they like to cook fish from West Lake in vinegar. The lake is located in the city of Hangzhou. After capture, the fish is kept in a cage so that it is cleaned, and only after that it is cooked.
Pork dong pu is also considered a favorite dish of zhejiang residents. It is cooked over low heat, yellow wine is added so that the lard is soft.
Zongzi rolls are popular in Zhejiang. They are steamed envelopes of corn, lotus, bamboo or banana leaves, in which rice with meat or beans is wrapped.
Zhejiang loves fried dishes, seafood, thick soups, food with a sweet, delicate taste. Popular ingredients are bamboo roots. This province is the birthplace of green longjing tea, harvested by hand and characterized by high cost.
Zongzi rolls are envelopes made of corn leaves.
National Chinese dishes
Among the national dishes of China are rice, noodles, meat with caramel, Gongbao chicken, pork in sauce, vegetable side dishes, various types of dumplings (wontons, jiaozi), tofu, fish.
In all regions, Chinese chefs offer tourists to taste a piece of each dish in small quantities – “hot sweat”. Any guest can choose several products at his discretion, assembling a dish on his own from traditional ingredients.
Jiaozi are small dumplings. They can be steamed or fried. In the northern provinces of China, jiaozi is served with vinegar, in the southern – with peanut sauce.
The traditional filling of dumplings is minced pork with onions. In large restaurants, shrimp filling can be offered.
Jiaozi are Chinese dumplings.
Di San Xian
The name of the dish is translated as “Three Treasures of the Earth”. The dish is suitable for vegetarians as a full meal, and meat lovers – as a side dish.
Ingredients for Di San Xian are peppers, eggplants and potatoes. They are fried in boiling oil, stewed in garlic sauce, sprinkled with sesame.
Di San Xian is cooked in a large amount of oil.
A couple more interesting dishes
A traditional delicacy is swallow’s nest soup. It is prepared from the dwellings of salagan swifts, using fish eggs, algae and mollusks for construction.
According to one version, the recipe for this dish came from soldiers who survived the siege of Genghis Khan on the island where swallows lived. Soldiers used their nests for food. I liked the taste, and so the soup became popular.
In China, there is another interesting dish – “Centennial Eggs”, which is popular in Hunan.
The recipe is several hundred years old. These are chicken, quail or goose eggs stored for several weeks in clay, ash, salt, lime and rice husks. Thanks to this storage, the product acquires an unusual aroma and color.
This dish is also called Bei Jin Hao. Roast duck for the Chinese is “the most delicious dish in the world.” It is distinguished by a crispy golden crust, tender meat, a sharp tart aroma. Peking duck is also popular outside of China.
The dish is cooked in the oven, served with sweet sauce, flatbreads, cucumbers, garlic and sugar. Sugar is meant to dip a duck in it.
Pekingese duck with a crispy crust.
Carp in marinade
The Chinese call carp a sacred fish, the “water fox”, served with sweet and sour sauce, bamboo stalks.
Cooking carp, cooks achieve tenderness, softness of meat, soften all small bones with the help of special cutting, incisions and high temperature. Only mirror carp is chosen for eating.
The fish is fried in a strongly hot skillet using olive, corn oils.
Tender carp in marinade.
Noodles are a famous dish in China. Fen is a rice noodle common in the south, mian is wheat noodles, popular in the north.
Juicy fried noodles with a spicy and pungent taste are called Chow Maine. First, it is boiled, then fried over high heat, fillers are added. This dish is combined with meat (pork, beef), sauces, seafood, vegetables. You need to use noodles hot.
Chow Maine is a famous Chinese noodle.
Steamed pies are considered a dish for snacks – Dimsam. They are prepared with pork filling – from meat, sauces from honey, soybeans, ginger, spices. The dough has a dense, fine-porous, airy texture, similar to bread.
First, mix honey, sauces, vegetable oil, this marinade is poured over pork, left overnight. Then the meat is baked, cooled and thinly cut. Pork is placed in the prepared dough, then the dish is steamed.
Dim sum – steamed pies.
What else you need to know about Chinese cuisine
The main drink is green tea. Yellow, black and white drinks Chinese drink less often. Tea can be served with rosebuds, almonds. For dessert in China, natural juices are prepared from citrus fruits, mangoes.
Preferred alcoholic beverages are rice vodka baijiu, plum, peach, rice wines.
The Chinese love tincture of Jin Jiu herbs and ordinary hot water.
Homemade recipes of Chinese cuisine
Popular recipes of Chinese cuisine are prepared from meat, fish, vegetables, fruits.
Meat in Chinese
You will need the following products:
- 150 g meat;
- 2 tbsp soy sauce;
- 2 tsp. liquid honey;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- seasonings – to taste.
- Mix the sauce, honey, garlic and condiments in a saucepan or cauldron.
- Put on fire, bring to a boil and turn off so that the mixture is infused.
- Cut the meat into small plates, beat.
- Put the meat in a container with sauce, stir.
- Place the meat with the sauce in a baking sheet on foil, put in the oven for 20 minutes at a temperature of 180 ° C.
Chinese meat in sweet and sour sauce.
Chinese puff pastries with onions and herbs
- 350 g flour;
- 200 g of water;
- 1 bunch of dill ;
- 1 bunch of onions;
- vegetable oil;
- Divide 300 g of flour into 2 parts. Divide the volume of water into 2 parts.
- Boil 100 g of water and brew it 150 g of flour, stir the hot dough.
- Pour the second part (150 g) of flour with the second part of water (100 g), knead the cold dough.
- Combine 2 types of dough, knead, add another 50 g of flour. Do not add salt. Set the dough aside for 10 minutes.
- Finely chop the greens.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts. Thinly roll out one of the parts, to a thickness of 2 mm. Grease with vegetable oil, sprinkle with herbs, salt.
- Roll up and then snail. Moisten the edge of the cochlea with water and secure. Roll out the snail to a thickness of 5 mm.
- Prepare the remaining parts of the dough.
- Fry the puff pastry in a frying pan with butter for 5 minutes on each side until done.
Puff pastry cakes with onions and herbs.
Apples in caramel (Chinese dessert)
You will need products:
- 1 apple ;
- 175 g sugar;
- 1 tsp. sesame;
- 25 g butter;
- 75 g cold water;
- 40 g flour;
- 1 egg;
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil.
- Preheat the oven to 200° C. Pour cold water into a saucepan, add butter, and boil. Remove from the stove, add flour, stir. The custard dough should cool and stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the egg, stir.
- Peel the apple, cut into pieces of 1 cm.
- Put the apple slices in a pot of dough, stir. With a teaspoon, collect the dough with apples and place on a baking sheet.
- Place the dish in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the apples in the dough to let them cool.
- Heat vegetable oil, pour sugar, wait until it melts. The color should be dark golden.
- Add sesame oil to sugar and butter, stir, remove the container from the stove.
- Pour the water into a bowl. Cover the plate with a paper towel. Put the apple slices in the dough in a container with caramel, stir and transfer to ice water. Immediately remove from the water, put on a paper towel.
Sweet caramel apples.
Chinese tomato soup with eggs
You will need products for soup (for 5 servings):
- 5 chicken drumsticks;
- 1 ginger root (5 cm);
- 1 onion;
- 1 carrot;
- 2 eggs;
- 5-6 feathers of green onions;
- 1.5 liters of water;
- spices: salt and black pepper ground to taste.
For tomato dressing you need:
- 2 tomatoes;
- 1 ginger root (5 cm);
- 3 tbsp soy sauce;
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil;
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil;
- spices: a pinch of salt, pepper, 2 pinches of sugar.
- Pour cold water over the chicken, put on fire, boil without salt and spices. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Peel the onions, carrots, ginger for the broth. Cut the onions and carrots into large pieces, the ginger into thin pieces.
- Heat a dry skillet, spread the onions, carrots, fry until the edges darken slightly.
- Drain the water from the pot where the chicken was cooked. Pour the chicken 1.5 liters of clean cold water, boil.
- Add onions and carrots, raw ginger, salt, pepper. Cook the broth for 1 hour.
- Peel the remaining ginger and garlic, finely chop.
- Heat the mixture of sesame and sunflower oils. Sauté the garlic and ginger until golden brown.
- Chop the tomatoes, put in a frying pan where the garlic and ginger are. Add soy sauce, sugar, pepper, salt. Simmer the tomato dressing until thick and soft.
- Remove the chicken from the broth. Strain the broth, pour it back into the pot, put it on fire. Add the tomato dressing, boil, cook for 3 minutes.
- Beat the eggs. Stir the broth and pour the eggs into it at the same time.
- Cut the onion obliquely and lengthwise into thin strips, place in the soup when it is already served to the table.
Chinese tomato soup with eggs and chicken.
Xiaochi fish appetizer
You will need products (for 4 servings):
- small fish (sprat, capelin, etc.) – 500 g;
- 1 tbsp. l rice wine, corn starch;
- 1 tsp. salt, chili pepper, ground paprika sichuan pepper;
- 500 ml sunflower oil.
- Peel the fish, season with salt and marinate in rice wine.
- Add the starch and stir.
- Fry in boiling oil until golden brown.
- Sprinkle the fish with a spice mixture.
The dish is cooked for about 30 minutes. After cooking, you can immediately serve on the table.