Food tips you can trust
The two pillars of
Chinese cooking philosophy
Chinese cuisine stresses a harmonious blending of foods - a dynamic balance between sweet and sour, rich and lean, bright-colored and neutral, smooth and crunchy.
Skilled Chinese chefs and knowledgeable diners insist that each food ingredient should be at its peak of flavor and quality - and seasoned, cooked, and sauced properly.
They equal the number of diners at the table.
All dishes are set in the middle of the table at the same time.
The diners help themselves, using chopsticks to transfer small morsels from the communal serving dishes to the top of their rice in their individual rice bowls.
Pseudo Chinese food
Several preparations known as "Chinese" beyond China's borders are not Chinese. These include fortune cookies and Chop Suey (both invented in America).
And some preparations have been so bastardized in Chinese restaurants in America and Europe that the residents of China would hardly recognize the dishes.
Major cooking ingredients
In south China, rice is the main food. In north China, cereal grains, such as wheat (in the form of noodles, dumplings and steamed buns) reign in the north.
Pork and chicken are the two leading meats in China, though in the north, lamb is very popular.
Buddhist monks, forbidden to eat meat, evolved a rich and diversified vegetarian cuisine. They developed recipes for bean curd and wheat gluten (developed from wheat flour). These mimic meat or simply provide variety.
Chinese cooks makes use of comparatively few herbs. Spices, condiments and dried foods are used more frequently.
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