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Chinese Cuisine

Chinese Cuisine

History of Chinese Cuisine

China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. And, as a result, Chinese cuisine has developed over quite a long time. More specifically, the period of development of cuisine in China dates back about 3000 years. During this period, Chinese cuisine developed and, most importantly, preserved culinary knowledge and skills. The result of such long work is justified - Chinese cuisine has gained a reputation as one of the most delicious and healthy dishes in the world. According to historians, a cookbook was compiled in China 1500 years ago. Already in such ancient times, the people of China carefully approached the study and development of culinary art.

It is important to note that Chinese cuisine today has wide regional variations. Each individual region where the Chinese live has its own characteristics. But we’ll talk about regional differences in Chinese culinary art later. To begin with, let's highlight those trends in cooking that still unite Chinese cuisine into a single whole, and the culinary art has that exclusivity and sophistication for which the whole world knows it.

Rice in Chinese Cuisine

First, let's look at the raw materials, or simply put, the products used by Chinese chefs. The main raw material from which a wide range of Chinese dishes are prepared is rice. It is used in preparations ranging from basic culinary products to alcoholic beverages and vinegars. Rice in Chinese dishes can be found boiled, fried or steamed. Rice is used to make cakes or noodles. Next, let's move directly to the noodles.

Chinese Noodles

Chinese noodles are one of the important components of the entire culinary art of China. It has many varieties, varieties, which vary in composition, size, texture and shape. You can find noodles in Chinese cooking in various variations - with or without sauce, as a hot or cold dish, with or without various additives, or even in completely dry form. Another important element that forms the framework of the national cuisine of China is soybean. It is the main product containing protein. Soy derivatives include milk, paste, sauce and oil.

Features of Chinese Cuisine Recipes

The main and main criterion of Chinese dishes is the following - in addition to taste, food should be beneficial. Therefore, in ancient times in China, the professions of a doctor, pharmacist and culinary specialist were combined into a single whole. It should also be noted that the spirituality of the Chinese has a fairly high level (Buddhism) and this finds another echo in cooking. Food is considered by the Chinese as alms from heaven, so the Chinese meal is perceived by them as a spiritual act, and does not tolerate speed; simply put, the Chinese are not familiar with the concept of snacking or fast food.

Meal in Chinese Cuisine

Eating in China begins with setting up the table and arranging the dishes. At the most grandiose meals, the table can have up to 40 components. At the beginning of the meal, they always drink green tea, excluding the addition of sugar or milk. Next, according to the rules of Chinese food culture, come cold appetizers. They are expressed in finely chopped pieces of meat, fish or vegetables. This is followed by rice - it is served with various sauces. The final stage of eating is followed by broth and again green tea.

Chinese Cuisine Dishes

Chinese dishes can consist of a fairly large number of ingredients. But one cannot help but notice that each individual element in the structure of a culinary tradition also goes through the cooking stage separately, and always at a specific temperature. Such a careful approach provides the next feature of Chinese culinary excellence. Namely, this is the so-called culinary pun, expressed in bizarre flavor combinations - pork with the aroma of fish, veal with a fruity undertone, and fish can taste like anything but fish. The exclusivity of Chinese cuisine is achieved as a result of meticulous processing of the original dish, but not by the original component itself. Often food is prepared in batter (dough or starch). Pieces of meat, fish, vegetables, seafood, anything edible, all of this can be cooked in batter, which preserves the juiciness of the food.

Regional Differences in Chinese Cuisine

Next, it is important to talk about the peculiarities of regional differences in Chinese cooking. Different regions had different climates, geography, history, and attitudes to lifestyle. Cooking is no exception. Accordingly, in some regions casserole predominates, in others - stewing. Each region of China has its own characteristics in canning, salting, sourdough, frying, etc. There are only eight main regions: Cantonese, Sichuan, Anhui, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsu cuisine, Huan cuisine and Zhejiang cuisine. Let's highlight three of them and look at them in more detail.

Cuisines of China

Cantonese Cuisine

Cantonese cuisine is the most popular cuisine abroad in China. Cantonese dishes are practically never spicy, which significantly distinguishes it from Sichuan cuisine. Pork, beef and chicken are mainly used as raw materials for cooking. The most common cooking techniques in Cantonese cuisine include stir-frying, deep-frying, and steaming. The simplest spices used are onions, garlic, sugar, salt, ginger.

Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan cuisine - its main feature is spiciness. Hotness, spiciness and a wide variety of dishes. The assortment is just over a thousand different dishes. Pepper is added to almost all dishes. The Sichuanese motivate this by the fact that their climate is thoroughly damp, and pepper removes excess moisture from the body. Peppers are grown in Sichuan, and there is quite a variety of varieties. It all depends on the desire of a particular chef and how he plans to implement it. It is up to the culinary specialist to prepare spices based on pepper - with a sour or salty taste. Pepper is also used when it is necessary to saturate it with exotic aromas, for example, crushed garlic, tangerine zest and others.

Cuisine of Jiangsu Province

Cuisine of Jiangsu Province. In this cuisine, the main ingredient for cooking is seafood, or river and lake gifts. This part of the spectrum of Chinese cuisine is characterized by an extensive presence of vegetarian dishes. The leading cooking method is stewing, and as a feature there is a small amount or absolute absence of spices, and the main attention is paid to the taste of the product itself.

Chinese Cuisine Variety

The diversity and consistency of Chinese cuisine allow us to speak of it as a separate, worthy direction in the art of cooking. The meticulous approach of Chinese chefs plus carefully preserved centuries-old traditions have allowed China to make its cuisine one of the best in the world. The diversity of climate, historical processes and way of life in no way violated the traditions and foundations of China; on the contrary, it only added exclusivity and originality, and introduced a level of quality to the recipes of Chinese cuisine.