Basic Chinese Language
November 21, 2016

Chinese Cuisine

Chinese food can be divided into eight different regional cuisines: Sichuan (more commonly known as Szechaun), Fujian, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong (Cantonese), Jiangsu, Anhui and Hunan, each with their own flavour.
Sichuan
It is characterized by its spicy, pungent flavours, the usage of chilli peppers, garlic and ginger and also by using wild vegetables and meats. The basic cooking technique that is used is frying without oil and braising.
Fujian
Fujian cuisine is characterized by its choice in seafood, its savoury tastes of both sweet and sour, and for the beautiful colours.
Zhejiang
Is characterized and known for its freshness, softness and tenderness. It is also not very greasy and has a mellow smell.
Shandong
Shandong cuisine is characterized by its non-greasy, clean and pure taste. It emphasizes the aroma, crispness, tenderness and freshness as well as using shallots and garlic as the seasonings. Shandong cuisine gives lots of emphasis on soups, as well as the basic cooking techniques are deep-frying, grilling, pan-frying, stir-frying and able to cook the seafood with a taste that’s both fresh and light.
Guandong
Guandong cuisine is characterized by the light, crisp and fresh taste while still being able to preserve their natural flavour by steaming and stir-frying. The basic cooking techniques that are used are: sautéing, deep-frying, roasting, stewing, braising, and steaming, although steaming and stir-frying is the most frequently used technique.
Jiangsu
The main ingredients that are used in Jiangsu cuisine are fish and crustaceans since this is the most popular cuisine in the lower part of the Yangtze River. By using braising, roasting, stewing and simmering as the basic cooking techniques stresses the freshness of the seafood.
Anhui
The basic cooking techniques are braising and stewing since Anhui cuisine is more focused on the temperature of the cooking. Ham is often added to improve the taste while candied sugar is added to gain freshness.
Hunan
Hunan cuisine is characterized mostly by its thick and pungent flavours.
Chinese cuisine is also used as medicinal purposes. The Chinese believe that a food tonic is better in building one’s health than a medicine tonic. They use the food in its herbal nature such as wine, sugar, oil, salt, honey, almonds, oranges and peanuts in four different cuisine categories: health-protection, therapeutic, prevention and healing.

Facts:

  • There is a difference in diets between the North and the South of China.
  • Northern cuisine is heavier in taste
  • Northern and Western provinces cuisine is hot and spicy because of the cold weather and high altitude
  • Main seasonings and sauces: light and dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar and oyster sauce
  • The Chinese are more adventurous with their foods than Westerners are.
  • Authentic Chinese food can include scorpions, rats, grubs, dog, snake, fried grasshoppers.
  • Chinese meals mainly consist of many different plates of vegetables, noodles, rice and meats that are thinly sliced for a healthier portion.
  • In China the different tastes of the people correspond to:
  • South= Sweet
  • North= Salty
  • East= Hot
  • West= Sour
  • In Southern China, soup is usually served at the beginning and at the end of a meal.
  • The best or finest food is usually served to the senior member of the family.
  • Lots of vegetables, light sauces and wok cooking make up the healthy elements of Chinese food. If a person is a vegetarian there are many different meals that can be chosen from.
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