Recipes by Ethnicity: African Recipes
Costa Rican Recipes
Middle Eastern Recipes
United States Recipes
and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce
General Tso's Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
Moo Goo Gai Pan
Boiled Pot Stickers
Chinese Fire Pot
Egg Foo Yung
Barbecued Pork Bun
Chinese Barbequed Pork
Sweet & Sour
Fried Shrimp Balls
Shrimp with Chili and
Bok Choy with
Broccoli in Oyster
with Hot Garlic Sauce
Chinese food may be one of the world's finest cuisines, and it's not hard to find at least one excellent Chinese restaurant in most cities and towns across America. Chinese food seems simple at first, but it is really made up of a complex number of vegetables, meats, sauces, spices, and preserved foods that blend together to form many intricate cuisines. There is no one definitive Chinese food, just as there is no one form of American cuisine. Chinese food is respected around the world, and many feel it is one of the finest cuisines around, rivaling French for complexity, taste, and texture.
China is an ancient country. Chinese culinary arts have a long history. They are famous all over the world. Chinese dishes appeal to the senses through colour, shape, aroma and taste. For local styles, Beijing cuisine combines the best features of different regional styles. Shangdong cuisine leads the Northern dishes. Shangdong cooks are good at cooking seafoods. Sichuan cooks specialize in chilies and hot peppers and Sichuan dish is famous for aromatic and spicy sauces. Guangdong cooking makes use of many ingredients. They look for fresh, tender, crisp textures. Huai Yang cuisine stresses the natural flavours. Dishes are strong but not greasy, and light but delicate. Tan cuisine is both sweet and salty, There is a saying that "southerners have a sweet tooth, and northerners crave salt", but Tan dishes manage to satisfy both.
There is a dizzying array of regional cuisines in Chinese cooking, from Mandarin to Peking and far beyond. Each cuisine relies on local ingredients to create their own unique recipes. All use fresh and preserved ingredients, but also use different herbs and spices to differentiate tastes and textures. Some of the most famous regional cuisines are:
Beijing – Beijing (or Peking) is where the Imperial Cuisine of China originated, and the city is most famous today for Beijing (Peking) Duck. Beijing is located in Northern China, where it is difficult to grow rice, so most menus will feature wheat flour breads or flat breads instead of rice as the traditional starch.
Cantonese – Cantonese food, also called Guangdong food, is traditionally cooked by steaming, boiling, or stir-frying. Cantonese is one of the most flexible cuisines of the country, and Cantonese cooks will use just about any meat, vegetable, and sauce in their cooking. Rice is a must with just about any Cantonese meal. Cantonese is the predominate style of cooking in Hong Kong and in many American Chinese restaurants.
Hunan—The Hunan province is landlocked, and so they have little access to seafood. Their cooking is also extremely spicy and rich, like the close cousin of Szechwan cooking. Hunan is also famous for hot mustard sauce.
Shanghai – This type of cooking is a bit heavier and oilier than Cantonese style cooking, and citrus fruits are also popular in the cuisine. They are perhaps most famous for their Thousand-Year-Old Eggs flavored with lime and ginger.
Szechwan – Most people are familiar with this spicy style of Chinese cooking that incorporates hot, spicy sauces as part of the method. Perhaps the most well known dish is Kung Pao chicken, which is fried with peanuts and chili pepper.