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Regional Chinese Cooking Made Easy

Regional Chinese Cooking Made Easy



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Fuchsia Dunlop's latest cookbook, Every Grain of Rice (W.W. Norton & Co., $35), really makes you want to cook. Why? Because it's full of dishes you wouldn't find in most Chinese restaurants. Even the most die-hard aficionados of Chinese cuisine will find something new to discover in this book, as Dunlop has almost encyclopedic travel and cooking experience in China.

Dunlop trained at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine in Chengdu, China, widely regarded as one of the top cooking schools in the country. Her fluent command of Mandarin has allowed her to supplement her extensive knowledge with Chinese cookbooks, and with that knowledge, Dunlop has already two cookbooks before this one, each focused on the cuisine of a specific region of China. But this time, she wanted to take a more holistic approach, sort of a "greatest hits" of authentic Chinese cooking. Has she succeeded?

We think so. She's included a lot of recipes for things we think should be on the must-try list for the uninitiated: Fish-Fragrant Eggplant, an iconic Sichuan dish; Smacked Cucumber Salad in Garlicky Sauce, a refreshing and easy appetizer for a hot summer's day; and zha jiang mian, a dish from Beijing made popular throughout China thanks to its addictive combination of fresh noodles and umami-tinged sauce made with ground pork.

Below, we've included a few basic recipes for you to try at home. While the book has loads to offer when it comes to esoteric regional recipes, we thought it was best to master the classics first. Allez cuisine!

General Tso's Chicken

Far and away, much better than the average takeout joint version. Why? Because this is the version from Peng Chang Kuei, the man who invented the dish.

Yangzhou Fried Rice

This is fried rice on steroids, with all the fixin's.

Classic Dan Dan Noodles

In a race against the delivery guy, you're sure to win with this recipe.

Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.


Chinese Food Recipes

Many unique regional Chinese food recipes and styles contribute to China's extensive cuisine. The most well-known of those are Cantonese, Shandong, Jiangsu and Szechuan cuisine forms. (Chinese food / cuisine) These styles are distinctive from one another due to the available produce, climate and geography, historical influences, variations in cooking techniques and population lifestyles.

Whilst one regional style may emphasize garlic and shallots versus chilli and spices, another favours seafood ingredients over meats or poultry. As an example, Sichuan cuisine is spicier with a fondness for baking, whereas Jiangsu recipes call more on braising and stewing techniques.

The 'hairy crab,' found in local lakes, is a popular menu item in Shanghai. The world-renowned Peking Duck is famous dish everywhere around the planet, not just in China.

Across China, and across Asia in general, a wide variety of menu items with differing flavours and textures are produced from the same raw materials and ingredients. The methods of preparation, aided by cultural nuances, engender significant regional food forms across the country. Many of the traditional regional cuisines rely on ancient methods of preservation drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.


Chinese Food Recipes

Many unique regional Chinese food recipes and styles contribute to China's extensive cuisine. The most well-known of those are Cantonese, Shandong, Jiangsu and Szechuan cuisine forms. (Chinese food / cuisine) These styles are distinctive from one another due to the available produce, climate and geography, historical influences, variations in cooking techniques and population lifestyles.

Whilst one regional style may emphasize garlic and shallots versus chilli and spices, another favours seafood ingredients over meats or poultry. As an example, Sichuan cuisine is spicier with a fondness for baking, whereas Jiangsu recipes call more on braising and stewing techniques.

The 'hairy crab,' found in local lakes, is a popular menu item in Shanghai. The world-renowned Peking Duck is famous dish everywhere around the planet, not just in China.

Across China, and across Asia in general, a wide variety of menu items with differing flavours and textures are produced from the same raw materials and ingredients. The methods of preparation, aided by cultural nuances, engender significant regional food forms across the country. Many of the traditional regional cuisines rely on ancient methods of preservation drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.


Indian Chinese cuisine is known to have started its journey in Kolkata where a small Chinese community has lived for over a century and has made its way into everyone's heart. It is an adaptation of the Chinese sauces, seasoning and certain cooking techniques like steaming and stir-frying. A lot of street food vendors and restaurants serve what is known as the Hakka cuisine with prominent dishes like Manchurian, American Chop Suey, Sweet and Sour, Chow Mein and others. These have similar textures but different flavours due to the use of certain Indian ingredients.

1. Dim Sums

One of the most loves street food from the north east, widely popular across northern India now comes to your kitchen! Small bite-sized rounds stuffed with veggies or meat. Dimsums are perfect steamed snack to delight those evening cravings.

2. Hot and Sour Soup

Isn't it great to warm up with a piping hot bowl of soup during the winters? Here is a soup with a spicy and sour broth. It is made with the goodness of mushrooms, cabbage, carrot and a spicy twist of red peppers or white pepper and sour with vinegar.Chinese Recipes: A piping hot bowl of hot and sour soup on a wintery evening is all you need. Image credits: iStock

3. Quick Noodles

4. Szechwan Chilli Chicken

A fiery delight straight from the Sichuan region. It is loaded with pungent spices like brown pepper. red chillies, ginger, green chillies and white pepper.Chinese Recipes: Fried chicken cooked with brown, green & white peppercorns and oriental spices. Image credits: iStock

5. Spring Rolls

A crisp appetizer where shredded veggies are encased in thin sheets and then fried golden. Little munchies to prepare at home for a high tea menu or just a party starter, serve with a tangy dip.

Chinese Recipes: Infused with a range of flavors, crisp vegetarian spring rolls with cheese, bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes. Image credits: iStock

6. Stir Fried Tofu with Rice

A simple stir-fry with tofu and oriental sauces. Sti fried togu with rice is a great main course dish to prepare at home laced with flavourful spices and sauces. Serve with some fried rice to make a wholesome meal.

7. Shitake Fried Rice with Water Chestnuts

A healthy frice recipe packed with the goodness of mushrooms and water chestnuts that are often used in Chinese meals. Here is a delicious fried rice recipe dish that is fast, filling and flavourful. You can serve with a gravy dish of hot garlic sauce.

Chinese Recipes: A light and yummy Chinese recipe for your next meal! Image credits: iStock

8. Chicken with Chestnuts

Stir-fried mushrooms with minced chicken, water chestnut and radish along with a host of veggies and sauces like date puree, fish sauce and the Chinese classic soya sauce. This earthy recipe is perfect for a holiday feast.

9. Honey Chilli Potato

The quintessential Indo-Chinese snack! Honey chilli potato is what you'll find at every Chinese van in and around north India. It has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with sliced potatoes tossed with a host of sauces and spices.

Chinese Recipes: An amazing starter recipe, honey chilli potato can be added to any party menu. Photo Credit: NDTV Beeps

10. Wok Tossed Veggies in Honey and Black Bean Glaze

A colourful melange of veggies like chestnuts, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage - all tossed in honey and black bean sauce.

11. Peri Peri Chicken Satay

With an addition of fiery peri peri sauce, chicken satay is a mouth-watering starter recipe to prepare at home. Boneless chicken chunks marinated in a pool of spices and grilled to perfection.

12.Cantonese Chicken Soup

Packed with bokchoy, mushrooms, spring onion and chicken, this heart-warming soup recipe is perfect for a chilly winter evening.

13.Veg Hakka Noodles

A kid's favourite, veg hakka noodles is a great way to shove all the veggies down to your kid's plate. Just toss up all your favourite veggies like capsicum, carrot, spring onions and cabbage in a tangy mix of sauces and you'll have a clear winner at the table!

Chinese Recipes: A delicious Chinese recipe to prepare for a fun dinner for kids.

14. Vegetable Fried Rice

An excellent way to use leftover rice, veg fried rice is a delicious recipe with the goodness of veggies like carrot, cabbage, beans along with baby corn, soy sauce, chillies and garlic. Perfect lunch or dinner option.

15.Garlic Soya Chicken

Chicken chunks tossed with a host of sauces, garlic soya chicken is a delicious melange of herbs and spices that can give a complete spin to your regular meal.

16. Vegetable Manchow Soup

A mix of hot and spicy flavours, vegetable manchow soup is packed with ginger, garlic,chillies, beans and the goodness of carrots, mushrooms and capsicums. Prepare this as a comfort dish on a chilly winter evening.


Recipes

Authentic Chinese recipes from China and Taiwan all tested in my kitchen. With these easy-to-follow instructions you can cook any of these delicious dishes yourself at home.

Pickled Cucumber Salad
A lightly pickled cucumber salad commonly served in Taiwan as a zesty appetiser. This is a simple dish but it needs to be prepared half a day in advance.

Spring Onion Flatbread
This delicious spring onion flatbread is sold all over China. Make it at home with these easy-to-follow instructions. Eat as a snack or as part of a meal. Also known as scallion pancake.

Tea Eggs
Flavoured with tea and spices, this cheap, filling snack food is found all over China. In spite of the name, tea is not the dominant flavour.

Fried Radish Cake
Radish cake is one of the great staples of breakfast stores and dim sum restaurants.

Fried Radish Cake with Pork and Mushrooms
The homestyle, meaty version of that great staple of Chinese breakfast shops and dim sum restaurants, fried radish cake.

Cantonese White Cut Chicken
This simple, pure-flavoured chicken dish, served cold, makes a great starter to a meal.

Zongzi (Rice Dumplings in Bamboo Leaves)
Zongzi is a traditional dish that is eaten all year round, but especially during the Dragon Boat Festival. This is the delicious, chock-full of ingredients Taiwan savoury version.

Plain White Rice
Cook Chinese-style steamed rice easily on your stovetop without the need for a dedicated rice cooker. Fluffy white rice is the perfect accompaniment for a huge range of tasty meat, and vegetable dishes.

Egg Fried Rice
This Chinese egg fried rice recipe is simple to make at home with these easy-to-follow instructions. This delicious Taiwan-style dish is a wholesome meal in one dish.

Rice Porridge with Side Dishes
Rice congee is often the Chinese baby’s first solid food. It is also fodder for the convalescing when bland food is called for. But it is best enjoyed as a foil for savoury side dishes, most commonly for breakfast.

Rice Flavoured with Lard and Soy Sauce
Only plain white rice is simpler than this tasty pauper’s dish.

Classic Taiwan Red braised
Beef Noodle Soup
Beef noodle soup is virtually Taiwan’s national dish. This full-flavoured ‘red braised’ soup with succulent beef and silky noodles isn’t hard to master at home.

Classic Taiwan Clear Broth
Beef Noodle Soup
Beef noodle soup is virtually Taiwan’s national dish. This light but tasty version with succulent beef and silky noodles isn’t hard to master at home.

Ants Climbing a Tree
A quick and simple spicy stir-fried mung bean noodle dish that originated in Sichuan. Make it at home with these easy-to-follow instructions.

Taiwan Cold Noodles
with Chicken
This Taiwan salad, cold noodles with chicken in a tangy sesame and black vinegar dressing is delicious, and quick and easy to make following this recipe.

Hot and Sour Soup
Authentic recipe for the delicious and extremely hearty Taiwan version of hot and sour soup, a dish that can be found in Chinese restaurants worldwide.

Bamboo and Pork Soup
This simple Chinese three-ingredient soup is a traditional homestyle favourite in Taiwan. All you need is bamboo shoots, pork chops and chicken stock.

Ginseng Chicken Soup
Ginseng has been treasured as a tonic in China for thousands of years. This homestyle dish is a tasty example of revitalising Chinese medicinal cooking.

Pineapple and Bamboo Chicken Soup
This simple, tangy Chinese soup is a traditional homestyle favourite in Taiwan. It is easy to make following this authentic recipe.

Roast Pork Belly
Crisp, succulent Chinese pork belly, well-seasoned and roasted in the oven (or barbecued), is a great dish that will set your taste buds racing. Serve as an appetiser or with rice as part of a meal.

Three Cup Chicken
A deliciously pungent classic Taiwan dish. The three cups refer to one each of sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce. Make it at home quickly with this easy-to-follow recipe.

Dongpo Pork
Dongpo pork is Hangzhou’s trademark dish, a sumptuous feast of meat wonderfully rich tasting. To eat it is to begin to understand the role of fat in making meat taste great.

Steamed Whole Fish
Chinese whole steamed fish, deliciously clean-tasting, is quick and easy to make at home following this simple recipe that uses just a few ingredients.

Stir-fried Water Spinach
Water spinach is one of the great vegetable staples of Taiwan and southern China. When cooked right, this quick-growing leafy green is a great combo of crunchy stems and tender leaves.

Fried Tofu with Pork Belly and Mushrooms
Chinese chafing dishes, bubbling away on your table are always fun to eat. This one, with tofu, pork and mushrooms, is easy to make following this recipe.

Deep Fried Tofu
This Chinese deep fried tofu dish goes well with a dipping sauce. Great as a snack or as part of a meal. It is easy to make following this recipe.

Sauces & Condiments Recipes

Soy Dipping Sauce
A classic Chinese soy dipping sauce you can serve with dumplings, fried and steamed bread, or use it in cooking. It is easy to make following this recipe.

Soy and Oil Hot Sauce
Soy and oil hot sauce is the spicy Chinese answer to vinaigrette. For noodles and dumplings rather than salads, it is easy to make following this recipe.

Salt and Pepper Dip
Chinese salt and pepper dip is great on the table for poultry, fried food and much more. So simple it hardly warrants the term ‘recipe.’

Sweets and Drinks Recipes

Sweet Mung Bean Dessert Soup
Traditional Chinese sweet mung bean dessert soup is a healthy snack or dessert that is very easy to make. Serve cold in summer or hot in winter.

Kumquat Fruit Tea Recipe
Kumquat fruit tea is a tangy sweet and sour drink that served hot, may help to relieve your sore throat or cough. Served cold, it is the refreshing Chinese answer to American lemonade.


History of Chinese Cuisine

Chinese food has a long and exciting history that dates back over four thousand years. Many of the dishes first produced at the beginning of Chinese civilizations actually look very similar to the recipes we still use today, speaking to their longevity and the comfort so many people derive from their flavors and textures.

One of the reasons Chinese food can be traced back so far is because Chinese civilization stabilized quickly and efficiently, and it’s been around for a long time. China was also home to a great amount of travel, both domestically and internationally, which allowed for myriad flavors from around the world and from indigenous populations to be integrated into common use.

The many different climates and growing environments that exist across the country meant many different types of vegetables could be grown and livestock raised, which also contributed to the unique flavors that came out of a growing Chinese food culture.

From all that, distinct regional flavors developed over the years, along with regional traditions and belief systems. Those regional flavor palates have influenced Chinese culture and food around the world and allow for many unique and delicious dishes to be approached and enjoyed with bold, spicy, and sweet flavors. Here’s what you’ll want to know about the regional influence on Chinese foods.


Lunar New Year is celebrated in many different cultures, but “Chinese New Year” is probably the most commonly referenced—in fact, that term is often used as a catch-all to denote Lunar New Year in general, which is incorrect (though, as in most matters, some would disagree).

While the same lunar calendar cycle means that Lunar New Year celebrations do occur on the same date, the traditions, celebratory foods, and specific holiday names vary by country. Korean New Year, for instance, is properly known as Seollal, and is often marked by eating tteokgeok or dduk guk, a rice cake soup. Vietnamese New Year, or Tết, commonly features banh chung on the menu.

Korean rice cake soup, Chowhound

Close to a quarter of the world will be celebrating a true Chinese New Year—a staggering statistic that, in addition to mainland China, also includes Chinese-speaking countries like Taiwan and Singapore, as well as ethnic Chinese populations all over the world.

With such vast geographical reach, the Chinese culture isn’t always a cohesive one. This is particularly the case with Chinese cuisine, which is in essence a bunch of different regional cuisines that share a handful of ingredients and techniques. Did you know, for instance, that soup dumplings come from Shanghai, and crispy chow mein from Guangdong?

There are some foods that are considered to be good luck for Chinese New Year, but the specifics of any festive meal would also depend on exactly where in the world you happened to be. Luckily, you can cook all kinds of Chinese food in your own kitchen, wherever it is. You just need the right tools, and some solid recipes.


Travel with China Highlights and Taste the Authentic Cuisines

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If you want to try authentic our cuisines, our tours can take you to authentic local restaurants.

Recommended Chinese Food Tour

12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Hong Kong Cuisine tour — explore the most popular destinations in China and savor local Chinese food in each city. Tell us if you'd like to go to other areas.


Chinese Food Recipes

Many unique regional Chinese food recipes and styles contribute to China's extensive cuisine. The most well-known of those are Cantonese, Shandong, Jiangsu and Szechuan cuisine forms. (Chinese food / cuisine) These styles are distinctive from one another due to the available produce, climate and geography, historical influences, variations in cooking techniques and population lifestyles.

Whilst one regional style may emphasize garlic and shallots versus chilli and spices, another favours seafood ingredients over meats or poultry. As an example, Sichuan cuisine is spicier with a fondness for baking, whereas Jiangsu recipes call more on braising and stewing techniques.

The 'hairy crab,' found in local lakes, is a popular menu item in Shanghai. The world-renowned Peking Duck is famous dish everywhere around the planet, not just in China.

Across China, and across Asia in general, a wide variety of menu items with differing flavours and textures are produced from the same raw materials and ingredients. The methods of preparation, aided by cultural nuances, engender significant regional food forms across the country. Many of the traditional regional cuisines rely on ancient methods of preservation drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.


Chinese Recipes - Cantonese cooking

Cantonese cuisine (廣東菜) is one of the most popular regional cuisines in Chinese cooking. Due to the large number of emigrants from Guangdong that went to the USA and other countries, when most people think of Chinese language or food they will often think of Cantonese language and cuisine. For example, in the UK 99% of the Chinese restaurants serve Cantonese cuisine and you can rarely find any different regional Chinese cuisine outside of London.

The most popular cooking methods in Cantonese cuisine are steaming, stir-frying and roasting. Dishes include different kinds of delicious dim sum, roast duck, chicken, pork belly and char siu pork, sweet and sour dishes and many more. These dishes are all stable dishes in Cantonese cuisine. I personally think Cantonese cuisine is sweeter and mellower than food from other regions of China and most Western people find it easier to accept the flavors of Cantonese cuisine.

Below are some of the more popular Cantonese dishes and recipes around.

Barbequed Pork-Char Siu Pork can be used in stir-fry dishes, served with noodles, or used as a stuffing for pork buns. Food coloring gives it the red coloring common to barbequed pork purchased in Chinatown.

Beef and bell peppers are cooked with a savory black bean sauce in this Cantonese home-cooked dish.

Stir-fries are one of the most common and popular types of dishes in Chinese cuisine and beef with broccoli is one of the most popular stir-fry recipes. Not only can you find this dish in Chinese restaurants in the West but Chinese people also love this dish.

A delicious and simple classic home-style Cantonese dish. This recipe can serve 3-4 people.

Prepared black bean sauce takes the work out of rinsing and mashing fermented black beans in this quick and easy spareribs recipe. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Char siu bao is a popular dish in Cantonese cuisine. The slightly sweet bun with delicious char siu pork filling makes it very popular. This recipe can make 24 steamed pork buns.

These delicate spring rolls are filled with shredded pork, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and garlic chives.

Chinese dried shiitake mushroom adds an earthy flavor to this easy to make steamed chicken dish.

This simple and delicious chicken stir-fry recipe is a perfect dish for a busy weeknight dinner.

Delicious chicken wings marinade with oyster sauce and other ingredients. A great appetizer to treat your friends and family with.

Made with chicken broth, this is a “thin” soup, you can thicken it by adding two lightly beaten eggs or two egg whites before serving.

A delicious Cantonese style curried chicken recipe.

Honey and garlic make an interesting flavor combination. This recipe for honey garlic spareribs serves 6-8 people.

A different and delicious way to prepare lobster in Cantonese style.

Fried chicken thighs are combined with pineapple and bell peppers in a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple juice, brown sugar, and vinegar. This recipe for sweet and sour pineapple chicken serves 3 to 4 people.

You can use beef instead of pork in this recipe.

Oyster sauce enhances the natural flavor of beef in this quick and easy beef stir-fry recipe. Serves 4 people.

A hardy vegetable loaded with nutritional benefits, broccoli readily absorbs the Asian flavors in this easy stir-fry with fresh garlic and oyster sauce. The key to this recipe is to make sure the broccoli is thoroughly drained before stir-frying and to stir quickly so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Almost everyone who likes “Chinese” food loves sweet and sour and this article will introduce you to two different versions of “Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple”.

Chinese Turnip Cake is one of the most popular dishes in dim sum and is a must-have Lunar New Year dish.

This article contains a step by step gallery to guide you through how to make beautiful and delicious prawn and scallop shumai.


Watch the video: HD Chinese Food Made Easy Episode 6 Cooking for Friends and Family 给朋友和家人做饭 (August 2022).