CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 11… China…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of  China…

China is located in Southeast Asia and its coast is lined by the Pacific Ocean…It is the largest of all Asian countries and has the largest population of any country in the world. Its climate ranges from extremely dry, desertlike conditions in the northwest to tropical monsoon in the southeast,

Now because China is vast and surrounded by many countries I was thinking just wow …how do I condenses this and not write war and peace…

Chinese cuisine is rich and diverse, varying in style and taste from region to region. Its history dates back thousands of years, evolving according to changes in both the environment (such as climate) and local preferences over time. Chinese cuisine also varies depending on class and ethnic background, and it is often influenced by the cuisines of other cultures. All these factors contribute to an unparalleled range of cooking techniques, ingredients, dishes and eating styles that make up what is understood to be Chinese food today…I would love to visit China but know I probably won’t however there is a large Chinese/Thai community here which means I can taste authentic Chinese food

Of the various regional styles of Chinese cuisine, it is the Cantonese cuisine from Guangdong that is the most widely recognized globally… Chinese restaurants are many around the world and far exceed other types of cuisine…it goes without saying that the best Chinese food can be found in Japan closely followed by Thailand and other Asian countries the one that surprised me was Iran as it doesn’t come to mind when I think of Asia but it is part of the continent…

Many Western Chinese restaurants have adopted a style of Cantonese cooking due to the majority of Chinese emigrants from Guangdong who moved to the United States and Europe in the 1800s…much of it is very good and much of the time true to its roots but I do find often in western countries over time it conforms to the palates of westerners…a shame when a cuisine is watered down…

Cantonese…

Due to Guangdong’s proximity to the South China Sea, the people of the region have access to a plentiful supply of imported food and fresh seafood.

Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including chicken feet, duck’s tongue, snakes and snails. However, due to availability, lamb and goat are rarely eaten…again nose to tail eating is prevalent, especially among indigenous peoples.

Many cooking techniques are used, including wok hei (stir-frying) and steaming. Spices are used moderately, and fresh herbs are seldom added to the food.

Dishes include dim sum, small morsels of food typically served at breakfast or lunch alongside tea; barbequed char siu, sticky and burnt red in colour; and clear broths flavoured with meat stock and of course noodles…

Dim Sum…Are Chinese dumplings (Jiaozi) that generally consist of different kinds of meat such as pork, beef, chicken, shrimp or even fish, and chopped vegetables wrapped into a piece of dough.

The most common fillings include pork with Chinese cabbage, pork with celery, lamb with spring onion, and leeks with eggs, but of course, regionally there are many more varieties of fillings.

Chinese dumplings are usually boiled or steamed. Dumplings are traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year’s Eve and other festivals.

Char Sui…is one of my favourites we have many Chinese/Thai people here and Char Sui is my favourite at a restaurant local to me…Char siu is a Cantonese style of barbecued pork. It is eaten with rice or used as an ingredient for noodle dishes or stir-fries…I eat mine over rice with some delicious fermented cabbage and a miso broth on the side…it is so delicious.

Like everywhere in Asia… street food is sublime and the best way to get a taste of a cuisine…

This guy reminds me a little of an Asian Mark Weins with his appreciation of food…

Mein (or mian) is simply the Chinese word for ‘noodles’ (pronounced ‘me-an’). Both lo mein and chow mein are made from the same type of Chinese noodle. This noodle is made from wheat flour and eggs, similar to Italian pasta.

Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodles are definitely the most popular noodles in China, as Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodles can be found in almost every city in China.

The Fat Chinese Noodles are called cumian, which literally translates to “thick noodles,” Shanghai noodles are a chewy variety made from wheat flour and water. You’ll find them in soups and stir-fries, particularly in northern China…and who thought noodles were noodles no indeed there are many types of noodles from very thin to very thick with lots in between…

Pot Shops are also a very popular way of eating and there is certainly a knack to it..it is though a very social way of eating…all the food is prepared in thin slices and small portions…the hotpot sits over the hole in the middle of the table with a flame or hot coals underneath…

Miso or chicken/fish stock is added and heated then you start adding your meat or fish and then your vegetables…once cooked it is served into bowls and of course, the chopsticks…and a deep spoon for the soup…

National Dish…

Because China is so vast with many indigenous peoples and diversity of cuisines there are also more national dishes than we have digits to count with…therefore I have opted for a favourite of mine which hails from Beijing…

Peking Duck...a Chinese dish consisting of roasted duck meat and strips of crispy duck skin topped with scallions and sauce and wrapped in thin pancakes… served generally with a plum sauce or doy dipping sauce and julienned vegetables.

This is really easy to make at home either using boned duck leg meat/ whole duck and roast it till crispy then shred it..julienne some scallions(green onions) and cucumber… some Hoisin sauce plus the little pancakes and viola you have Peking duck …

China is also known for eating strange food...anything from a sheep penis to scorpions, seahorses, bird brains even starfish…I’ve spared you some of the pictures but I couldn’t find any I could use…

All eaten with chopsticks…I can eat passably with chopsticks now a case of having to although my grandchildren have chopstick wielding skills that far surpass mine…lol…but somehow eating with chopsticks makes the food taste far better…

Did you know? The Chinese use 45 billion pairs of chopsticks per year?

Diamond Chopsticks anyone?

I hope you have enjoyed this tour around China…next week there will be no chopsticks I will be in Canada…I look forward to your comments xx

26 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 11… China…

  1. Chel Owens

    I always feel like the food tastes better with chopsticks!

    Thanks, also, for explaining the dishes you did. I’ve heard of them but not known how they’re made. I’m fond of cashew chicken or this mayonnaise shrimp dish that is probably an American “Chinese” food. 🙂

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I like chicken and cashew nuts too.. I used to make my own but I have a lovely Chinese stall near me and he makes the best chicken and cashew nuts the authentic way its so good.. Sometimes these hybrid dishes are good even though they are not authentic. 🤗x

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  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 3rd -9th April 2022-Monday Musings, A-Z World Cuisine, China , Food Review “Cabbage” and Saturday Snippets where “Bubble” is my prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

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  4. beetleypete

    When I stayed in Beijing, the food I aate was nothing like the Chinese food served in UK restaurants. I was served some unusual foods, that’s for sure. Deep-fried Black Scorpions, which I didn’t eat. Barbecued Eel, which was delicious, Duck’s Feet, which were like elastic bands and inedible, and Duck Four Ways which was superb. I never have managed to master eating with chopsticks, but the restaurants were always happy to give me cutlery.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I don’t think it ever is the same when the restaurants are in another country, Pete…They eat chickens’ feet here and they are the same I don’t see the attraction myself…Chopsticks I’m ok with now it took a while to master them though 🙂 x

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  5. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 11… China… – MobsterTiger

      1. Monty Vern

        When I was in rural China they served bull penis – it was ground up so not recognizable. The only reason I figured out it was an “unusual” food item was that none of my fellow travelers (all from Shanghai) would touch it. I tried and it wasn’t particularly memorable in taste. But makes for a good story.

        My favorite Chinese cuisine is Szechuan, with its “ma-la” flavor (hot and tingly).

        Liked by 1 person

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