Posted on 12 January 2015
Chinese food is great. There’s no question about that. But what makes their delicacies utterly irresistible? Now that’s something too delicious not to explore.
Some gourmets say, “aroma, color, and taste” make Chinese dishes cut above the rest. Other culinary experts agree but reword the description: the food should taste, smell, and look Chinese. ‘Noticed the stress on aesthetics?
One feature unique to Chinese cooks is their attention to food texture. China, being one of the oldest civilisations, heavily relied on ‘drying’ as a way of preserving food before canning and freezing were invented. Dried exotic mushrooms, scallops, oysters, and shrimps were added to enhance the flavour, fragrance, and texture of the finished dish.
Another clever and original Chinese practice is stir-frying. This cooking technique helps keep vegetables and meat crispy, juicy, and tasty. But never think for a moment that oil in stir-fried food is totally unhealthy. On the contrary, stir-frying vegetables or meat means applying only a small amount of oil (just enough to arouse the wok, or pan).
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the saying, “..when you are hungry, eat Chinese food. It’s the utmost bliss of life.” But whoever said it must be a real foodie. Let’s have a closer look at China’s dishes that have earned gastronomical prestige worldwide.
Despite their simplicity, these Chinese foods have become special favourites around the world. The impressive taste and aftertaste of these dishes will surely tempt and treat even sophisticated palates. So the next time you visit an Asian or a Chinese restaurant, look these up right away on the menu.
This simple yet delicious Cantonese soup is a very popular entree choice among non-Chinese. For Chinese customers though, it’s a tie between Shark’s Fin soup and Bird’s Nest soup – dishes that are too strange for foreigners to try. Unlike shark’s fin and bird’s nest soups, sweet corn soup is tasty, pleasing majority of diners not used to the exquisite and bland flavours of exotic Chinese soups.
If you don’t like soups for entree, you may opt for a plateful of special spring rolls or simply egg rolls, prawn cutlets, and dim sum. These are actually typical dishes available in most Chinese homes but still – they appeal to many tastes. Truth be told, they are loved by all. It’s a total surprise if you say you’ve never tried them.
King Prawn, when sourced from the best supplier and prepared by a skilled cook, results into a magnificent dish. Ginger is one of the oldest ingredients in Chinese cooking dating back to the Han dynasty. When chosen well, this herb adds a spicy hot flavour to a dish and removes the fishy odor of seafood. Shallots are like onions, only a bit smaller, firmer, and milder in flavour. Just imagining their combination makes my mouth water with anticipation.
Noodles inarguably come from China. However, Chow Mein appeal mostly to Westerners’ tastes, Americans in particular. This dish has seen numerous variations owing to the cooks’ creativity and the diners’ demand. Some even try to create their own lovely version for snacks or dinner at home. The basic ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and condiments are easy to find from supermarkets but cooking it requires deft stir-frying techniques.
I’ve never met an Australian who’s not crazy about barbecue. No mystery why Peking Pork Rin really hits the spot. These are made by putting pork ribs in a magical mix of sauce, wine, garlic, honey, and five spice and marinating them for about 3 to 4 hours. Once ready, prepare to grill the BBQ ribs until golden and fully cooked. Enjoy the finished Peking Pork Rin with rice, some leafy vegetables, onion, and sesame seeds.