Chinese cuisine: from philosophy to traditional recipes

Chinese cuisine: from philosophy to traditional recipes

The original Chinese cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world. Let’s find out why.

Did you know that the traditional Chinese cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world? Chinese restaurants are very popular everywhere, but it is also known that, outside that Country, you don’t eat their original food.

The Chinese cuisine we eat is often adjusted and sometimes worsened. They add fats, sodium (especially monosodium glutamate), heavy sauces and terrible cooking methods.

The philosophy of the original Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine is based on its millennial, long and complex traditional medicine. It respects old philosophies, like the division of food in Yin and Yang. The first one includes female foods and also fruit and vegetables. Instead, the second one includes male foods, for example spicy products or meat.

Moreover, according to this way of thinking, each organ of our body is connected to an element and a taste. For example, bitter is linked to fire and heart, spicy to metal and lungs. Instead, sweet connects to earth and spleen.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/ristorante-cinese-riso-fritto-1762493/

A complete meal includes all five tastes, in order to keep the body balanced, strong and healthy. That is why the authentic Chinese cuisine prevents chronic diseases and strengthen the immune system. It does so thanks to its high content of cereals, cooked and bitter vegetables, spices and the absence of sugars. Steam, bake and wok cooking methods also help in this sense.

Original Chinese cuisine dishes

The authentic Chinese cooking tradition has thousands of different dishes for each Chinese province. Almost everywhere, the basic food is rice. Then, there is mantou (steamed sandwiches) and other dishes with vegetables and meat, fish or other, called cài. Let’s see the most famous Chinese dishes.

A classic: Cantonese rice

A typical dish of this cuisine. However, the original one does not contain ham, but pieces of grilled pork. According to the province, it can include different ingredients, such as garlic, carrots, onion or oyster sauce.

Ban mian for a rich breakfast

They area sort of homemade tagliatelle served in a soup. They are cooked in a vegetable broth and seasones with soy sauce. Some recipes also include fish, meat, mushrooms, eggs or anchovies. But the weirdest thing is that Chinese people eat it for breakfast!

Bamboo and mushroom pork: beneficial and nourishing

This popular dish is cooked in a wok and follows the taste and ingredient balancing method. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in benefits for our liver and in the fight against cholesterol. Instead, bamboo, which is rich in silicon, is extraordinary to cure a cold or to strengthen the bones.

Kung pao chicken: fresh and light

This dish is also prepared in the wok, the most common pan in this cuisine. Chicken strips are cooked with fresh ginger, bamboo shoots and peppers. Then, it is seasoned with rice wine, soy sauce and some sugar.

Peking duck: a secret delicacy
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/photos/l-anatra-alla-pechinese-anatra-2629784/

This dish is for special moments only, because it is complicated to cook. The original recipe is a secret. The duck is cooked for a long time in specific ovens which give it the right texture. Then, it is served with thin crepes and chive. Moreover, its skin is glazed with honey or wheat malt. Both the meat and skin are cut into stripes and served.

Some information about Chinese eating habits

In China, the famous wooden chopsticks are the main tool to eat solid food. For soups or broth, there is a large ceramic spoon. Each person at the table has her/his own rice bowl, while the main course is placed at the center. Every tablemate take the portion with his/her chopsticks.

Usually, fish is cooked and served whole. In South China, at the beginning and at the end of the meal there is a soup. For what concerns drinking, there are no cold drinking with a hot meal, because Chinese people think it’s not healthy. Instead, there’s plenty of hot water or tea, which fosters digestion.

Spring rolls: the original Chinese recipe

They are quick to make, tasty and healthy. Baked spring rolls are very common in the Chinese cuisine, and are lighter than the ones we are used to eat.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/egg-roll-involtino-primavera-avocado-2680478/

How to make them: cut à la julienne some fresh vegetables. Brown a garlic clove with olive oil in a wok, then add the vegetables. Let cook for 15 minutes, and near the end add soy shoots. Then, let it cool down.

In the meanwhile, cut a phyllo dough in rectangles and paint some oil on it. Put the vegetables on the dough, making sure you leave some space to close it. Place your spring rolls in the baking tray and bake at 180° C for 15-20 minutes.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/ristorante-cinese-riso-fritto-1762493/,
https://pixabay.com/it/photos/l-anatra-alla-pechinese-anatra-2629784/,
https://pixabay.com/it/egg-roll-involtino-primavera-avocado-2680478/

ultimo aggiornamento: 23-03-2019

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