chinese_c2It is obviously now that there is an increasing interest in Chinese cuisine of both chefs as well as foodies. Chinese cuisine is renowned for its exotic dishes, such as bird's nests, sparks' fins soup, marinated duck tongue. But these dishes, which are usually cooked for festive occasions or parties, are not everyday dishes. In spite of this, using only available foodstuff, it is possible make at home simple yet exotic dishes with fancy relishes.

Everything takes on significance in Chinese cooking art: from the choice and combination of products, the way of food preparation (cutting, pickling, etc.) to treatment of fire, active time and taste and appearance of the dish.

Different Chinese regions have their specified cuisines where they may use slightly different products or the same products cooked in a different manner. Pekinese cuisine is generally recognized to be the basis of Chinese culinary. Meat (including white scorpions and snakes) and salt are used more frequently. Dishes in Szechuan cuisine are spicier because of hot pepper. Southern Chinese cuisine - Cantonese - is distinguished with sweeter taste, and seafood is used here more often than other food.

On the other hand, all Chinese cuisines have something in common. They all without exception use a complex mix of products: meat, manifold vegetables, mushrooms, seasonings, nuts, various oils, bacon or salted pork, eggs, rice wine, wine lees. As a rule, these components are finely chopped ahead so that thermal processing is considerably shortened. Such cooking method allows preserve most vitamins and nutrients in the dish. But some products, such as fish and game, are prepared and served whole and eaten with chopsticks by tearing off pieces.

Another trace of any Chinese meal is the order of coverings. Each course round is accompanied with tea. They produce many tea types in China. Chinese take tea in phials and very hot. Sugar and sweets are served with tea as a garnish.

Main course is served on large plates or platters, chinese2and it often goes with snacks. Main courses are generously served with sauces in bowls, salads and seasonings (pepper or hot pepper mixed with salt, as well as MSG). During the meal each person is given a bowl of rice or noodles, and meat with vegetables is set on rice or dipped into sauce. They eat solid food with sticks, and liquid one with porcelain spoons. So most sauces in Chinese cuisine are thick, that is developed by the use of starch. At first, a piece is dipped into a sauce, then in rice to be placed in the mouth at last. You can eat with fork and spoon as well, but Chinese cuisine experts assure, that genuine taste of a dish can be found out only when eating with chopsticks.

As a side dish, there goes unsalted rice with plain taste, rice noodles or other noodles, and some dishes can be garnished just with flat cakes or white bread.

The last course supposed to be a soup, and it is poured in the same bowl that the main course was served in. Sheer broths and soups thickened with starch as well as fish broth are preferred.

Desserts are usually simple, and they include rice and fruit.

They raise and use a great deal of spices in China, both renown and specific. Spices take effect on dishes filling them with a unique taste. Not all kinds of spices are available outside China, yet it is possible to find basic relishes such as soy sauce, monosodium glutamate, which is available in supermarkets. You can use cherry or sweet wine in place of yellow rice wine and vodka in place of wine distillate.

Of all fats vegetable oil and bacon are preferred, butter is avoided, as well as dairy products.

Rice starch, that can be easy replaced with potato, is widely used in sauces, soups, and can be used as a dusting.

Although they use many spices in Chinese dishes, it does not mean, that all the dishes are hot. Fragrant seasonings are often used: star anise, fresh and ground dried ginger and nutmeg. These go with hot seasonings: black and white pepper, all kinds of hot pepper. Onion and green onions, and garlic (including flowers) are widely used.

Along with meat and fish, vegetables are good for main courses. Of available sorts they use in China cabbage and Peking cabbage, spinach, salad, beans and string beans, carrot, parsley, celery, chives, green pepper, eggplants, vegetable marrows, pumpkin, leek, asparagus cabbage, etc. In some dishes there are bamboo sprouts that can be replaced by kohlrabi, celery, cabbage and other juicy vegetables. Soy sprouts are almost the same thing, that sprout peas. They use fruits, flowers and buds of lotus and pumpkin. Mushrooms are frequently used: shiitake mushrooms and aromatic ones, as well as fresh champignons.

Making Chinese dishes and inventing the combinations to your own taste, you can reach all the exotica of Chinese dishes at your home and give a pleasant surprise to your guests by serving baked Lyn chicken, pork in the sour-and-sweet sauce or Peking style cooked duck.