Chinese Cuisine. Cooking Meat

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read-meat_cMeat is a very popular food in China but it is not consumed in such quantities as in the West. That is, it is rarely the central dish in any meal. Rather, it is used to accompany and to complement other foods - vegetables and rice, for example - or in sauces and soups. This makes for a very healthy diet: in the West we use too much animal protein, at the cost of the vegetable nutrients and food fibre our bodies require.

The Chinese prepare meat in a number of basic ways: steaming, stir-frying, braising and frying are the techniques most often used. Meat is almost always cut into small pieces or thin slices. This makes for minimum cooking and maximum retention of natural flavours and juices. "Quick and easy" is the general rule in China for the preparation of meat.

The recipes may readily be offered as main courses. In some cases the dishes can be made well ahead of time and re-heated when needed. All of them are delectable and none is too complicated. Some of them go well with rice and thus quite naturally can be part of a one-dish meal, with perhaps a favourite salad.

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