- Food

The Essentials of Chinese Food

People in China tend to be a little more particular about their food choices than Westerners are; they value eating healthy, tasty dishes that meet certain standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

Chinese people eat nearly every part of an animal and believe that certain parts can strengthen or improve health: shark fin soup replenishes strength; dehydrated tiger testicles increase appetite; and monkey brains enhance wisdom.


Stir-fries are an easy, tasty and convenient meal that can be prepared quickly using any combination of meat, seafood or tofu. The key to creating the ideal stir-fry lies in prepping all of the ingredients well in advance; all pieces should be chopped into similar sizes to ensure even cooking while sauces should be whisked before adding food into a skillet.

Chinese vegetable stir-fry is an exquisite treat for both eyes and taste buds, boasting an abundant assortment of colorful veggies for a delightful visual feast as well as providing a variety of nutrients that create a symphony of taste and wellness.


Noodles are an integral component of Chinese cuisine and come in many different forms – they can be served steamed, boiled, stir fried, deep fried or in soup! Furthermore, they’re low in fat content and may even be gluten free!

Chow mein and lo mein dishes showcase the versatility of noodles. For chow mein, cook the noodles separately before stir-frying with the other ingredients to maximize absorption by the sauce and soften the texture of your noodles.

Hand-pulling noodles is an art that takes months of practice and practice before becoming truly rewarding culinary experience. Not to mention they are also healthy and delicious!


Reproducing restaurant-quality Chinese soup at home may seem daunting, but these soup recipes make it simple to enjoy essential Chinese ingredients without leaving your own kitchen.

Slow-cooking techniques used in Chinese soups help preserve their nutritional value and medicinal benefits; for instance, winter melon soup helps prevent heat stroke, while spare rib and watercress soup is said to benefit kidneys.

These soups are full of antioxidants and vitamins that are good for your health, including bone broth with collagen, glycine and gelatin to strengthen immunity and decrease inflammation in the body.


Chinese vegetables are a mainstay in most meals, serving both as sides and main courses. Common preparation methods for them include braising, frying or even eating them raw – check out my pickled radish salad recipe to learn more!

Bean sprouts (Dou Ya) are an extremely popular East and Southeast Asian cuisine staple, known for being low in calories while offering plentiful sources of vitamin C and calcium.

Bok choy (pronounced bok-chee) is an edible leafy green that resembles broccoli but boasts milder flavors and crisp textures, making it popular in Taiwanese and Chinese cooking.


Many meat dishes in Chinese food contain high concentrations of sodium. If dining at a Chinese restaurant, opt for dishes prepared using minimal oil (i.e. steamed or stir fried); deep fried options are more likely to contain harmful oils and should be avoided whenever possible.

China places great value on good nutrition and believes that eating right can bring both wealth and good health. Chinese also utilize food ceremonially for veneration of their ancestors or festivals.

Women today tend to favor foods that are light and flavorful rather than heavy and fatty, such as seafood and vegetable dishes, which often provide essential dietary fiber, vitamins and disease-fighting nutrients that make for a balanced meal.


Chinese culture practices using every part of an animal. From shark fin soup and crocodile meat for strengthening of the bronchia to dehydrated tiger testicles believed to increase stamina while monkey brains for wisdom.

China boasts an expansive coastline that provides freshwater seafood. Additionally, inland rivers and lakes contain freshwater fisheries for freshwater consumption.

China cuisine provides many tasty snacks and beverages with healthful benefits, such as capsaicin in chili peppers that may help lower sodium consumption, and tea’s ability to improve cardiovascular function.


Chinese dishes frequently utilize rare and costly foods as symbols of wealth or higher social economic status, such as birds’ nest, shark’s fin and bear’s paw.

Food can also be used as a means to express relationships among people, for instance giving someone on their birthday noodles as a symbol of long life (Fig. 1).

Chinese do not tend to consume many sweet snacks or desserts, with cookies and cakes typically reserved for special events. Most families enjoy fresh fruit after dinner or as an afternoon snack, especially as Chinese cuisine frequently uses salty sauces such as black bean, hoisin and oyster that increase sodium intake; spices can help lower this amount through added flavors in dishes.

About Annabella Sloan

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