Many people around the world enjoy eating chinese food, but preparing chinese recipes at home is still uncommon. Actually, there is nothing mysterious about basic chinese cooking, it is nutritious, tasty and economical.
Chinese basic recipes
Rice is the basic food of the Chinese people. Most families eat rice two or three times a day, and chinese cooks always have a large store of rice on hand. Rice noodles, rice flour, rice vinegar, and rice wine are all used in Chinese cooking. In fact, rice is so central to the cuisine that the cantonese word for "rice", fan, is also used to mean "food". Before beginning a family meal, every diner traditionally invites each of his or her elders to sik fan, or "eat rice". This custom can take quite a while at a large gathering!.
In addition to rice, tea has been an integral part of Chinese life for centuries. There are many kinds of Chinese tea, but the three main varieties are oolong, black, and green. Oolong, which is especially popular in China, is a pale brown tea with a distinctive flavor often compared to that of fresh peaches. Black teas have a stronger taste, while green teas have a fresh, light flavor. Jasmine-scented green tea has a delicate, flowerlike taste and aroma. Most tea is grown in southern and eastern China, and much of the harvest is still picked by hand. Selecting the best leaves and carefully preparing them is part of the Chinese appreciation for this much-loved beverage. Tea is drunk everywhere in China at all times of the day and evening, and no social gathering is complete without a pot of hot tea.
Chinese appetizers and soups
The chinese name for appetizers is dim sum, which means "touch the heart". In China, these tidbits of food are usually served with tea as mid-morning, afternoon, or late-night snacks rather than before a meal. In Chinese teahouses, which are similar to cafés in other parts of the world, people enjoy gathering to share a pot of tea, a variety of delicious little treats, and long, relaxed conversations. Just a few typical samplings for dim sum are fried wonton, egg rolls, shrimp balls, filled dumplings, and sweet pastries.
While dim sum is a special treat, soup is an important part of almost all Chinese meals. Generally, a light, clear soup is served as a drink between courses or throughout a meal. In fact, soup is often the only beverage served with food. Many people choose to enjoy tea before or after, but not during, a meal.
At a formal dinner or banquet, several kinds of thicker, richer soups may be served as courses in themselves. In parts of China where the winters are cold, hearty soups and stews are a good way to warm up. Soup is usually served in a large bowl or tureen in the middle of the table rather than in individual bowls, so that diners can help themselves.