Fried rice, Chow Mein, momos etc, have now become very own food of the entire population of the world. You can find Chinese restaurant in every major city and in the smaller cities of the world as well. Chinese food has its own colour, fragrance, flavour, shape, tableware etc.
The biggest characteristic of Chinese food habit is the use of chopsticks and soups. Chinese people have their food by using the chopsticks. One of the most significant feature is they eat dishes first and then have their soup. It is also a significant feature that Chinese people use round dining table.
The food habit of a culture is greatly determined by the natural resources that are available in the locality for their use. Thus is not surprising for the Chinese cuisine is characterized by an assemblage of plants and animals that grew prosperously in the Chinese land for a long period of time. some of the ingredient that happens to be the stable of the Chinese people:
Starch Staples: millet, rice, kao-liang, wheat, maize, buckwheat, yam, sweet potato.
Legumes: soybean, broad bean, peanut, mung bean.
Vegetables: malva, amaranth, Chinese cabbage, mustard green, turnip, radish, mushroom.
Fruits: peach, apricot, plum, apple, jujube date, pear, crab apple, mountain haw, longan, litchi, orange.
Meats: pork, dog, beef, mutton, venison, chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, many fishes.
Spices: red pepper, ginger, garlic, spring onion, cinnamon.
Chinese cuisine was discovered 400,000 years ago from the beginning of Chinese stone age. Certain archaeological findings have suggested that cultivation of rice and preparation of noodles has always been the integral part of Chinese cuisine.
Chopsticks and eating utensils were introduced during the period of Zhou Dynasty while stir fry dishes were introduced during Tang dynasty. From 7th century the cuisine begin to divide in northern and southern cuisine. Southern cuisines were fresh and tender while due to cold climate of north, northern dishes include more fat, garlic which is offset with vinegar.
Medicine and cuisine are of same origin in china thus Chinese food include a large number of medicinal herbs as well such as Chinese date, sesame, yam, grape, walnut, lily, ginger and wheat germ.
Some of the popular Chinese dishes are:
Kung pao chicken: prepared from diced chicken and vegetables with peanuts and hot chilli peppers.
Spring Rolls/Egg Rolls: These traditional wraps come either deep fried or fresh wrapped in rice noodle and filled with vegetables and meat.
Szechuan Chicken: Spicy beef dish stir fried with green onions and other vegetables.
Mushu Pork: This delicious dish consists of stir-fried pork wrapped in thin pancakes and garnished with sweet Hoisin sauce and scallions.
Fried Rice: Traditionally a dish that housewives made with leftovers from the night before, fried rice typical incorporates egg, meat and vegetables
Beef with Broccoli: As name says dish is made of stir-fried steak slices combined together with broccoli in a thick, savory sauce.
Fried Dumplings: generally called as “pot stickers” for the way they stick to the pan while cooking, these fried versions of the classic dumpling are folded and stuffed with vegetables and meat.
Hot and Sour Soup: This thin, brothy soup has a spicy, savory flavor that lends its name to the dish.
Dim Sum: A typical type of snack.
Beef Fried Noodles: Fried noodles are one of the most common snacks in China. The traditional version comes with pork, but exported versions often have chicken or beef.
Chinese are the one who taught us the health-giving and medicinal property of all sorts of roots, herbs, fungus and plants. They taught us that overcooking can destroy the nutritional value of food and also that medicinal herb can be included in food which may add a flavour to it.
Chinese food is not only tasty but also extremely healthy, even though it is oily or fried. It is due to the use of vegetables and polyunsaturated oils and the exclusion of dairy products.