Chinese Food is very popular, but the versions found in Chinese restaurants in North America and Europe are very different from traditional Chinese food. For example, they are less spicy than the authentic versions. Another difference between them is that Westerners prefer white boneless chicken meat while traditional Chinese dishes have dark meat, organs, connective tissue and small bones which they believe to have more nutritional value.
We have chosen a few examples of authentic Chinese food to give you an idea of how different it is to the Westernized versions.
Authentic Zhajiangmian Chinese Noodles
Chinese noodles are a very popular Chinese dish and this one is a favorite Cantonese meal.
Ingredients for this dish: 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, 3 finely chopped spring onions, 1 finely chopped and deseeded chili, 10.5 ounces pork or beef mince, 6 pieces of finely chopped extra firm tofu, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 3 tablespoons chili bean sauce, 1 bowl edamame beans, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cornflour, 1 julienned carrot, 4.2 ounces bean sprouts, 14 ounces dried Chinese noodles
Stir fry the shallots, chili, and spring onions in hot oil in a wok until they are soft.
Add the minced meat and stir fry until browned. Put in the tofu and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the sesame oil and chili bean sauce and stir fry for around 2 minutes. Mix in the edamame beans, the water, light and dark soy sauces, and sugar. Keep stirring.
Stir the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water and add to the wok. Stir until the sauce is thick.
Blanch the carrots and bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water and remove. Toss in the Chinese noodles and cook for a few minutes. Once cooked mix them with a little oil to stop them from sticking. Stir in the carrots and bean sprouts and put in a bowl. Pour the sauce on top and there you have the perfect Chinese noodle dish.
Chinese Food – Fried Rice
One of the most popular accompaniments to Chinese food is fried rice and here we have the perfect recipe for you. The addition of shrimp paste adds a fantastic depth of flavor.
Ingredients for this dish: 1 and 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 lightly beaten eggs, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 peeled and diced carrot, 1 seeded and diced red capsicum, 3 sliced Chinese sausages, also known as Lap Cheong, 2 sliced spring onions, 1/2 cup frozen and thawed peas, 2 teaspoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons shrimp paste.
Wash and drain the rice. Then bring the rice to boil in a saucepan with 2 and 1/2 cups water. Simmer for 15 minutes until the rice has absorbed the water.
Spread the rice on a tray and cool. Then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Using day-old rice helps to stop the rice from going mushy.
The following day, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over moderate heat. Lightly scramble the beaten eggs and then remove from the pan. Add another tablespoon of oil and cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Then add the capsicum and carrot and cook for a couple of minutes.
Put in the Chinese sausage and toss for a couple of minutes and then put the rice back in the wok. Add the peas and spring onions, together with the sugar, soy sauce, egg and shrimp paste. Cook for 30 seconds and mix well. Then the fried rice is ready to serve with your favorite authentic Chinese food dish.
Authentic Chinese Steamed Fish
This is a traditional dish in Chinese home cooking. The steaming produces a tender and soft fish which just melts in your mouth. The soy sauce gives the fish a sweet and savory taste and the ginger and green onions get rid of too fishy a taste.
Ingredients for this dish: 20 ounces head-on scaled and gutted sea bass, tilapia or flounder, 1 and 1/2 pieces julienned garlic, 1 cup chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, 2 dried chili peppers, 2 tablespoons seasoned soy sauce.
Wash the fish and drain. Dry on paper towels. Put some of the green onions on the plate you will present the fish on.
Stuff the cavity of the fish with some more of the green onions and some of the ginger. Rub the sesame and peanut oil all over the fish and put on some more green onions. Then pour over the wine.
Steam the fish for up to 8 minutes and then remove the filling from the cavity. Put the fish on to the presenting plate and top with some more ginger strips and green onions.
Heat some oil in the wok and add the chili and peppercorns. Cook for around 40 seconds and then scrape out the chili and peppercorns. Pour the hot oil over the fish followed by the soy sauce. Serve the dish warm.
It’s not difficult to cook traditional Chinese food. Just visit your local Asian supermarket and you should be able to find the ingredients to cook authentic Chinese food. We hope you have enjoyed our small selection of dishes.