6 Best & Essential Tips for Cooking Chinese Food

Cooking Chinese Food

Chinese cuisine is popular all over the world, and it is full of delectable dishes ranging from noodles and rice to spring rolls and dumplings. If you’ve finally chosen to take the leap and start cooking Chinese food, you’ve probably gone insane after skimming through any Chinese cookbook. Is it essential to scour Chinatown for items like lily buds, shark’s fin, and winter melon, not to mention spend a small fortune on sophisticated devices like ginger graters and garlic crushers to make Chinese food? No, for the most part. What you make of trying to cook Chinese food is entirely up to you. 

Here are 6 important pointers to help you get started cooking Chinese food

  • For a beginner, it is quite tough to make Chinese food. There are a few fundamental components that you’ll see while cooking Chinese food time and time again, and they’re worth learning about. The following are a few examples: 
  1. Shaoxing Wine (Chinese Rice Wine): While cooking Chinese food, rice wine provides taste and helps to remove harsh smells, such as those from seafood. (If rice wine isn’t available, dry sherry will suffice.) 
  1. Chinese Dried Black Mushrooms: Also known as shiitake mushrooms, these dried mushrooms may be purchased at Asian shops in bins. In soups and stir-fries, less expensive brands perform just fine. 
  1. Cornstarch: This is a thickening and marinade ingredient used while cooking Chinese food. To cook Chinese food, this can be used as a substitute for tapioca starch.

Cooking Chinese Food

  1. Garlic: This is frequently used to season cooking oil, along with ginger. 
  1. Ginger Root: Unless the recipe specifies otherwise, always use fresh ginger root. 
  1. Spring Onions (Green Onions, Scallions): These are frequently used as a garnish or in wok stir-fries. 
  1. Oyster Sauce: This rich savory sauce, made from boiling oysters and spices, is used in meat and vegetable dishes and is a fundamental component in Cantonese cookery. 
  1. Long-grain Rice: This is used for cooking Chinese food meals; short-grain or sticky rice is used for sweets or snacks.
  1. Rice Vinegar: An essential ingredient, rice vinegar has a much milder flavor than white vinegar. 
  1.  Sesame Oil: This oil from Asia is used to flavor stir-fries and soups. 
  1.  Soy Sauce: Look for both light and dark soy sauce. Although the bottles are not usually clearly labeled, dark soy sauce is thicker and darker when held up to the light. 
  1.  Chili Paste: This is made with chilies, salt, garlic, ginger, and olive oil. Stir-fries, marinades, and sauces may all benefit from a pinch of this spicy spice. 

Cooking Chinese Food

  1.  Oil: This is what you’ll need for deep-frying and stir-frying while cooking Chinese food. Peanut oil is traditionally used however vegetable oil, such as canola, can be used instead. 
  • To make Chinese food, try and variate the meat and vegetables in a dish to create a pleasing array of tastes, textures, and colors. Finding balance and harmony in all aspects of life, including eating, is important to the Chinese. Use fresh ingredients wherever feasible.
  • Tips for preparing meat and seafood, as well as stir-frying: 
  1. Fresh meat should always be marinated. 
  2. Cornstarch should be added last if a marinade asks for it. It will serve as a securing/binding agent. 
  3. Beef should always be sliced against the grain. It becomes more sensitive as a result of this. 
  4. To ensure that the meat cooks evenly, cut it into uniform pieces. 
  5. Before adding the meat or poultry to the pan, make sure it is extremely hot. 
  • Before you begin to cook Chinese food, make sure you have everything ready: cleaned, drained, and chopped veggies; sliced and marinated meat; and sauces ready. 
  • When storing Chinese sauces and seasonings, keep the following in mind
  1. For the sauces that need to be refrigerated, always keep the container firmly closed at all times.

Cooking Chinese Food

  1. Sauces that aren’t refrigerated should be kept away from direct heat and light. 
  2. Keeping a condiment like soy sauce in the fridge rather than the cabinet is not wrong. In reality, the sauce’s taste may last longer if kept refrigerated, although refrigeration is not needed. 
  3. What about sauces in a can? Certain sauces, such as sweet and sour sauce, are available in both cans and bottles in Asian stores. Refrigerate canned sauces after removing them from the can and placing them in a sealed container. 
  • Because the cuisine is so diverse, a variety of methods are employed while cooking Chinese food. Here are some must-know cooking techniques for Chinese cuisine. 

Boiling 

Boiling is the simplest technique of cooking Chinese foods, and it is used in many cuisines. The items are cleaned and sliced before being immersed in boiling water or broth. Drain the ingredients as soon as they’re done cooking and season to taste. 

Roasting 

Many varieties of meat, such as chicken and duck, are roasted in Chinese cuisine. The meat is usually cleaned, seasoned, and basted with cooking oil before being hung over an open fire or roasted in an extremely hot oven. The skin should be crispy after roasting, and it may then be sliced and placed artistically on a plate. 

Stir-Fry 

Stir-frying is perhaps the most prevalent way of Chinese cooking. All you have to do is toss all of the ingredients into a wok and cook on high heat for a short amount of time. Vegetables and other components retain the majority of their nutritional content due to the short cooking time, while stir-fried meat is frequently moist and delicious.

Cooking Chinese Food

Braising 

Braising is a somewhat more time-consuming approach to cooking Chinese food dishes, but it is well worth the effort. Seasonings and ingredients are added to a little quantity of water or broth in a wok or pot, then everything is cooked together at a high temperature. After that, you’ll leave it to simmer for an hour or more on low heat. After the ingredients have been braised, chop them into big cubes and serve. 

Deep-Frying 

Deep-frying is a widely used cooking procedure that involves completely submerging the ingredients in oil to produce a crispy-textured meal. To deep-fry, chop the ingredients into small bits, marinate them in your favorite spice, coat them with cornstarch, and cook them in hot oil. 

Steaming 

Steaming was invented in China and is now commonly used for buns and dumplings. This cooking method entails placing food in a steamer basket that is placed over boiling water in a steamer pot. When compared to boiling, steaming might retain more of the nutrients in food since the water does not absorb them. Furthermore, because the little seasoning is utilized and very little oil is used, the natural flavor of the meal is preserved.

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