Popular Chinese Cooking Methods


Chinese cooking is renowned throughout the world. Chinese food has a distinctive culinary style all of its own. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal ingredients, prepared with a minimum amount of fuss and beautifully balanced as far as color, texture, and presentation are concerned.

There are several cooking methods. All seek to preserve the flavor and nutrients. Each of the techniques is briefly described below.

1. Stir-Frying

Black pepper beef fillet is a typical stir-frying dish.

Stir-frying is the classic Chinese cooking method. Stir-frying is quick and easy, tasty and flavorful.

Related post: Secret of chinese stir frying

Cooking Utensils Used

The cooking utensils are a wok and wok spatula. Stir-frying is typically done on a gas stove, although an electric stove can be used if preheated to a high heat.

Ingredients That Can be Cooked in This Way

Stir-frying typically uses a combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and tofu. All ingredients are thinly sliced or cubed. The meat or seafood is marinated using soy sauce, salt, and other seasonings.

Steps for Stir-Frying

1. All ingredients should be ready prior to heating up the wok. (The food to be cooked should be finely sliced or shredded into similar sized pieces using a very sharp knife or Chinese cleaver.)

2. When the wok is hot, a small amount of oil is added.

3. The meat or seafood is quickly stirred and turned until semi-cooked. It is then removed from the wok and set to one side.

4. More oil is added to the wok, if necessary. The vegetables and/or tofu are added and quickly stir-fried.

5. The meat or seafood is added back midway through cooking, the seasonings are adjusted if necessary, and the dish is stirred until done. It should be served immediately.

Deep-frying stinky tofu in high-boiling-point oil

2. Deep-Frying

Deep-frying is used to produce crisp-textured food. It is usually used to fry a variety of meats and vegetables in oil heated to a high temperature.

Cooking Utensils Used

Deep-frying is done with a deep saucepan or a deep fryer, a Chinese scoop strainer (used to contain foods in a deep fryer and to strain foods when removed from the oil), and long chopsticks.

3. Steaming

Steaming food by using bamboo steamers

Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. It is considered to be the healthiest cooking technique.

Steaming can make dishes taste more fresh and delicious. It can retain various nutrients in the food and reduce nutrient loss to a large extent. Therefore, it is widely used for cooking a variety of ingredients.

Cooking Utensils Used

Chinese people steam food by using bamboo steamers, which can be stacked one on top of the other, allowing several kinds of foods to be cooked at once, thus saving time and fuel.

Dishes requiring the most cooking time are placed on the bottom layer near the boiling water, while those requiring less are placed on the top layer. The water should be kept at a slow boil until the food is done.

Famous Steamed Dishes

The most famous examples of steaming are dim sum, dumplings, buns, and steamed fish.

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