The regional cuisines of Chinese cooking (Part 1 of 4)

Written by Helen Fan

With China coveringrepparttar immense land within its boundaries, it is no surprise that there are many regional variations in Chinese cuisine. Traditionally, Chinese cooking is divided into five styles of regional cuisines. It is headed byrepparttar 148998 3 great schools of Peking torepparttar 148999 north, Szechuan torepparttar 149000 west, and Chekiang-Kiangsu torepparttar 149001 east. Fukien and Canton, of lesser importance coverrepparttar 149002 southern region.

Peking:repparttar 149003 northern cuisine

The northern China presents a great contrast torepparttar 149004 rest ofrepparttar 149005 country. The North China Plain, edged by mountains torepparttar 149006 north, stretches away inrepparttar 149007 west torepparttar 149008 borders of Inner Mongolia, and is crossed byrepparttar 149009 infamous Yellow River . Due to its location,repparttar 149010 climate is harsh for much ofrepparttar 149011 year. The spring is dry and dusty,repparttar 149012 summer is hot and wet, andrepparttar 149013 fall is calm, dry, and sunny, whilerepparttar 149014 winter is long and freezing cold. It is dramatically subject to drought fromrepparttar 149015 failure ofrepparttar 149016 late spring rains and to flood whenrepparttar 149017 Yellow River, for centuries unstable in its bed, floods over intorepparttar 149018 low-lying countryside. Thus,repparttar 149019 lives and diets ofrepparttar 149020 people living in this region are dictated by these seasons.

Wheat isrepparttar 149021 staple food, as opposed to rice inrepparttar 149022 rest of China, due torepparttar 149023 harsh climate making it unsuitable to grow rice. Wheat flour is used to make dumplings, breads, steamed buns, noodles and large Chinese biscuits/pancakes. Meat is much more of a luxury up here, mostly eaten during festival times. Mutton and lamb are popular, most likely due torepparttar 149024 influence ofrepparttar 149025 neighboring Mongolians. Most northern family meals are dominated by vegetable dishes for economical reasons. Chinese cabbage isrepparttar 149026 most popular vegetable, as it is most suited to be stored overrepparttar 149027 winter. Dishes in general are much more plain, solid and nourishing. Soy sauce is used very generously. The use of leeks, onions, garlic, salted and pickled vegetables such as turnips, white radish and cabbages are important items in a rather monotonous diet.

Wok this Way! (Part 1 of 5)

Written by Helen Fan


Woks have been synonymous with Chinese cooking sincerepparttar emergence of Chinese cuisine. They have been used for some 3000 years in China for a variety of cooking methods, including stir frying, boiling, and steaming. A wok is a large, thin-walled, round-bottomed, metal cooking pan, and shaped like a shallow bowl with handles. The addition of a wooden rack and cover transformsrepparttar 148997 wok into a steamer. Although woks come in sizes ranging from 10 to 32 inches in diameter, a wok that's 11 to 14 inches should suffice for use in a household kitchen.

Withrepparttar 148998 increasing popularity of Chinese cuisine, there are now many “Westernized” versions ofrepparttar 148999 wok. There isrepparttar 149000 addition of a metal ring, which is set on top of a gas or electric stove to holdrepparttar 149001 wok to prevent tipping. Some have a small flat bottom instead ofrepparttar 149002 traditional round bottom, forrepparttar 149003 same reason. The new versions will getrepparttar 149004 job done, butrepparttar 149005 "traditonal" large round-bottomed woks are still, by far,repparttar 149006 preferred wok of choice.

Sincerepparttar 149007 essence of Chinese cuisine

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