Chinese cuisine is distinctive in the very same manner in which the people of China are.
The Chinese are a very ritualistic people, by ancient tradition, and their eating mannerisms follow suit as such. There are forms and patterns to respect and follow when preparing, serving, and taking tea and the same goes for meals.
Take something as simple (for most of the world anyway) as serving tea, for instance.
You don’t just boil some water, plop in a tea bag or two, wait a few minutes, and then take your tea.
You carefully and mindfully go through precise steps, repeated the same way by Chinese tea servers dating back into ancient antiquity, and when the tea ritual is finished, you serve your guests the tea with mindful, careful attention.
More on tea later, but it’s time to get into a typical traditional day of dining, the Chinese way. First up, let’s “break the fast” after a good night’s sleep and a morning wake-up cup of tea.
Now, if you are an American, who usually reaches for eggs, bacon, coffee and toast for breakfast, visiting China as a guest, you will have to acquire a new taste for their first morning meal preferences.
The Chinese (almost all Asian peoples, actually) traditionally eat quite differently than Westerners for breakfast, and the hands down most common meal in China is a fairly simple porridge, called “Jook”.
In Northern China, where soybeans are prevalent, the porridge will be soy-based, and in Southern China, where most of the rice paddies are, the porridge base will be of course, rice.
The Chinese are also famous for their very spicy schezuan dishes, like this schezuan stir-fried chicken-
Typically a huge serving bowl is placed in the center of the table, and everyone uses chopsticks to pick out yummy morsels and spoons to scoop portions of the porridge into their personal eating bowls.
Jook porridge, another favorite meal in China, for breakfast or lunch, an be quite varied in its composition. What goes into it will always include soybean or rice, but it can consist of a wide array of many possible other ingredients, so your Jook could be sweet, or pungent, or sweet and sour, or hot-spicy, just about anything goes.
Let’s get cooking – just reading this recipe is making me hungry!
Help yourself to some authentic and incredibly delicious Chinese Cuisine.
Please note: For your convenience, you can click on the recipes listed below and be taken directly to a page with just that one recipe on it, in printer-friendly format.
Here is the list, in alphabetical order:
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