In its traditional dishes, which are renowned for their perfect balance of flavors, China uses an infinite variety of meats, vegetables and spices. The vastness of this empire has given rise to various culinary arts, which depend greatly on the region. They are adapted to the climates of those regions that divide the territory into four parts: Canton, the Northeast region, Sichuan and the Shanghai region.
Canton uses a variety of natural ingredients, which are sautéed or steamed. This southern region regularly flavors its dishes with ginger or soy sauce. Cantonese cuisine is the best known in Western countries, where it is considered to be the best in China.
The Northeast region, where the capital of Beijing is located, has a harsher climate but boasts delicious dishes, such as the famous Peking duck. The cuisine of Beijing was formerly called 'Mandarin cuisine' or 'imperial cuisine' and it is, indeed, in the capital where you can find the famous Forbidden City and the home of the Emperors.
In Sichuan, in the center of the country, the food is hotter and spicier. Sichuan pepper, which is a slightly lemony spice, is used in almost all of the region's dishes. The high consumption of chili suits the hot and humid climate of the region.
In the region of the megacity of Shanghai, the ingredients are slowly braised to create delectable dishes of fresh meat and fish. Sugar is added in large quantities but you cannot really notice it. The dishes flavored with sweet and sour sauce are the stuff of legend.
In this book, '101 Delicious Chinese Recipes', I invite you to discover the simplicity and savor of the dishes of the middle kingdom. You are in for a few surprises!
About Chan Tao
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Published December 17, 2012