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Chinese menus info Tips and Information

Chinese menus info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


chinese menus info

Chinese meals always consist of a soup a rice noodle or bread dish a vegetable dish and at least two other dishes which may be mainly meat fish or chicken. The meal may be preceded and concluded with tea but during the meal itself soup will be the only beverage. Soup is drunk not as a first course as it is in the West but throughout the meal. The exception to this is a banquet when soup if it is served at all comes at the end of the meal or as a palatecleanser at several points durihg the dinner. On such occasions winb spirits beer or even fruit juice will be drunk with the food. At banquets (which are really elaborate dinner parties) dishes are served one at a time so that the individual qualities of each dish can be properly savoured. There may be as many as eight to twelve courses. Rice will not be served except at the end of the meal when fried rice might be offered to anyone who has any appetite left.
At ordinary family meals all the dishes comprising the meal are served together including the soup. The food is placed in the centre of the table. Each person has his own rice bowl into which he puts a generous amount of steamed rice. Then using his chopsticks he helps himself to a little of one dish transferring this to his rice bowl. Once he has eaten this together with some rice he will have a chopstick full of another dish. No Chinese would dream of heaping his rice bowl with what he regarded as his full share of any dish before proceeding to eat. Eating is a communal affair and each diner will take care to see that everyone else at the table is receiving a fair share of everything.
Of course you can eat Chinese food any way you like. I think it blends deliciously with many European dishes and when you are new to Chinese cooking you may find it easier to familiarise yourself with the cuisine by trying out just one or two dishes at a time and incorporating them into a nonChinese menu. Chinese soups; for example make excellent starters and stirfried vegetables are delicious with grills and roasts.
When you do devise an allChinese meal try to see that you have a good mix of textures flavours colours and shapes. Apart from a staple dish such as steamed rice you should opt for a variety of meat poultry and fish. It is better to serve one meat and one fish dish rather than two meat dishes even if the meats are different. It will also be a betterbalanced meal (and easier to prepare) if you use a variety of cooking methods. Serve a stirfried dish with a braised steamed or cold dish. Its important to try to select one or two things which can be prepared in advance. Avoid doing more than two stirfried dishes which will make for frantic activity at the last minute.

Table setting
You dont need any special crockery or cutlery for serving Chinese food although I think it tastes infinitely better when it is eaten with chopsticks rather than a fork. Knives are definitely unnecessary since Chinese food is always cut into bitesized pieces before it is served. Each person will need a rice bowl a soup bowl a teacup if you are serving tea and a small plate for any bones or debris. A gmall dish or saucer each will also be needed if you are having any dipping sauces. Soup or cereal bowls will do for the rice and soup. Chopsticks are usually set to the right of the rice bowl where a knife would normally be put. A spoon metal or china will be needed for soup and as an adjunct to chopsticks for noodles.
The Chinese always help themselves (and others) to the food using their own chopsticks. Some people provide separate serving chopsticks but these are usually abandoned in the enthusiasm of eating.

Using chopsticks
Using chopsticks just takes a little practice and the hungrier you are the quicker you learn.
1 Put one chopstick into the crook of your hand between your thumb and first finger holding the chopstick about twothirds the way up from the thinner end. Let it rest on your third finger.
2 Put the second chopstick between your thumb and forefinger so that its tip is level with the first chopstick below.
3 Keep the lower chopstick steady and move the top one tp pick up food.
When eating rice and other tricky morsels it is perfectly acceptable to lift your rice bowl under your chin and shovel rice into your mouth with your chopsticks. The Chinese do this all the time.

What to drink
If you want to be authentic serve soup with your Chinese meals. If you prefer you could serve tea preferably Chinese tea which is drunk without milk and sugar. There are three different types of Chinese tea. Green or unfermented tea is made from green leaves which when infused result in a pale yellowish tea with a refreshing astringent taste. Black tea is made from fermented black leaves and is red when infused. It has a hearty robust flavour. Oolong tea is made from partially fermented leaves and is strong and dark. Of all these I think green jasmine tea is the nicest with food. (Do not confuse any of these teas with China tea which is a tea blended for the British market.)
Chinese wines are usually made from fermented rice the most famous being Shaoxing which is also used for cooking. It has a very different flavour from wine made from grapes and is rather an acquired taste. Many European wines go very well with Chinese food particularly dry whites and light reds. In recent years whiskey and cognac have become very popular with the more affluent Hong Kong Chinese who drink these neat with their meals.

Menus and servings
Throughout this book I have given some suggestions about what accompanying dishes would go with a particular recipe. There is of course no need to stick rigidly to these ideas. Although most Chinese meals consist of at least three dishes rice and soup I recommend that you concentrate on achieving success with relatively few dishes until you become more familiar with Chinese cooking techniques and with the recipes themselves. Chefs apart the Chinese themselves would not expect to be proficient in cooking the real delicacies of their cuisine. These they would order in a restaurant and would not attempt at home. (The Chinese who live in towns and cities eat out a great deal although many restaurants are very humble simple places.)
Chinese cooking can be very time consuming. The recipes in this book are based on the expectation that you will cook two meat chicken or fish dishes per meal. (This is in addition to a vegetable dish rice or noodles and probably a soup.) This way the total meat chicken and fish allowance per head will be about 8 oz (175225 g) .If you prefer to cook just one such dish then you will probably have to double the quantities given in the recipe. Doing this at least means you will have a chance to try the authentic taste of Chinese food without quite so muchwork. Once yougain confidence you will be able to cope with preparing more dishes and be able to serve a more authentic Chinese meal.

Here are some suggestions for a variety of menus:

1. Everyday family meals (for 4)
Tomato Eggflower Soup
Steamed Fish with Garlic Spring Onions and Ginger
Stir fried Beef with Orange
Lettuce with Oyster Sauce
Steamed Rice

Kidney and Beancurd Soup
Stir fried Minced Pork
Cold Marinaded Bean Sprouts
Stir fried Ginger Broccoli
Steamed Rice

Beef Noodle Soup
Fried Wuntun
Stir fried Cucumbers with Hot Spices
Peaches in Honey Syrup
(This menu is for a light lunch or supper.)

Curried Sweetcorn Soup with Chicken
Five Spiced Spareribs
Fried Fish with Ginger
Cold Spicy Noodles
Stir fried Mange tout with Waterchestnuts

2. Summer dinner parties (for 6)
Sesame Prawn Toast
Chinese Chicken Salad
Stir fried Pork with Spring Onions
Stir fried Spinach with Garlic
Steamed Rice
Fruit Compote

Cold Spicy Noodles
Chicken Pieces in Black Bean Sauce
Stir fried Scallops with Pigs Kidneys
Cold Sweet and Sour Chinese Leaves
Fresh Fruit

3. Winter dinner parties (for 6)
Hot and Sour Soup
Sichuan Prawns in Chilli Sauce
Five Spice Red Braised Pigeons
Braised Cauliflower with Oyster Sauce
Steamed Rice


Wuntun Soup
Curried Chicken with Peppers
Peking Braised Lamb
Braised Spicy Aubergines
Steamed Rice

Prawn Crackers
Mongolian Hot Pot
Stir fried Pork with Spring Onions (optional)

Special dinner or banquet (for 6 to 8)

This menu should be attempted when you feel reasonably competent at Chinese cooking. It takes quite a lot of preparation and you will find it easier to manage the whole meal if you have already experimented with the individual dishes. It is designed so that each dish is served as a separate course.

Caramel Walnuts
Sweetcorn Soup with Crabmeat
Rainbow Beef in Lettuce Leaves or Peking Duck with Chinese Pancakes
Stir fried Mange tout with Waterchestnuts
Braised Pork with Beancurd
Fresh Fruit
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