May be China and India doesn’t have good business terms but both these countries have good food terms. And, this can be clearly shown with the love for Chinese food in India. No matter how much we hate China but we cannot hate the Chinese food items which have become the part and parcel of our life. The fast food has been so much in the heart and soul of India that it has become Indian almost. Do you know that the Chinese foods that we eat are much more Indinized? If you don’t know this then this blog is going to tell you a little more about your favourite Chinese cuisine.
All about Chinese Meal
A typical Chinese meal will have two things – a carbohydrate or starch like noodles, rice or buns, and accompanying stir fries or dishes of veggies, fish and meat. They use a lot of fresh vegetables like mushroom, water chestnuts, bamboo and even tofu. In North China, wheat-based accompaniments like noodles and steamed buns dominate the table, in contrast to South China where rice is a favourite. The short-grain sticky rice, grown throughout Southern China, is absolutely irresistible.
The most interesting point to note about the Chinese food is that, each and every food is focused on the three things appearance, aroma, and taste. They pay a lot of attention to the aesthetic appearance of the food with diversified colours. Sauces and seasonings like fish sauce, five spice powder, oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, root garlic, fresh ginger and others are used generously to offer a complex play of flavour and aroma.
The 8 Culinary Traditions of China
Chinese cuisine is as diverse as their culture where every region writes up a new menu. Cooking styles, ingredients, flavours – all differ from region to region. The most prominent regional cuisines in China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang.
Cantonese cuisine is famous all over the world for its distinctive style. Most dishes are steamed and stir-frying which makes it healthy and non-greasy. Here the dishes are tender, slightly sweet and with a mellow fragrance.
Shandong cuisine originated in East China and mostly features seafood as it is a coastal province. You’ll find scallops, prawns, clams, sea cucumbers and just about everything on the menu. They heavily rely on salty flavours.
Zhejiang cuisine also thrives on seafood, but focuses more on soft, fresh flavours. Their food is known to have a delicate appearance. They are also fond of using bamboo shoots. This province is famous as the ‘land of milk and honey’.
Similarly, the dishes from Jiangsu region are known for their soft texture. Back in the day, it was a prominent part of ancient China’s royal cuisine. Their dishes offer a balance of sweet and salty tastes.
Szechuan cuisine stands out due to the bold, pungent and spicy flavours. The use of Sichuan peppercorn is what makes it unique. This one is for those of you who love the sting.
Anhui cuisine uses a wide variety of herbs and vegetables, especially, fresh bamboo and mushrooms. It also uses a lot of wild herbs to enhance the flavour and aroma.
Fujian cuisine is often served in a broth or soup using cooking styles like braising, stewing, steaming and boiling. The most notable features of this cuisine are – the use of fresh ingredients from the mountains and sea, soup making and a a lot of focus on seasonings.
Hunan cuisine is well known for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. This province is popularly known as the ‘land of fish and rice’. It is renowned for its stews, but their cuisine also features a lot of braised and baked dishes.
Indianization of the Chinese Cuisine
Now, here comes the main topic. Indian Chinese cuisine is known to have started its journey in Kolkata where a small Chinese community has lived for over a century and has made its way into everyone’s heart. It is an adaptation of the Chinese sauces, seasoning and certain cooking techniques like steaming and stir-frying. A lot of street food vendors and restaurants serve what is known as the Hakka cuisine with prominent dishes like Manchurian, American Chop Suey, Sweet and Sour, Chow Mein and others. These have similar textures but different flavours due to the use of certain Indian ingredients.
A crisp appetizer where shredded veggies are encased in thin sheets and then fried golden.
Stir Fried Tofu with Rice
A simple stir-fry with tofu and Oriental sauces. Serve with some fried rice to make a wholesome meal.
Pancakes are like a blank canvas, ever so versatile. Chinese pancakes are usually made with dough instead of using a batter.
Wok Tossed Veggies in Honey and Black Bean Glaze
A colourful melange of veggies like chestnuts, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage – all tossed in honey and black bean sauce.
Shitake Fried Rice with Water Chestnuts
Mushrooms and water chestnuts are used frequently in Chinese cooking. A dish that is fast, filling and flavourful.
Small bite-sized rounds stuffed with veggies or meat. This essentially a Cantonese preparation and a favourite street food of India now.
Hot and Sour Soup
A soup with a spicy and sour broth. It is made spicy by using red peppers or white pepper and sour with vinegar.
One of the staples in every Chinese home, this version is super speedy. Just bung in all your favourites and create a masterpiece of your own.
Szechwan Chilli Chicken
A fiery delight straight from the Sichuan region. It is loaded with pungent spices like brown pepper. red chillies, ginger, green chillies and white pepper.
Chicken with Chestnuts
This earthy recipe is perfect for a holiday feast.
I know you too are in love with Chinese food like me. These Indian fusions of Chinese foods will definitely give you food goals. Getting associated with a Chinese food business can also help you to earn a lot. You can partner with The Chopstick Buddies and give your passion true wings. They are offering Chinese food franchise at a low rate. You can partner with them and can enter this big business world.