There are so many cuisines all over the world, and they all have significant historical and cultural meanings to many people. So, tasting food from various cuisines and cultures can be a great way to connect to various people and learn about the world that surrounds you, as long as you’re respectful and kind towards others. Also, cooking authentic food from different cultures can help you gain new skills and learn how to appreciate new things. Chinese food has been popular in the West for decades, which is no surprise since it’s delicious and full of nutrients.
So, for that reason, here are some beginners tips that will help you master cooking authentic Chinese food.
1. Find recipes that match your skills
If you’re not experienced in preparing various meals, it’s important to choose recipes that match your skills, otherwise, you might end up disappointed and confused. There are many recipes that are easy to make, you just need to be patient and pick the right ones. If possible, ask a friend, a relative or a partner to give you a hand so you’ll have a great time exploring this interesting cuisine.
2. Learn about Chinese cooking principles
Chinese cuisine is very specific, as it requires you to adopt certain cooking principles if you want your food to be delicious. Basically, there are 3 main cooking teachings: using fresh ingredients, preparing everything in advance, and finally, finding a proper balance between textures, flavors, and colors of the ingredients. This might seem complicated at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be ready to cook all the amazing Chinese food that you enjoy eating!
3. Prepare your vegetables on time
Vegetables are essential items in Chinese cuisine, which is why important to prepare them ahead. So, before you start cooking, make sure that all the vegetables are washed, cut, and placed on a tray in front of you so you won’t forget about them. Additionally, washing leafy greens beforehand will help them drain and get dry, so they won’t be soggy once you decide to stir-fry them.
4. Get all the necessary equipment
You don’t need to buy new equipment, but you should at least own a wok, so if you don’t have it, then getting a new one will certainly help you master cooking Chinese food. Of course, you can use your regular frying pan to stir-fry, but a quality wok will help spread the heat evenly, and they need less oil than a regular deep frier. Preparing food from the traditional Chinese dishes list will be more fun and successful if you have all the necessary equipment. There are numerous places that sell affordable cooking tools, so make sure to get the ones that match your budget.
5. Learn how to stir-fry the ingredients
The majority of Chinese food is stir-fried, so if you don’t know how it’s done, be sure to learn this skill before you start cooking. In Chinese cuisine, the toughest and thickest vegetables are always stir-friend first, while softer, leafy ones come second. And in case you’re unsure where to start, then feel free to stir-fry them separately, and remember that overcooking is a big no in Chinese cuisine. Make sure that your wok is hot enough before you decide to put vegetables in.
6. Seasoning matters the most
Some cuisines are bland in nature, while Chinese food needs a lot of spices and herbs in order to make the food taste great. In China, ginger, garlic, star anise, and chilli are common ingredients so skipping them probably won’t work for you. Also, it’s recommended to use fresh ginger instead of powdered one, since Chinese cuisine relies heavily on fresh ingredients and spices.
Preparing Chinese food requires a level of expertise and patience, so if you don’t feel ready to do everything on your own, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Also, find the recipes that are easy enough for you, and make sure all the ingredients are fresh and prepared in advance. Finally, remember that stir-frying properly and using all the right spices and equipment will be of great help, just be sure to start slowly and prepare food that you personally enjoy eating.