Chinese Cooking Methods
The methods of Chinese cooking are:
Stir-frying is perhaps the best known of the three methods.
It involves quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil,
tossing and turning the food during the cooking. Stir-frying can
be done in a Chinese wok or any non-stick frying pan.
With this method, meats stay juicy and tender and vegetables come
out slightly crisp with all their vitamins intact.
There are variations, of course, but the basic pattern for many Chinese
dishes is to pre-heat the pan or wok ( a drop of water will sizzle when
it's hot enough), add the oil and heat it, stir-fry the meat, remove it,
stir-fry the vegetables, return the meat to the pan, add sauce and
seasonings, thicken the sauce and serve. Since stir-frying is a
last-minute operation, don't plan more than two stir-fry dishes in
In some Chinese dishes, the meats are deep-fried in a light batter for a
crunchy outer coating, then stir-fried together with vegetables and
Deep-frying involves more oil and higher temperatures. The right oil
temperature is the most important thing. An electric deep-fryer with temperature controls is the best for this method of Chinese cooking. If you deep-fry in awok, test thmperature is right. It the food sinks, the oil is not hot enough. If the food becomes brown immediately, the oil is too hot.
Chinese foods are also steamed. The Chinese steam food in steamer -
woven bamboo trays, stacked one atop of the other. Using this
method, all kinds of foods can be prepared at the same time:
meats, fish, vetetables, dumplings, buns stuffed with meat or
steamed bread. For best result, first boil the water, then put the
foods into the steamer and always keep the water boiling.
Steaming is a very healthy way of cooking, since it does not
use any oil and foods keeps their nutrients.
Stews are meat cooked in itself together with herbs and spices. For
variety, some also choose to add vegetable chunks. Traditionally, stews
are usually cooked in an earthenware pot, called sanspot,
over a slow charcoal fire for a very long time. It is cooked until
the meat is very tender in texture.
This is how Peking Ducks are made! It is often done in large ovens over
a high temperature. This method is more commonly used in restaurants
rather than regular households. Cha Siu meat is an example
of quick roasting of poultry.