Archive for October, 2008

MaPo ToFu from Sichuan

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Tofu is a kind of healthy food and a classic food elements that often used in chinese dishes. Foreigners may not eat Tofu very often, but when they got the chance to try Mapo Toufu once, they will never forget the delicious feeling.

Mapo Tofu is a popular chinese dish. Tofu, also called doufu or bean curd , is a food of Chinese origin, made by coagulating.

True Mapo doufu is powerfully spicy with both conventional “heat” spiciness and the characteristic “ma-la” spiciness of Szechuan cuisine. The authentic form of the dish is increasingly easier to find outside China today, but usually in Szechuanese restaurants that do not adapt the dish for non-Szechuanese tastes.

How to cook Mapo Tofu

Bring a small saucepan of water to boil

  • Blanch cubes tofu for about 4 mins
  • Rinse and drain tofu
  • Heat oil in wok and stir fry garlic and chilli for about 1 min
  • Add broad bean paste and stir fry until aromatic, about 1 more min, then stir in preserved Chinese vegetables
  • Pour in wine, add chicken or vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar & pepper, then mix to combine
  • Add tofu and capsicum, stiring carefully, then simmer over low heat for 2 mins
  • Add cornstarch mixture then stir gently until sauce thickens
  • Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve hot, garnished with chopped scallions
  • While this recipe calls for stir-frying the ingredients, in restaurants Mapo Tofu is frequently cooked with more oil (about ½ cup) and ground chilies are added - this ensures the dish is served with a layer of red hot chili oil floating on top. Feel free to adjust the recipe as desired, using more oil and adding the ground chilies with the Chinese black beans. You can also substitute ground beef for the pork if desired.

    Distinctive Features of Chinese Cooking

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

    Sometimes, a Chinese crusine is more than just delicious food, it combines the cultures inside and enjoys many distinctivel features that surprise the westerners.

    Food concerning regional matter

    China is a vast country and it is therefore no surprise that there are many regional variations in Chinese cuisine. Chinese cooking are usually broken down into five styles of regional cuisines: Peking and the north, the Yangtze River and the east, Szechuan in the west, Fukien and the southern coast, and Canton and the south.  

    It combines food with medicine

    The cooking techniques of our country are closely related to Chinese medical treatment and health care. We believe that food and traditional medicine have the same origin and actions. We can take advantage of the medicinal properties of the raw materials and turn them into all kinds of food, thereby accomplishing the purpose of preventing and curing certain diseases.

    It pays attention to temperament and interest

    The cooking of our country has placed an emphasis on taste and interest since very early time. It not only has strict requirements on the color, fragrance and flavor of meals and snacks, but also has certain requirements for the naming of dishes, the manner of tasting the flavor, the rhythm of having dinner and the insertion of entertainment. The names of Chinese dishes can be called reaching for perfection and suiting both refined and popular tastes.

     Let’s just name a few, to discover more interesting cooking art and styles, please stayed tuned and pay attention to my blog often.

    Chinese Tea and Chinese Wine

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

    The Chinese wine is different from wine of Occident, the wine of Occident was made by the fruit; Chinese wine was made by the grain. The Chinese wine is known as Chinese liquor too. For the most part, grains were used to ferment wine throughout China in ancient times. Thus, whether or not the grain harvest was bountiful became a criterion by which successive governments decided whether to lift their ban on wine making or how heavy a wine tax to levy. Over the ages, wine gradually became directly linked to the daily life and tax burden of the people.

    In China History, Chinese can express the miss, commemorate, cherish the memory, the friendship, etc. emotions through the wine. The wine makes the atmosphere warm, enable relax in the heart, make the distance between people and people close, has promoted mutual understanding. So the wine is the articles expressing the emotion in China.

    Not only the Chinese wine have refined names in the beverage, Chinese Tea is more graceful than the Chinese wine, but Chinease tea can’t replace the status of wine, not merely because the Chinese wine is elegant, Chinese tea is fresh and cool, also because the Chinese wine is lively, Chinese tea is exclusiveness.

    Chinese tea and Chinese wine is a pair of good friends. The person who the drink tea might not drink wine, the person drinking will certainly drink tea. As a kind of food culture, Chinese wine has already blent into the old civilization of Chinese nation; as the necessities of the Chinese people’s lives, Chinese wine has already blent into the blood of social life. 

    Chinese Tea  is the Chinese drink of drinks. Tea is a symbol of earthly purity. It’s reparation calls for the most fastidious cleanliness from the time of picking and drying of the leaves to the final infusion and drinking. Tea is easily spoilt by the slightest contamination of oily hand or cups, or scent. It must therefore be kept away from scent of any kind. It has been pointed out that tea resembles the recluse and is for quit company. It can only be enjoyed in an atmosphere where there is no ostentation or suggestion of luxury.

    It is said that wine can be enjoyed with sing-song girls, but not tea.For more than a thousand years tea drinking has given the greatest pleasure in Chinese life. it is for more than just quenching of thirst. It is for relaxation in quiet company. With children or babies crying or people quarreling it would be impossible to enjoy the tea. The atmosphere for drinking should be such that it leads to quiet contemplation and to the realms of the immortals. this is exactly what a scholar of the seventh century A.D. said. He wrote about his tea drinking pleasure.