Have you ever had the experience that you walked into an American-based Chinese restaurant, sit down, took the menu and felt dizzy of that many choices?
Let’s see what a typical menu looks like:
Chicken with Nuts
Chicken with Broccoli
Chicken with Bean curd
Chicken with Mushroom
Well, even me feel nowhere to go now. Before I came to USA, I have never heard about chicken with nuts or broccoli. Plus, I think the essence of Chinese cooking style is not about chicken with something, rather the diverse ways of cooking, such as steamed, boiled, baked with salt, braised with soysauce……We prefer to go with simple ways instead of adding too many ingredients in one dish, so the flavor of chicken won’t be covered.
Additionally, a good restaurant won’t offer you all the kinds of cooking styles, why? Because Chinese cuisine has a number of different genres, and typically known as 8 cuisines (as I circled in the Chinese Map below).The essential factors that establish the form of a genre are complex and include history, cooking features, geography, climate, resources and life styles. For example, the spicy Mapo Tofu comes from Sichuan cuisine since Sichuan abounds in Chilli and hot pepper. So, a good place to eat always have its own style and established features.
Here are some food that I enjoyed during my last trip to China.
Rice noodle with pork & cilantro
Grilled pork bun
Golden fired rice
Beef seasoned with soy sauce
Sauteed yellow bean, this usually comes as an appetizer
Eggplant with shrimp seasoned by tomato sauce