Chinese food is the generic term we use to define food from this vast country and region. However, it’s far more complex, with food history that can be traced back to the Neolithic age. Its vast geographical and cultural landscape has given birth to several schools of cuisine which include the popular Cantonese, Sichuan and Hunan cuisines. Each dynasty has had a unique influence and over the years a plethora of grains, fruits & vegetables and domesticated animals have all found their way onto the tables of Chinese homes. Intense, varied and flavourful, the world has just begun to scratch the surface of China’s food culture.
Chinese food is considered one of the three original world cuisines and has played a huge role in influencing cuisines across the world. When it comes to the flavour profile of Chinese cuisine itself, the answer is far from simple. Rice is at the centre of it all and the key to great Chinese food lies in creating a harmony of flavours. These flavours were developed through learning over the ages, with the development of cultivation, various preservation techniques and even invention. It’s safe to say that Chinese cuisine is a true flavour influencer.
Chinese cuisine is nothing without soy sauce. Then come rice wine, vinegar, oyster sauce, fermented bean paste, five spice powder, dried red chili peppers and peanut or sesame oil. As the schools of cuisine change, more unique ingredients are added to this mix including fried tofu, Sichuan pepper corns and dried Shitake mushrooms. These basic ingredients are used to cook meat and vegetables that are usually served with rice or noodles.
The most popular Chinese dishes are the ones that are very familiar to everyone worldwide. Dim sum, fried rice, Kung Pao Chicken, hotpots, Peking Duck, congee, noodle soups, the list is quite endless. Chinese cuisine has also found contemporary interpretations but the classics remain some of the most popular dishes in the world.
Mr. Wong – Highly rated and serving vegan and gluten – free options, Mr. Wong in Sydney serves up Cantonese style food with specialties that include Peking Duck, Kung Pao chicken and a variety of dim sum.
Ruyi Modern Chinese – Serving up a modern contemporary take of the traditional is Ruyi in Melbourne. Ruyi’s main attraction is their dumplings but the word most often used to describe them is ‘interesting’. This is most probably in reference to their modern takes like the barramundi fillet steamed with a fragrant broth and the Peking duck bao.
White + Wongs – Fresh, fast Asian street food is what White + Wongs is known for. With restaurants in Auckland and Queenstown, their specialties include whole Peking Ducks, BBQ Pork buns and a wok - fried beef fillet.