Chinese Cooking – The Fab Four, Who Are The Cooking Experts?

By: JohnBarnes

The schools for Chinese cooking are classified into four types based on their region. They are the western, eastern, southern and northern. Each is distinct and unique from the others.

The best school for Chinese cooking does with the northern school. Refined cooking is integrated with the northern school. The refine cooking is done at the palace kitchens. Muslim and Mongolian dishes are also included. The credit for the famed noodles, the use of pancakes as a replacement of rice and streamed bread goes to this region of cooking. Pan frying, stir frying, barbequing, and braising are the different styles of cooking done here. Star anise, garlic, chives, sweet bean sauces and leeks are their favorite seasonings. Moo Shu Pork along with Mandarin pancakes is their signature dish.

The eastern region for Chinese cooking is also referred to as the Heaven on Earth. It also has the other name stating it as the Land of rice and fish. This region is very famous for its vegetarian dishes with delicate, refined flavors. Particular rice wines and soy sauces add fame to this region. The favorite cooking style of the eastern region is the red cooking. The red cooking style involves a little moisture for cooking and it is usually a slow process. In other words it is called braising. The braising is done with soy sauce as a base mixture, stir frying, quick simmering, and steaming. Vegetarian Dumplings and Cinnamon Beef Noodles are the signature dishes for the eastern region.

The western school for Chinese cooking is broadly known as the Land of Abundance. This region of cooking is the spiciest of all. The cooked food of this region is the hottest of all and is always tongue tingling. The cooking style is generally different that blends all kinds of tastes such as the sweet, salt, sour and creates some hotness over the dish. Condiments and flavorings are done in this region of cooking. Like the other regions, this one too has its own favorite seasonings. Peppercorns, chilies, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, nuts, bamboo shoots and mushrooms are the different seasonings. Fried chicken that is cooked in the Sichuan style stir with peanuts added is the signature dish of this region.

The southern cooking has its own way. It combines the Cantonese cooking with the simultaneous addition of elements from the west. In general the Cantonese cooking is viewed as a method that had originated in the alien world and introduced later to this region. Dum Sum, otherwise called snacks, is very famous in this region of cooking. Excellent techniques and ingredients are employed in this type of cooking. Hoisin barbequed chicken, steamed salmon served with sauce made from black bean, shrimp fried rice and stir fried broccoli served with oyster sauce are the signature dishes of this region.

Chinese cooking also need the stocking of certain food items in the pantry as their methods require so. Sauce or chili paste, Black vinegar, dark sesame oil, salted black or fermented beans, dried Chinese mushrooms, dried chili peppers, ginger, rice wine, oyster sauce, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and plum sauce. Black vinegar is generally lighter and a bit sweeter than the western vinegar, Chinese mushrooms are the black or shitake mushrooms. The ingredients are available in the supermarkets, Asian markets and also online. There are specifications printed on the ingredients whether it should be refrigerated or not after opening and the same should be followed.