What are dan dan noodles? Dan dan noodles are a traditional Sichuan noodle dish that is spicy and full of bold flavors. It originated from street vendors in the Sichuan province of China, who would carry the noodles in baskets to sell to those walking …
Put down the takeout menu and cook up some Chinese recipes at home. Making takeout classics as well as authentic Chinese food is simple and a much healthier alternative than ordering out, and tastier too!
Ingredients in Chinese cuisine
There are a few basic ingredients you’ll need to get started with. Ginger, garlic, and green onions are essential aromatics that will be found in most recipes. There are tons of sauces, but there are five that make their way into recipes over and over again, and they are light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, and oyster sauce.
In addition to those flavors, dried chili peppers (or chili powder), white peppercorns and five-spice powder, which is made up of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and Sichuan peppercorns, are also essential seasonings.
Because of the large difference in climate throughout China, rice is a staple for people in southern China because the warmer climate is ideal for growth. Flour-based foods like noodles, jiaozi (a type of dumpling), and steamed buns are widely consumed in Northern China because it’s colder and drier.
Some unique vegetables used in stir-frys, soups, and noodle dishes include baby corn, bok choy, snow peas, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, lotus roots, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots to name a few.
Westernized Chinese Food
Most Chinese food that we have come to love in America, like General Tso’s chicken, crab rangoons, and fortune cookies, are actually not authentic to Chinese cooking. In fact, any deep-fried foods, especially ones smothered in sauce, you will not find in China at all.
Eight regional cuisines in China
China is a huge country with lots of history, geography, and climate. Each region has slightly different attributes based on those factors and the availability of resources. The most popular cuisines you’ve probably come across are Cantonese, Sichuan, and Hunan. Some of the lesser-known types are Fujian, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, and Anhui. I will provide a taste of each of these styles in future Chinese recipes posts!