A lot of the Chinese cooking ingredients
may sound strange and foreign to you, but don't worry,
they're not that 'weird'... With a history of over
5,000 years, Chinese cooking's about to have many
varieties of cooking ingredients - more common Chinese
cooking ingredients such as lettuce, eggplant, pork,
beef etc... Then there's the weird and tabooed Chinese
cooking ingredients like dog meat, snakes, etc..
But those 'weird' cooking ingredients
are rare in Chinese cooking.
The more common but relatively unused
Chinese cooking ingredients in common western household
include dried fungus, Chinese mushrooms, garlic stems,
flowering chives, winter melon and more.
There are way too many Chinese ingredients
to discuss them all here, so we'll just introduce
you to a few very delicious ones. If you're interested
more on this, there's an entire Chinese
cookbook package that comes with an entire book on
Chinese cooking ingredients and cooking techniques.
We'll cover 3 main categories of Chinese
cooking ingredients: Dried ingredients, Chinese vegetables,
and Chinese spices.
Chinese Cooking Ingredients
There are probably hundreds if not thousands
of dried cooking ingredients. I can't even come close
to naming them all, and for most of them, I have no
idea what their English name would be. But the 2 most
common dried Chinese cooking ingredients are dried
fungus and Chinese mushrooms.
Dried fungus - these are barely
1cm when completely dry, but after they're soaked
in hot water, they can expand to over 5 or 6 cm. Dried
fungus are best used for stir-frying. Other cooking
ingredients it goes well with include celery, tofu,
chicken, pork, onions, and more.
Before using, you should soak them in
hot water for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Dried Chinese Mushrooms - Chinese
mushrooms come in different grades, and price is usually
the best indicator. You also need to soak Chinese
mushrooms in Hot water for 10 to 15 minutes until
they're completely soft.
Chinese mushrooms can be almost used
in any type of cooking, and it goes exceptionally
well with most cooking ingredients. They do have a
strong aroma, and a slight salt taste of their own.
You can cook them in soups, stews, stir fries etc...
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