As one of the most popular cuisines in the whole world, Chinese cuisine offers a lot of varied and rich flavors that makes it a favorite not only among locals, but also among foreigners. In addition to the exciting flavors, the generally healthy aspect of Chinese food depends on the method of cooking that is used. Steaming, boiling, stir-frying are cooking techniques applied to many of the dishes and these are viewed as healthier than deep frying and baking which are prevalent in American cooking. Below is a look at the essential components of a traditional Chinese meal or diet, which you can easily incorporate into your own meals for a healthier diet.
Grains are a staple food of Chinese people. However the type of grain consumed is different depending on location. Chinese in the north are known to mostly consume wheat, which they put into bread, noodles, and steamed buns while those in the south are known to consume rice. Rice is usually steamed and is served in bowls, while the noodles come in different sizes and textures and are used in soups or fried toppings.
Also called bean curd, tofu is a soy-based product that the Chinese use as a substitute for meat products or for cheese. It is inexpensive and is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and served in a number of ways. Pickled tofu, mango tofu, egg tofu, and fried tofu are only some of the forms in which the Chinese prepare tofu. With its low amount of calories and fat, and high content of iron and minerals, tofu is considered highly nutritious – a good alternative to other fatty protein sources.
The Chinese are one of the first people to cultivate and drink tea, which is enjoyed by people from all social classes. There are different varieties of tea available depending on the region that produced it. Tea is commonly enjoyed with dim sum or desserts, but can also be taken alongside a meal or after it.