Chinese cuisine is incredibly versatile. There are so many different flavors, and the ingredients used to make these dishes blend well together to make an experience like no other. It’s no wonder why this cuisine is so popular; the variety of flavors and cooking styles mean that regardless of the occasion, there is always a combination of Chinese dishes that can satisfy everyone’s preferences.
But what exactly draws so many people to this particular cuisine? Off the top of our heads, here are some reasons behind everyone’s love for Chinese food.
Balancing The Five Main Flavors
According to traditional Chinese medicine, each dish must incorporate five key flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy. Since there are so many notes to consider, the different areas in China are known for different flavors: the northern cuisine is salty, southern minority cuisine is sour, Sichuan dishes are spicy, and Hong Kong cuisine is either sweet or savory.
Differing Specialties Between North and South
Due to the difference in weather, people living in the northern part of China have a different food preparation process and eating habits from those who reside in the southern areas. The north, which is colder and drier, heavily favors wheat production. This means that northerners specialize in preparing and eating wheat noodles, dumplings, steamed buns, and stuffed buns.
In the south, the Chinese eat more rice or rice noodles, accompanied by a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eating A Wide Variety of Moving Things
A lot of Chinese dishes include animal parts that foreigners do not usually eat, such as insects, rats, scorpions, snakes, pig’s ears, dog hotpot, boiled blood, and other unique meat items.
Eating Lots of Vegetables
The Chinese eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than in the West. This means that they have around twice as much dietary fiber, which results in bowel movements that are twice the size of their Western counterparts.
Accommodating Lots Of Different Produce
It isn’t just about the number of vegetables that go into Chinese cuisine; the country has a lot of produce that you may not have ever seen or heard of before. This includes pomelos, tree fungi, yard-long yams, bitter cucumber, and a dozen more weed-like plants that go into their dishes.
Ensuring Meat and Produce Is Always Fresh
Chinese traditional medicine dictates that food needs to be eaten in season so that people can balance out an overdose of yin (cold weather) and yang (hot weather). This is why China has so many wet markets, to the point where one can be located per city block.
Many Chinese nationals take a quick trip to pick out live or freshly-butchered animals as well as some freshly-picked produce for the rest of their day. While fridge freezers are quickly catching on, fresh vegetables remain a top priority.
Eating The Entire Animal
The Chinese do not like producing waste, so whole animals are often served or separated into different portions so that the other parts can be used later. They believe that the meat near the bones is the best and that marrow is very nutritious, so all bones are chopped to splinters to release the marrow and are typically used in bone broth.
Chopping Food Into Bite-Sized Pieces
The Chinese do not eat with knives and forks since this is perceived as a barbaric practice. Their preferred utensils are chopsticks—and to accommodate this, all food is either very soft or chopped into bite-sized pieces before cooking.
These are just some reasons why Ocean Palace is dedicated to serving Chinese Cuisine to people around the Houston area. Since the Chinese dining experience is incredibly unique, its appeal has quickly become a staple restaurant fixture in cities all over the world. By knowing a bit more about this beautiful culture, you can truly appreciate just why Chinese food is among the best in the world.
Are you looking for the top Chinese restaurant in Houston to give you that proper Chinese dining experience? Ocean Palace is the one you’re looking for! While our restaurant serves a variety of Chinese dishes, we’re particularly known for serving great dim sum. Book a table today and try out our food for yourself!