HRM 116 – ASIAN CUISINE 1
REPORTER: PRECIOUS GRACE O. ALTUBAR
Located in Southeast Asia along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, China is the world's third largest
country, after Russia and Canada. With an area of 9.6 million square kilometers and a coastline of
18,000 kilometers, its shape on the map is like a rooster.
The Chinese themselves call their country Zhongguo, which means “Central Country” or “Middle
Chinese cuisine culture also called Chinese food culture is an important part of China culture in the
aspect of cooking and leisure.
Chinese society greatly valued gastronomy and developed an extensive study of the subject based on
its traditional medical beliefs.
General Principals of Chinese Medicinal Cooking is to balance the qi, Yin and Yang, and the body
fluids and the five taste (pungent, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty)
Yin foods are considered "cool," larger, have less salt, have potassium, and/or grow above soil.
Yang foods are "warm" or "hot," smaller, have more sodium, and/or grow below the soil.
Chinese cuisine, rich and colorful, has, as its main features diversified color, aromatic flavor, and
excellent taste. With these three characteristics, it is not only tasty but also a work of art for people to
Currently, Chinese food is easily found in every corner of the world, and it has become an impressive
and influential symbol of Chinese culture.
Chinese food, in general, is healthy and nutritious.
RICE - It is a major staple food for people from rice farming areas in southern China. Steamed rice, usually
white rice, is the most commonly eaten form. Rice is also used to produce beers, wine and vinegars. Rice is one
of the most popular foods in China and is used in many dishes. Glutinous rice ("sticky rice") is a variety of rice
used in many specialty Chinese dishes.
NOODLES - are an essential ingredient and staple in Chinese cuisine. Chinese noodles comes dry or fresh in a
variety of sizes, shapes and textures and are often served in soups or fried as toppings. Shou Mian (壽麵,
literally noodles of longevity), are symbolic of long life and good health according to Chinese tradition.
SOYBEANS - Tofu is made of soybeans and is another popular food product that supplies protein.Other
products such as soy milk, soy paste, soy oil, and fermented soy sauce are also important in Chinese cooking.
WHEAT - In wheat-farming areas in Northern China, people largely rely on flour-based food, such
as noodles, breads, jiaozi (Chinese dumplings), and mantou (steamed buns).
• bok choy (Chinese cabbage)
• Chinese spinach (dao-mieu)
• on choy ( water spinach)
• yu choy
• bitter melon
• Chinese broccoli or gailan (guy-lahn)
• bean sprouts
• pea vine tips
• fresh mustard greens
• (Western) broccoli
HERBS AND SEASONINGS
• fresh ginger root
• white pepper
• sesame oil
• Chinese Mushrooms
• dried baby shrimps
• dried tangerine peel
• dried Sichuan chillies.
• Oyster sauce
• clear rice vinegar
• Chinkiang black rice vinegar
• fish sauce
• fermented tofu (furu)
• Hoisin sauce
• ground bean sauce
• yellow bean sauce
CHINESE COOKING METHODS
• Cook/boil (Zhu)
• fry or shallow fry (JianPan)
• Stir-fry (Chao)
• Steam (Zheng)
• Deep fry (Zha)
• tossing salad in its dressing (Ban/Lao)
• Roasting (Kao)
• Baking usually in foil or paper (Ju)
• Normal baking or toasting process (Hong)
• Braising (Shao)
• Double-boil (Dun)
• Marinate (Yan)
CHINESE COOKING UTENSILS
• Wok 炒锅
• Steamer 蒸锅
• Spatula 锅铲
• Frying Spoon 煎铲
• Long Chopsticks 长筷子
• Cleaver 菜刀
• Chopping Knife 斩刀
• Chopping Boards 切菜板
• Sizzling Platter 铁板拼盘
• Clay Pot 瓦煲
CHINA’S EIGHT RECOGNIZED CULINARY STYLES
1. Guangdong Cuisine (Cantonese Food/Yue Cuisine): sweeter, favoring braising and stewing, adding
2. Sichuan Cuisine (Chuan Cuisine): spicy and bold, using lots of chili, garlic, ginger and peanuts.
3. Shandong Cuisine (Lu Cuisine): salty and crispy, favoring braising and seafood.
4. Fujian Cuisine (Min Cuisine): lighter, with a sweet and sour taste, using ingredients from the sea and the
5. Jiangsu Cuisine (Su Cuisine): fresh, salty and sweet, favoring soups and precise cooking techniques.
6. Hunan Cuisine (Xiang Cuisine): quite spicy, favors sautéing, stir-frying, steaming and smoking.
7. Anhui Cuisine (Hui Cuisine): uses many wild plants and animals as ingredients, favoring stewing and
8. Zhejiang Cuisine (Zhe Cuisine): mellow, uses freshwater fish, seafood and bamboo shoots, and a wide
variety of cooking methods.
CHINESE NEWYEAR FOOD
1. Fish 鱼 Yú /yoo/
Lucky Sayings for Eating Fish: 年年有余 (/nyen-nyen yo-yoo/): May you always get more than you
鱼跃龙门 (/yoo-ywair long-mnn/): A fish leaping over the dragon gate — implying successful passing a
2. Chinese Dumplings 饺子 Jiǎozi
Lucky Saying for Eating Dumpling- 招财进宝 (/jaoww-tseye jin-baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and
treasure' — a felicitous wish to make money and amass of a fortune.
3. Spring Rolls 春卷 Chūnjuǎn
Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls - 黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A ton of gold' (because the fried spring
rolls are gold in color they look like gold bar) — a wish for prosperity.
4. Niángāo (Glutinous Rice Cake) 年糕
Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao - 年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/): Getting higher year by
year, can imply children's height, business, study, work, etc.
• SPRING ROLL
• FRIED JUMBO SHRIMP
• CHINESE CHICKEN AND SWEET CORN SOUP
• HOT AND SOUR SOUP
• EGG DROP SOUP
• WONTON SOUP
• DOFU FA (SOYBEAN JELLY)
• CANDIED BANANA FRITTERS
• MANGO PUDDING
• Chrysanthemum tea - The first and most traditional of the teas covered in this article is
the refreshing chrysanthemum tea, with its nice floral aroma.
• Milk tea - this treat has a smooth creamy feel and bitter aftertaste can be found all over
China in various combinations of flavors. One popular form is bubble milk tea, which has
tapioca bubbles in the bottom and is often sweetened with various fruit flavors.
• Wang Lao Ji tea — commonly referred to by expats simply as “the tea in the red cans”,
this is one of the most popular brands of tea
• Plum juice — made from Chinese plums and sweetened with a bit of sugar, it's the
Chinese drink of choice for relief on sweltering summer days.
• Arctic Ocean Orange Soda (Beijing) — This refreshing, naturally flavored orange soda
• Mai Dong (脉动) Sports Drink — This sports drink in a blue bottle comes in a number
of fruit flavors and is China's version of an enhanced fitness water
• Qingdao —it is the most popular Chinese beer domestically and worldwide, it is a highly
drinkable beer whether you're looking for a single happy hour drink or enjoying a night
on the town.
• Baijiu — China's national liquor. Ranging from 40 to a whopping 60% alcohol by
volume content, it's a drink you won't soon forget, though the same thing may not be said
of a night of baijiu consumption.
CHINESE TABLE MANNERS AND DINING ETIQUETTE
• The seating arrangement is probably the most important part of Chinese dining etiquette.
• Dining etiquette in ancient times was enacted according to a four-tier social strata: 1. the imperial
court, 2. local authorities, 3. trade associations and 4. farmers and workers.
• Modern dining etiquette has been simplified to: 1. master of the banquet and 2. guests.
• The seat of honor, reserved for the master of the banquet or the guest with highest status, is the one
in the center facing east or facing the entrance.
• If round tables are used, the seat facing the entrance is the seat of honor.
• In a grand banquet of many tables, the table of honor is the one furthest from the entrance.
• Guests are seated according to their status and degree of relationship to the master of the banquet.
• As a guest at a meal, one should be particular about one’s appearance and determine whether to
bring small gifts or good wine, according the degree of relationship with the master of the banquet.
• It is important to attend and be punctual.
• If the guest of honor or most senior member is not seated, other people are not allowed to be seated.
If he hasn’t eaten, others should not begin to eat.
• When making toasts, the first toast is made from the seat of honor and continuing down the order of
• When eating a meal in China, people are expected to (according to Chinese customs) behave in a
civilized manner, pay attention to table manners and practice good dining habits.
• Let older people eat first, or if you hear an elder say "let's eat", you can start to eat. You should not
steal a march on the elders.
• You should pick up your bowl with your thumb on the mouth of the bowl, first finger, middle
finger the third finger supporting the bottom of the bowl and palm empty. If you don’t pick up your
bowl, bend over the table, and eat facing your bowl, it will be regarded as bad table manners.
Moreover, it will have the consequence of compressing the stomach and restricting digestion.
CHINESE TABLE MANNERS
• Chinese manners don't consist of slurping food down as quickly as possible, and shouting loudly!
• When helping yourself to the dishes, you should take food first from the plates in front of you rather
than those in the middle of the table or in front of others.
• When finding your favorite dish, you should not gobble it up as quickly as possible or put the plate
in front of yourself and proceed to eat like a horse.
• You should try to refill your bowl with rice yourself and take the initiative to fill the bowls of elders
with rice and food from the dishes.
• Concentrate on the meal and your companions. Watching television, using your phone, or
carrying on some other activity while having a meal is considered a bad habit.
• It is not good manners to pick up too much food at a time. You should behave elegantly. When
taking food, don’t nudge or push against your neighbor. Don’t let the food splash or let soup or sauce
drip onto the table.
• When eating, you should close your mouth to chew food well before you swallow it, which is not
only a requirement of etiquette, but also better for digestion.
• When removing bones or other inedible parts of the meal from your mouth, use chopsticks or a
hand to take them and put them on a side plate (or the table) in front of you, instead of spitting them
directly onto the table or the ground.
• If there is food around your mouth, use a tissue or a napkin to wipe it, instead of licking it with
your tongue. When chewing food, don’t make noises.
• If you want to cough or sneeze, use your hand or a handkerchief to cover your mouth and turn
away. If you find something unpleasant in your mouth when chewing or phlegm in the throat, you
should leave the dinner table to spit it out.
RULES AND CONVENTIONS RELATING TO CHOPSTICKS:
• Chopsticks are called "Kuaizi" in Chinese which resembles the pronunciation of other two words, soon
and son. Therefore, it is a tradition in some areas to give chopsticks as a gift to newly-married couples,
wishing them to have a baby soon.
• Do not stick chopsticks vertically into your food when not using them, especially not into rice, as this
will make Chinese people think of funerals. At funerals joss sticks (sticks of incense) are stuck into the
rice that is put onto the ancestor altar.
• Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air too much or play with them.
• Do not stab or skewer food with your chopsticks.
• Pick food up by exerting sufficient inward pressure on the chopsticks to grasp the food securely and
move it smoothly to your mouth or bowl.
• To separate a piece of food into two pieces, exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks while moving
them apart from each other. This needs much practice.
• Some consider it unhygienic to use the chopsticks that have been near (or in) one’s mouth to pick food
from the central dishes. Serving spoons or chopsticks can be provided, and in this case you will need
remember to alternate between using the serving chopsticks to move food to your bowl and your
personal chopsticks for transferring the food to your mouth.
• Some restaurants in China have forks available and all will have spoons. If you are not used to
chopsticks, you can ask the restaurant staff to provide you with a fork or spoon.