Chinese Food Descriptions

Refer to these Chinese food descriptions when you're selecting recipes or ordering in. While some restaurants may offer descriptions of their dishes, they rarely offer an actual Chinese food guide. Remember that very few Chinese food recipes use just one single list of ingredients. The exact combination changes from region to region and family to family.

Chinese Food Descriptions

  • Chow Mein: Egg noodles fried in a wok. The noodles are then stir fried, usually with vegetables and meat.
  • Chop Suey: The Chinese-American version of a leftover casserole. Usually vegetables and meat in a brown or white sauce, lightly stir fried in a wok.
  • Dim Sum: A variety of small side dishes that are served for a lighter meal.
  • Egg Foo Yung: A Chinese version of an omelet. Made with egg, vegetables and meat, fried and served with a brown sauce.
  • Egg Drop Soup: A chicken broth soup with ribbons of egg cooked in the soup.
  • Fried Rice: Rice mixed with a soy sauce, vegetables, meat and/or eggs. Stir fried in a wok.
  • Fried Wontons: Wonton noodles stuffed with vegetables and/or meat and deep fried.
  • Lo Mein: Stir fried egg noodles with vegetables and meat. The noodles are not fried separately, but are thrown in at the last minute and tossed with the stir fry.
  • Moo Shu Pork: Stir-fried pork, egg and vegetables, such as cabbage, wood ear mushrooms and day lily buds. Usually served with a plum sauce and thin pancake-like wrap.
  • Spring Roll: Thin, crispy, deep fried vegetable rolls. Can also contain meat. The traditional version of an egg roll.
  • Wonton Soup: Beef or chicken broth soup served with meat- or vegetable-stuffed wonton dumplings.

Cooking Techniques

  • Cantonese: Cantonese cooking includes a variety of dishes, rich in meat and seafood.
  • Deep Fry: A method of cooking where ingredients are plunged into large amount of boiling oil to cook them quickly and provide a crisp covering.
  • Peking: Peking cooking includes a lighter variety of fancy dishes, using more wheat than rice, and more lamb than seafood.
  • Shanghai: In Shanghai cooking, heavy amounts of rice and fish tend to be seen.
  • Steam: A method of cooking where ingredients are either set in or above boiling water so that the steam cooks them.
  • Stir Fry: A method of cooking where ingredients are stirred around in a very hot pan with a light coating of oil.
  • Szechuan: Szechuan cooking includes highly spiced dishes. Beef and pork are more common here than in other regional cooking.
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