Chinese! One of the most popular takeaways in the UK. We all have our favourite dishes and a restaurant we heartily recommend. However, do you know the origins of this ancient cuisine? Don’t worry, we have a few facts to pull out the bag along with your next delivery.
China’s culinary heritage is a combination of eight separate regional traditions.
Here’s a quick look at some of them…
When you think of Chinese, this is most likely the style you’re familiar with. It’s given us sweet and sour, salt and pepper spare ribs, black bean dishes, char siu, crispy fried chicken, chow mein. Basically, a lot of the UK’s most popular takeaway dishes.
Cantonese sauces are also pioneering, as is the use of deep frying, which has its roots in regional street food.
Cantonese cuisine also includes salted duck eggs and chicken feet, which haven’t quite made the jump here yet.
The Sichuan province, South West China, paved the way for some of the spiciest dishes on your Chinese takeaway menu.
These include fiery Kung Pao chicken, crispy chilli beef and the intense hot and sour soup starter.
Sichuan diners are also rabid fans of rabbit, a dish that hasn’t quite hopped over to our shores just yet, but who knows what the future holds?
The style of Hunan cuisine has its origins in the Xiang River region, the Dongting Lake and of course the Hunan province, South Central China. The traditions of Hunan cuisine go back over 2,000 years.
If you choose a dish described as ‘hot and spicy’, chances are it will have it will have origins here.
Other dishes that probably won’t be on a menu near you soon include steamed fish heads in chili sauce and a popular fermented snack, delightfully called “stinky tofu”.
Fujian cuisine originates from the Fujian province on the Southeast coast of China. Any unusual soups are probably based on this style. One popular soup recipe contains up to 30 ingredients including wild mushrooms, scallops, sea slugs, pigeon eggs and pork trotters.
Its name? “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall,” of course.
What’s not Chinese?
With such a wide variety of inspirations for the cuisine we currently have today, a few rogue dishes have managed to slip in undetected. When they’re this delicious though, it’s hard to care. Some examples include spring rolls. In China, they barely resemble their European counterparts.
Chop Suey is also an imposter. Believe it or not, this dish has its origins in California and was created by adding soy sauce to leftovers, eventually becoming a menu staple.
Finally, fortune cookies. No matter what they tell you, they are not from China. In fact, they were originally Japanese and were known as “fortune tea cakes” when they first came to the West before the First World War.
We hope you’re a bit more up to speed with all things Chinese food. Whenever you fancy some, Just Eat will always deliver you a dinner to remember. Give the app a go tonight!