Many people in the West think of the different kinds of Chinese food as what is found on the menu at the local take out Chinese restaurant; however, the cuisine of China is much more extensive than what is typically available in most American Chinese restaurants. The variety of the different foods is as diverse as the landscapes of the regions of China. While some dishes seem exotic, others involve familiar ingredients and preparation techniques. Next time you are in a STL restaurant offering traditional Chinese cuisine, explore these types of food.
Szechuan: Szechuan cuisine, known for its robust and spicy flavors, originates from the Sichuan province located in southwestern China. Szechuan dishes typically use garlic and chili peppers quite liberally along with ginger, peanuts, and sesame paste. Seasonings unique to this style of cuisine and region include Sichuan peppercorn and a paste made from broad bean chili peppers. Preparation techniques include stir-fry, braising, and steaming. Some examples of Szechuan dishes are Kung Pao chicken and Tea Smoked duck.
Chinese Food and Restaurants in St. Louis
|St. Louis Chinese Restaurants||Phone||Location|
Chinese Noodle Cafe
U City Loop
|House of Wong||314-726-6291||Clayton|
|Lisa’s Chop Suey||314-868-8041||North County|
|Mandarin House||314-427-8070||North County|
|Panda Pavilion||314-353-3838||South City|
|Smiling Budha||314-845-8233||South County|
Anhui: Anhui cuisine, characterized by its use of wild herbs and vegetables, originates from the Huangshan Mountains. The primary cooking techniques used in this type of Chinese cuisine include braising and stewing. The most popular dish in this region is Li Hongzhang Hodge, a soup that blends sweet and salty flavors. While the ingredients found in this soup vary from chef to chef, the most common include seafood, such as sea cucumber, fish and squid, as well as chicken, ham, bean curd, bamboo and other assorted vegetables. Other popular Ahui dishes are egg dumplings stuffed with pork and Lizhou roasted duck.
Shangong: Shangdong cuisine, found in Northern China, relies upon braising as its primary cooking technique. The dishes contain poultry as well as seafood, such as scallops, prawns, clams, squid, and sea cucumbers. Other common ingredients found Shangdong dishes are onions, garlic, corn, and peanuts. Porridges and steamed breads made from millet, wheat, oats, and barley are also popular in this region. Connoisseurs of vinegar relish Shangdong vinegars, which are sharp and complex in flavor. Additionally, the world known Tsingtao beer has its origins in this region.
Fujian: Fujian or Min cuisine has its origins in the southeastern Chinese coastal province of Fujian. The coastal location and woodlands of this region is reflected in it food. Common ingredients found in Fujian cuisine include turtle and other types of seafood, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, peanuts, red yeast rice, shrimp paste, and rice wine. Most Fijian dishes use a broth or soup as a base and common techniques used to prepare food are braising, stewing, steaming, and simmering. A dish representing this region is “Buddha Jumps over the Wall,” which is a mixture of shark fin abalone, sea cucumber, and Shaoxing wine.
Chinese cuisine offers much more than what is offered at most American Chinese takeout restaurants and is an adventure in exploring new foods.
Eating China : Chinese Food Culture and History Visit Site
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