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Dim Sum


Dim Sum is a Cantonese term for small snacks. These bite-sized portions are prepared using traditional cooking methods such as frying, steaming, stewing and baking. It is designed so that one person may taste a variety of different dishes. Some of these may include rice rolls, lotus leaf rice, turnip cakes, buns, shui jao style dumplings, stir-fried green vegetables, congee porridge, soups, etc. The Cantonese style of dining, yum cha, combines the variety of dim sum dishes with the drinking of tea. Yum cha literally means ‘drink tea’.

Chinese Soups


There are three basic traditional soup stocks in Chinese cuisine:

  • Superior broth/stock: A dark tan broth made from Jinhua ham and chicken. This rich and umami broth is used in the creation of many expensive soups such as shark fin soup.

  • Chicken: The basic broth used in creating most Chinese soups. The basic broth is sometimes fortified with licorice root, wolfberry, and other Chinese herbs.

  • White broth: Made from lightly blanched pork bones that have been boiled for several hours, creating a white milky broth. This broth has a rich mouthfeel, and is often used in ramen soups.


In American-Chinese restaurants some of the most popular soups are: egg drop soup, hot and sour soup, wonton soup, and chicken with corn soup.

Chinese Chicken/Beef/Pork Dishes


American Chinese food typically treats vegetables as garnish while cuisines of China emphasize vegetables. This can be seen in the use of carrots and tomatoes. Native Chinese cuisine makes frequent use of Asian leafy vegetables like bok choy and kai-lan and puts a greater emphasis on fresh meat and seafood. As a result, American Chinese food is usually less pungent than authentic cuisine


American Chinese food tends to be cooked very quickly with a great deal of oil and salt. Many dishes are quickly and easily prepared, and require inexpensive ingredients. Stir-frying, pan-frying, and deep-frying tend to be the most common Chinese cooking techniques used in this cuisine, which are all easily done using a wok.


Chinese Seafood/Vegetable Dishes


Due to Guangdong's location on the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine. Many authentic restaurants maintain live seafood tanks. From the Cantonese perspective, strong spices are added only to stale seafood to cover the rotting odor. The freshest seafood is odorless and, in Cantonese culinary arts, it is best cooked by steaming. For instance, in some recipes, only a small amount of soy sauce, ginger, and spring onion is added to steamed fish.


Chinese cooking is particularly well-suited to the nature of vegetables. Cooked quickly over high heat, they retain their nutritional value and fresh flavor. Vegetables accompany nearly every Chinese meal, used in most cases to balance tastes and textures of meat, but also appearing as dishes in their own right. Of vegetables, there is just no end in Chinese food. Watercress in the west is used, for the most part, as a garnish or an addition to salads.

Lo Mein


Lo mein is a Chinese dish with wheat flour noodles. It often contains vegetables and some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons.


In American Chinese restaurants, lo mein is a popular take-out food. In this setting, lo mein noodles are usually stirred with a sauce made from soy sauce and other seasonings. Such vegetables as bok choy and cabbage can be mixed in. Meats like roast pork, beef or chicken are often added. Shrimp lo mein, lobster lo mein, vegetable lo mein, and "House" lo mein (more than one meat) are sometimes available.

Vietnamese Food


Vietnamese cuisine is a style of cooking derived from Vietnam with fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables all commonly used. Vietnamese recipes utilize a diverse range of herbs, including lemongrass, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander and Thai basil leaves. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for freshness of the ingredients and for the healthy eating style.

The most common meats used in Vietnamese cuisine are beef, pork, chicken, fish, and various kinds of seafood. The Vietnamese also have a strong vegetarian tradition influenced by Buddhist and Chinese values.


Pho Noodle Soups


Pho (Vietnamese pronunciation: [feo] is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (pho bò) or chicken (pho gà). The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with Thai basil, lime, bean sprouts that are added to the soup by the diner.


Pho is served in a bowl with a specific cut of white rice noodles (called bánh pho') in clear beef broth, with slim cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations feature tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, or other chicken organs. "With the lot" (made with all or most of the shop's chicken and cattle offerings, including chicken hearts and livers and beef tripe and tendons) is known as pho dac biet ("specialty pho").

The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander, Thai basil (húng qu?) (not be confused with sweet basil, Vietnamese: húng chó or húng doi), fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, bean sprouts and coriander (ngò rí) or culantro (ngò gai).


Vietnamese Rice Dishes


Com tam in Vietnamese is cooked rice from fractured rice grains. Tam refers to the broken rice grains while com refers to cooked rice.It is usually served with grilled pork (either ribs or shredded) plus a Vietnamese dish called (thinly shredded pork mixed with cooked and thinly shredded pork skin) over broken rice. The rice and meat are served with various greens and pickled vegetables, along with a prawn paste cake, trung hap (steamed egg), and grilled prawns. Typically restaurants will serve this popular combination rice plate with a small bowl of nuoc cham, as well as a small bowl of soup broth (canh) with garlic chives (to cleanse the throat).


The broken varieties are often less expensive, so are preferred by poorer consumers] or used as raw material (such as in beer brewing). Due to the different size and shape of the grains, broken rice has a different texture from "unbroken" rice. Some chefs and consumers may prefer the qualities of broken rice for certain dishes.

Rice Vermicelli


Rice vermicelli are thin noodles made from rice, sometimes also known as rice noodles or rice sticks. They should not be confused with cellophane noodles, which is another type of vermicelli.


Rice vermicelli are a part of several Asian cuisines, where they are often eaten as part of a soup dish, stir fry, or salad. Rice vermicelli are particularly prominent in the cuisines of People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Rice vermicelli also feature in the cuisines of South India and Sri Lanka, where they are called sevai or idiappam (the latter also called "string hoppers").

One particularly well known, slightly thicker variety, is called Guilinmifen, comes from the southern Chinese city of Guilin, where it is a breakfast staple.

Vietnamese Stir Fry