I. General Information A. China has more people than any other country. B. China is the largest country in Eastern Asia.
II. Agriculture A. The most important industry in China is farming. B. The second most important industry is fishing. C. Products: 1. Nature’s gift – Bamboo Bamboo is used to make paper, food, houses and furniture.
D. Chief Crops: Tea, rice and wheat. E. Land is very scarce for farming. Every foot of farmland is used. Why do the Chinese have very few herds of animals? Land is too scarce for grazing.
F. Terrace farming is spreading earth on ledges of mountain slopes to grow food.
III. Food A. Chief food of the North is wheat. B. Chief food of the South is rice. C. Rice – considered “Bread of the Orient”; main item in diet. D. Vegetables – considered better than meat; economical.
E. Meat – scarce; used mainly to flavor the dishes. F. Fish – more important than meat; consumed in tremendous quantities. Many Chinese living on houseboats subsist only on fish. G. Tea – China’s national drink; many types. Green tea is dried and roasted after picking.
IV. Cooking Techniques Cooking is considered an art in China. According to a Chinese proverb, a dish must look appetizing, must stimulate the appetite with harmonious color, must sound pleasing as it is chewed, and must taste delicious.
A. Regional types of Chinese cooking: 1. Pekinese 2. Shanghainese 3. Cantonese 4. Szechuan
1. Pekinese – Northern; noodles are more popular here. 2. Shanghainese – Eastern; red-cooking and seafood star here. 3. Cantonese – Southern; most popular type of Chinese cooking in the United States. 4. Szechuan – Western; spicy-hot dishes represent this region.
B. Methods used in Chinese cooking take the least amount of fuel. 1. Stir frying 2. Red cooking (use of soy sauce) 3. Deep frying 4. Steaming
C. What are the factors that influence the way the Chinese cook? 1. Scarcity of fuel 2. Failure of crops 3. Threat of famine The average life of the Chinese is about half of Americans.
VI. Cooking Terms 1. Wok – All purpose cooking utensil which is slightly rounded 2. Taofu – Soybean (Complete protein and takes the place of meat in the Chinese diet)
3. Dim Sum - Snacks 4. Wonton - Dumplings 5. Ch’un Chuan – Egg roll 6. Chao Mein – Fried noodles
7. Lo Mein – Type of noodle like spaghetti 8. Egg Fu Yung – Chinese version of an omelet 9. Kwai-tse – Chopsticks 10. Congee – Thick porridge made from rice or barley