By Janice Hoo
Are you into vegetarian recipes?
How about trying out vegetarian recipes in Chinese style?
Not sure what to use?
No worries! Here are five most commonly used ingredients you can use to create you own Chinese style vegetarian meal!
The mushroom you see here is actually the dried mushroom, which is also known as Black Mushroom, Chinese Black Mushroom or Dried Flower Mushroom.
It is an excellent ingredient to add taste and aroma to your dishes. It is also an excellent absorbent which takes in the taste and flavor of your cooking – thus giving you a pleasurable bite; exploding the splendor in your mouth as you chew!
Because of it's ability to add taste and aroma to the dishes, it is commonly added into vegetarian dishes to add more flavor to the otherwise plain vegetables.
2. Chinese Wolfberry
These tiny red seeds has sweet and plain taste, and has found its way into many Chinese soup and dishes. In fact, it is considered to be one of the medicine used in Traditional Chinese medicine.
It is also used to improve lung functions, strengthen lower limbs, reduce headache and fainting, improve premature ejaculation etc. Current researches have proven that Chinese Wolfberry have anti-oxidant ability, increasing immunity, anti radiation, anti aging and other health effects.
It is commonly known to have helps improve eye-sight.
Because of its benefits, Chinese vegetarian practitioner use it widely to enhance nutritional value of their meals.
3. Bean Curd (Tofu)
Bean Curd was created by the Chinese, accidentally, in the Eastern Han dynasty. Initially, only monks and priests ate them. However, slowly it was accepted by the masses, and now, it is an indispensable ingredient for most of the Chinese meals, be it vegetarian or not.
Bean Curd is soft, tender, nutritious and affordable. It can be easily digested.
It promotes production of bodily fluid to reduce dryness. It also reduces heat and removes toxins; reduces blood cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases; and reduces respiratory and digestive problems.
You can find Bean Curd in many forms – soft, firm, dried, Bean Curd puff, Bean Curd skin (which we will see next), Jelly form, fermented Bean Curd, smelly Tofu, and many more!
Because of its wide variety, you'll find it almost in every meal, cooked in many different methods.
4. Bean Curd Skin or Sheet
Bean Curd Skin, either in long stick form, or in sheet form, is as popular as Bean Curd.
This is because it can either be soaked and fry together with the vegetables, or cooked in soup, or in sweet soup. And the sheet form can be used for wrapping in many recipes, e.g. Wanton, Chinese vegetarian sausage etc; or even used to create the popular Chinese vegetarian duck!
Another indispensable ingredient for Chinese vegetarian meals!
5. Bean Thread
Bean Thread or Mung Bean Vermicelli which is also known as Glass Noodles, Cellophane Noodles, or Fenzi in Chinese or Fun See in Cantonese.
It is commonly used in many Asian countries, and in particular - Chinese vegetarian dishes.
Although it is a form of noodle, and may be eaten as noodle, when these slender and gelatinous noodles are soaked, they become soft and slippery, springy and translucent. They’re almost flavorless, but they are a good absorbent which absorb the taste of their accompanying sauce or broth.
Because of that property, it is added into dishes for more bite and flavor, and is commonly found in the famous vegetarian meal - Luohan Zai (The Dish of The Arahant)
So, here you are - the 5 most commonly used ingredients which you can also use to create your own Chinese vegetarian meal today! Enjoy your meal today!
About the Author
Janice Hoo, the author of "Vegetarian Recipe: The Chinese Way" introduced a revolutionary way of enjoying Chinese vegetarian meals which are healthy and uses natural, gluten-free ingredients. In her book, stories related to the dishes are been shared so that you'll appreciate the dish better, and any health benefits of the ingredients are been highlighted as well! You can get hold of this wonderful book at http://www.ChineseVegetarianRecipe.com