Although you love Chinese cuisine, you might not have a good grasp of the many different culinary styles available. This could lead to some confusion when trying to decide between a restaurant specializing in Mandarin cooking and another offering Szechwan. It becomes even more difficult when you consider how many of these cuisines share similar ingredients and techniques. The guide below will give you some insight the next time you are thinking about eating at a Mandarin restaurant.
Understanding Chinese Cuisine & Mandarin Cooking
How Did It Come About?
Mandarin cooking is one of the most popular forms of Chinese cuisine. It is derived primarily from the Northern region and culture of China and is typically localized to Beijing and all major cities north of the Yangtze River. This form of cooking was also influenced by the Chinese imperial cuisine, where thousands of cooks from different parts of China would present their best dishes to the emperor and his royal family in the Forbidden City. Peking duck is probably the most well-known dish created in this particular melting pot of culinary ideas.
What Does It Taste Like?
Unlike Szechwan or Southern style, Mandarin cooking is typically not spicy. Instead, mild spices are mixed with colorful vegetables to create full-bodied, rich flavors. Also, contrary to Southern-style cooking, Mandarin cuisine tends to use soy sauce to enhance the flavor profile of the other ingredients. Additionally, most of the dishes are focused around a wheat-based food, like noodles or dumplings, instead of rice.
What Are Some Notable Dishes?
Many of the dishes that originated in the Beijing area could probably be described as more of a snack than a main course, and they are sold at small shops and by street vendors in the region. However, as the Northern region is susceptible to freezing winters, their chefs also created more of the hearty and filling dishes you come across in Chinese cuisine. Some of these foods include hot and sour soup, Moo Shu pork, Mongolian Hot Pot, and stir-fried tomato and scrambled eggs.
The best way to learn the differences between Chinese cuisine is to familiarize yourself with the various cooking styles. You can begin today by visiting Peking Wok in Anchorage, AK. This Chinese restaurant specializes in both Mandarin and Szechwan-style cooking. For more information about their dishes, call them at (907) 248-1648. You can also view their menu options by visiting the website.