` Chinese Food -- Cooking Method
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Cooking Method

Chinese cooking is renowned around the world. Chinese food has a distinctive culinary style of its own. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal ingredients, prepared with a minimum amount of fuss while also beautifully balanced as far as color, texture, and presentation are concerned.

There are several cooking methods. They all seek to preserve the flavor and nutrients of each dish. Each technique is briefly described below.

1. Stir Frying

Photo of Stir Fry

Stir-frying is the classic Chinese cooking method. Stir-frying is quick and easy, tasty and flavorful.

Cooking Utensils Used

The cooking utensils is a wok and a wok spatula. Stir-frying is typically done on a gas stove, although an electric stove can be used if preheated to a high temperature.

Ingredients That Can be Cooked in This Way

Stir-frying typically uses a combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and tofu. All ingredients are thinly sliced or cubed. The meat or seafood is marinated using soy sauce, salt, and other seasonings.

Steps for Stir-Frying

1. All ingredients should be ready prior to heating up the wok. (The food to be cooked should be finely sliced or shredded into similar sized pieces using a very sharp knife or a Chinese cleaver.)

2. When the wok is hot, add a small amount of oil to the wok.

3. Then, add the ingredients that you will be cooking into the wok. The meat or seafood is quickly stirred and turned until semi-cooked. Then, it is removed from the wok and set aside.

4. More oil is added to the wok, if necessary. The vegetables and/or tofu are then added and quickly stir-fried.

5. The meat or seafood is added back midway through cooking the vegetables and/or tofu, the seasonings are adjusted if necessary, and the dish is stirred until done. It should be served immediately after cooking.

2. Deep Frying

Photo of Deep Fry

Deep-frying is used to produce crisp-textured food. It is usually used to fry a variety of meats and vegetables in oil heated to a high temperature.

Cooking Utensils Used

Deep-frying is done with a deep saucepan or a deep fryer, a Chinese scoop strainer (used to contain foods in a deep fryer and to strain foods when removed from the oil), and long chopsticks.

3. Steaming

Photo of Steaming

Steaming is a method of cooking used to steam things. It is considered to be the healthiest cooking technique.

Steaming can make dishes taste more fresh and delicious. It can retain various nutrients in the food and reduce nutrient loss to a large extent. Therefore, it is widely used for cooking a variety of ingredients.

Cooking Utensils Used

Chinese people steam food by using bamboo steamers, which can be stacked one on top of the other, allowing several kinds of foods to be steamed at once, thus saving time and fuel.

Dishes requiring the most cooking time are placed on the bottom layer near the boiling water, while those requiring less time are placed on the top layer. The water should be kept at a slow boil until all foods are completely done.

Famous Steamed Dishes

The most famous examples of steamed foods are dim sum, dumplings, buns, and steamed fish.

4. Red Stewing or Red-Cooking

Photo of Red Stew

Red stewing is a unique Chinese cooking technique, used primarily for cooking a tougher cut of meat or poultry.

Cooking Utensils Used

For red-cooking, you need a stew pot or a slow cooker.


The food is cooked very slowly over a low flame. Meat is usually browned first, then large quantities of soy sauce, sugar, wine or sherry, ginger, five-spice powder, chili powder, cilantro, and other seasonings are added together with water or broth.

It may take up to several hours before the meat is done to the desired tenderness. The finished product can be served hot or cold. The sauce is rich and dark brown; hence the descriptive name “red stewing”.

Famous Red-Cooked Dishes

The most famous examples of red-cooked dishes are red-cooked spare ribs and red-cooked fish.

5. Boiling

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Boiling is considered to be the simplest among all of the Chinese cooking techniques. This method of cooking is quicker than he other techniques and it preserves the color, texture, shape, and nutrients of the food.

Ingredients are washed and cut first, then plunged into boiling water or broth. When they are fully cooked, they are to be drained immediately, and then they are served with seasonings or finished using other cooking techniques.

Boiling is mainly used for cooking small-sized and soft ingredients. For example, vegetables and vegetable soup can be cooked this way.

Famous Boiled Dishes

Two good examples of boiled food are Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, and tomato and egg soup.

6. Roasting

Photo of Roast

Many Chinese foods like chicken, duck, a whole sheep, a sheep's leg, and even a whole pig can be cooked in this way.

Usually, the meat is prepared first (cleaned, seasoned, and basted with cooking oil). Then, it is hung above a fire or placed in a very hot oven. Also, The meat must be seared so that the skin tastes crispy.

When the meat has been roasted, it is then chopped, arranged artfully on a platter, and served with a sauce made from the meat drippings.

Cooking Utensil Used

If you want to cook food by roasting it, you'll need an oven.

Famous Roasted Dishes

One of the most famous roasted dishes is the Peking duck.

7. Braising

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Braising involves adding ingredients, spices, seasonings, and a small amount of water or broth to a wok or a saucepan, boiling everything together initially at a high temperature, and then simmering it at a lower temperature for a long time (usually one hour or more).

The ingredients are usually cut into large-sized cubes or diamonds. Using this technique, all of the food is cooked thoroughly.

Cooking Utensils Used

If you want to cook food by braising it, you will need a wok, saucepan, or stew pot.

Famous Braised Dishes

The most famous braised dishes in China include braised chicken with mushrooms and braised beef with potatoes.