The contemporary Chinese food we eat today is virtually unrecognizable from the recipes that the first Chinese immigrants in the 1800’s brought to our shore, as signature dishes have undergone a complete overhaul in order to appeal to western culinary sensibilities. Restaurants serving Dim Sum, however, may be the last vestiges of truly authentic Chinese food in North America. Offering a selective spread of Dim Sum dishes and contemporary Chinese food, Golden House Chinese Food Restaurant in Toronto take on Chinese cooking has made it a hit among locals and tourists alike.
Eating is a dominant aspect of Chinese culture, and in China, eating out is one of the most common ways to honour guests. Similar to Westerners, eating together in China is a way to socialize and deepen friendships.
Table etiquette is very important to Chinese people. In Chinese culture, using correct table manners is believed to bring “luck” while incorrect use will bring shame. Similarly, table etiquette indicates children’s educational status: holding chopsticks incorrectly leaves a bad impression and shames the parents, who have the responsibility of teaching them. In casual settings, and sometimes with the youth, many of these table manners go by the wayside. In formal settings, if you watch closely, these table manners become more apparent.
When we use the term ‘cheap eats’ and ‘Toronto’ – table etiquette does not apply.
In the 19th century, Chinese in San Francisco operated sophisticated and sometimes luxurious restaurants patronized mainly by Chinese, while restaurants in smaller towns served what their customers requested, ranging from pork chop sandwiches and apple pie to beans and eggs. These smaller restaurants developed Western Chinese cuisine when they modified their food to suit a more Western palate. First catering to miners and railroad workers, they established new eateries in towns where Chinese food was completely unknown, adapting local ingredients and catering to their customers’ tastes.
Stir frying, pan frying, and deep frying tend to be the most common Chinese cooking techniques used in Western Chinese cuisine, which are all easily done using a wok.
For the early raisers!
Go into your fridge and see what items you have. If you are anything like me, you’ll have cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggs, mushrooms, bread and other random ingredients.
Using most of those ingredients, an omelette would be a good start to anyone’s day.
For the individuals that enjoy to snooze in a little:
Hard boiled egg with gruyère and tarragon baguette
Use the entire hard boiled egg or go super healthy and just use the whites, cut them up in slices.
A piece of whole-grain baguette, sliced lengthwise
2 hard-boiled eggs
Thinly sliced Gruyère cheese
Few sprigs of fresh tarragon
A pinch of salt and pepper
Arrange the Gruyère on top of the sliced baguette, add sliced hard-boiled egg, and top with tarragon, salt, and pepper.
Add a light side to your lunch with tuna and celery sticks.
Tasty Tuna with Asian Flair
1 can tuna
1 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 scallion, washed and chopped
Pepper to taste
Quick tips to whip up something so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
Hearty balance meal consist of carbs, veggies, protein and a beverage. Let’s cook a meal under 30 mins for dinner.
Quinoa salad with salmon:
First and foremost, you’ll need to pick up some quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 – 3/4 lemon, squeezed
1/4 cup (about 10) olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced (from 1 English)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup crumbled feta
salt and fresh pepper
Next you pan fry your salmon filet in a skillet using oil, salt and lemon.
Final product – bon appetit!
Late night snacking:
Black Bean dip with tortillas:
Purchase tortillas and cut them into triangles (pizza slices)
Lightly brush olive oil on each triangle
Put tortilla triangles into the oven to toast lightly
Black Bean Dip Ingredients:
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add olive oil and water if need be.
After 5 mins of blending and toasting tortillas, you can enjoy a healthy late night snack.