Cooking in Water
Equipment and Techniques
Spring Volume: 2019 Issue: 26(1) page(s): 30
Several have queried if the ancient Chinese cuisine
has more ways to prepare foods than any other?
We know not about others and can only advise
that we once read about forty different Chinese ways
to cook Chinese foods by Benita Wong. She advises
that when this ‘fire control’ includes Chinese minority
population techniques, it would be twice as long. We
are convinced it is important to understand them all.
Also important is flavoring foods is the quality of their
raw ingredients before starting to heat them. Western
cooking says this quality is most important, while
Chinese cooking says raw materials, fire control, and
flavoring have equal value. In a Chinese cooking class
we attended, that teacher agreed.
We leave relative importance to you, so reach your
own conclusions. The Chinese are master cooks who
use specific instructions to describe how they control
heat more specifically than other cultures, we say
Benita Wong’s are not alphabetical nor in order of
importance, but should be. Here are some of them.
Chu is probably the earliest and simplest food-heating
process; it is cooking in water and is well-controlled,
well-timed, and generally simply boiling in
Tang is steeping or quick boiling, a variation
of the previous one bringing the boiling of sliced or
thin-cut foods dipped into a hot liquid to seal and
cook them by quickly after cutting the ingredients and
sealing them cooking them quickly.
Shuan is cooking pieces of food in boiled liquid
on charcoal or spirit-heated pot at one’s table.
Chin is cooking food in boiled liquid and then
immediately reducing the heat or removing the heat
Chuan is bringing water or stock to a rolling
boil, putting the food in it, re-boiling it and when at
the rolling boil, removing the food deeming it ready.