Tag Archives: Chinese

How to make traditional Chinese Tofu

News and Travel Editor

World Vegan Day may have been yesterday, but we’re still celebrating at China Icons with a brand new vegetarian and vegan recipe – traditional Chinese tofu!

China has a loooooong history with Tofu. Add some store cupboard staple ingredients and you’ll rustle up an impressive mid-week dinner in no time.

Packed with tips on how to make Chinese cuisine, Coco shows us her signature way to prepare a garlic and don’t forget – ‘hot pan and cold oil’!

 

For more easy, authentic Chinese recipes, be sure to look at Coco’s videos on the China Icons Food and Drink Playlist

In China right now, or heading over soon? Check out our blog on how to survive in China on a meat-free diet:

What’s your favourite vegan/vegetarian Chinese dish? Send us your photos and recipes below – we’ll share our favourites!

The Etiquette of Eating in China

News and Travel Editor

In this week’s upload, Coco is reunited with blogger Hyper Trypsy (also known as Shiv) for a final collaboration. This time, it’s all about the etiquette of eating and how to throw the perfect Chinese dinner party.

Feeling hungry? Let’s get started.

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….And usually with their back to a wall. The next highest ranking person, such as an important guest, sits to the right of the host. At this dinner party, Shiv is the host and Coco is his esteemed guest. Okay, so we’re seated…now what?

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Once everyone is settled, it’s time to let the waiter know you’re ready for the menu. Hold up your hand and say Fu Wu Yuan, which means simply ‘waiter’. If you want, you can add ‘caidan’, which means ‘menu’. The waiter will bring you over a menu and it’s time to order.

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It’s important to remember that the host orders for everyone to share. Menus in Chinese restaurants come complete with pictures, so it’s easy to understand what’s on offer even if your Chinese isn’t up to scratch. A good Chinese meal has to be balanced. The dishes should offer a variety of ingredients, cooking methods, flavors, colours and textures.

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Another big responsibility you’ll have as host is leading the first toast. The toast in China is Gan bei, meaning “drain the glass.” Usually, this toast will be made with Baijiu (a strong spirit often made from rice) or  beer. Often, the ‘honoured guest’ is expected to make a toast too, either straight after the host of at the end of the meal.

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Don’t panic when you see multiple pairs of chopsticks set out for you. Use the pale coloured pair to take food from the communal dishes onto your plate. Use the dark pair to eat with. Easy!

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For Westerners, this may take some getting used to, but in China you NEVER split the bill. One person pays for the whole thing each time. Usually, the person who invited you is most likely to pay. Thanks for that, Coco!

Do you have any top tips for eating out at a Chinese restaurant? Were you surprised by any of mine? Let me know in the comments below!

PS, Thanks to our friends at China Bloggers for adding us to their website. Check it out for more from China Icons and other great bloggers exploring all things China.

 

10 Things You Need to Know About Dragon Boat Festival

News and Travel Editor

Dragon Boat Festival takes place on the 5th Day of the 5th Lunar Month, which this year falls on Thursday 9th June. Here are 10 facts that teach you everything you need to know to understand this colourful and exciting festival.

  1. Dragon boat racing has been in China for over 2,000 years. The practice is believed to have started around the time of the first Olympic games.
  2. A drummer or a caller guides the rhythm of the paddlers.
  3. There are dragon boat clubs in over 60 countries. The organisation that governs international competition is called the International Dragon Boat Federation.
  4. Dragon Boat races are usually 500 meters long, but can vary from 250m to marathon length!
  5. The sport of dragon boat racing celebrates the life and death of Chinese poet Qu Yuan. He was banished after opposing an alliance the king wanted to enter into, and eventually committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth month of Chinese Lunar character. This is why the festival is always held on this day!
  6. Dragon boat races are inspired by how the villagers tried to recover Qu Yuan’s body by paddling out on boats.
  7. After Qu Yuan’s death, the local people threw rice into the river to keep the fish from eating his body. Later, they threw rice wrapped in reeds (to prevent the fish eating it) into the river. This is the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival delicacy called zongzi, glutinous rice stuffed with meat or other fillings that are wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.
  8. Children decorate their clothes with coloured and scented pouches. According to Chinese folklore, these pouches protect them from evil in the next year!
  9. Around the festival, people clean their houses and put mugwort leaves and pine root onto doors to prevent disease.
  10. Dragon Boat Festival was celebrated as a public holiday in China for the first time in 2008.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt4EATMJNkc