Grease lightning.

I was very interested to read an article that distinguishes the difference between real authentic Chinese cuisine, to the greasy variations we find in a typical Chinese take-away. It is tragic that many see Chinese take-aways as ‘the real thing’, and neglect to realise that this is not what we actually eat. The western take on Chinese foods is to submerge everything in oil and fry it.

I am a bit of a snob when it comes to Chinese food; I will not eat anything Chinese unless it has been cooked by my grandma or in a respectable restaurant. I only really go to restaurants for Dim Sum; the Chinese equivalent to Spanish tapas. It is a shame Dim Sum is widely unknown, I would like a restaurant that is closer than 55 miles away.

Dim Sum, har gow (prawn dumplings).

I strongly recommend finding your nearest Chinese restaurant and trying something new. It pains me to watch people actually enjoy their Chinese take-aways in delusion. The majority of Chinese foods are steamed, not deep-fried, and they taste incredibly better than anything you buy over a counter. My favourites are prawn cheug-fun and har gow (prawn dumplings); I like anything with king prawns (another qualm I have is the quality of king prawns in supermarkets, lets leave this one for another day).

My husband converted a long time ago and now favours my grandma’s cooking and Dim Sum; he boldly had a taster of chicken feet and tripe, much to his surprise, he liked it. He also grew an addiction to jasmine tea, which is another part of the Dim Sum tradition. Each table receives a teapot full of loose jasmine leaves and hot water to share. When the teapot is empty, it is custom to place the lid upside down as an indication to the waiters that they need to refill the pot.

I think it is healthy to experience other cultures, be willing to try different foods and appreciate something for what it is, not a replica of it. I mean, what the hell is lemon chicken anyway?

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