Food is an important part of Chinese culture, and Chinese cuisine holds many symbolic meanings.

食物是中國文化的重要組成部分,許多中國菜具有象征意義。

Chinese dishes are often eaten around celebratory occasions. Many believe eating certain dishes during festivals such as the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival or Dragon Boat Festival is considered auspicious. However more often than not, people of Chinese heritage eat certain dishes over and over again most days, and these dishes are equally important in Chinese culture.

有些中國菜經常在慶祝的場合吃。許多人認為在中國新年、中秋節或端午節這樣的節日里吃某些菜肴是吉祥的。大多數情況下,傳統的中國人會反復地吃某些菜肴,這些菜肴在中國文化中同樣重要。

Chinese food is not something I eat every day. But Chinese cuisine is one of my favourite cuisines. I find it fun replicating traditional Chinese recipes at home. It’s a treat when I get to eat at a low-key Chinese restaurant with family and friends on a casual weekend.

我不是每天都吃中國菜,但是中國菜是我最喜歡的菜之一。我覺得在家制作中國傳統菜很有趣。在一個休閑的周末和家人朋友低調的在一家中國餐館吃飯,是一種享受。

No matter the occasion, most Chinese dishes are symbolic of traditions from the past. There are many variations of Chinese cuisine, ranging from Shanghai cuisine to Hainanese cuisine to Sichuan cuisine and so much more. Notably there are common ingredients within each cuisine. Here are six such symbolic Chinese dishes eaten around the world for breakfast, lunch and dinner on an average day.

無論在什么場合,大多數中國菜都象征著傳統。中國菜有很多種,從上海菜到海南菜到四川菜等等,值得注意的是每道菜都有共同的配料。這里有六道象征性的中國菜,世界各地人們每天的早餐、午餐和晚餐都經常吃這些菜。

1. Rice and noodles

1.米飯和面條

Rice and noodles are regarded as firm staples in Chinese cuisine and accompany most everyday Chinese meals. A bowl of white rice is usually served alongside other dishes when it comes to Chinese dining. Rice has a long history in China. Initially around 1100BC, aristocrats in the Zhou dynasty were the ones who were able to afford rice. Later on everyone relied on it for food as it’s easy to cook and store, practical to eat every other day. Today rice is one of China’s top commodities; China relies on rice production to sustain its economy (interestingly importing rice for the first time from the US recently, probably to meet local demand), is responsible for about 30% of global rice production, and eats more than twice as much rice as Japan. To put it simply, rice is a way of life in Chinese culture.

米飯和面條被認為是中國菜中不可或缺的主食,也是大多數中國人日常飲食的主要食物。中國人吃飯的時候,米飯通常會和其他菜一起上桌。水稻在中國有著悠久的歷史,最初在公元前1100年左右的周朝,只有貴族能夠買得起大米,后來每個人都依賴它作為食物,因為它易于烹飪和儲存,每隔一天吃一次也很不錯。如今,大米是中國最主要的商品之一;中國人主要靠消耗大米來維持生活(有趣的是,最近中國首次從美國進口大米,可能是為了滿足當地需求),中國的大米產量占全球大米產量的30%,大米消耗量是日本的兩倍多。簡而言之,米飯是中國文化中的一種生活方式。
原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.cqxyscyz.com 轉載請注明出處


While rice is mostly cultivated in the south of China, noodles are cultivated more easily in the north as that’s where wheat grains thrive due to climatic differences. Like rice, noodles have fed China for thousands of year and are a most economical energy, cereal food. While rice symbolises wealth and abundance, noodles symbolises longevity and long life.

水稻主要種植在中國南方,小麥更容易在北方種植,由于氣候的差異,那里的小麥長勢很好。像米飯一樣,面條已經養育了中國人幾千年,是最經濟的提供能量的谷物食品。米飯象征著財富和富足,面條則象征著長壽。
Time and time again I’ve heard my folks and extended Chinese Malaysian family say they feel weird if they don’t eat rice or noodles after a day or two. Whenever we go out for Chinese dinner and don’t feel like eating white rice, my folks normally order fried rice instead as it is…rice. Call me a bad Asian but I have no problem not eating rice every day and have gone weeks without eating rice. That said, yangzhou fried rice (揚州炒飯) is one of the dishes I like to cook and eat, just like how I like making instant Maggi noodles for weekend breakfast.
我不止一次聽到我的家人和馬來西亞華裔家庭說,如果一兩天不吃米飯或面條,他們會覺得很奇怪。每當我們出去吃中餐,不想吃白米飯的時候,我的家人通常會點炒飯,因為它就是...米飯。但是我每天不吃米飯也沒有問題,你可以說我是一個不合格的亞洲人,而且我已經幾個星期沒有吃米飯了。也就是說,揚州炒飯是我喜歡做和吃的菜之一,就像我喜歡在周末的早上吃方便面一樣。

2. Chicken

2.雞肉


There are endless Chinese chicken recipes, many of which have been adapted to suit local palates around the world. While steamed yellow-skinned chicken is a popular dish during celebratory occasions (with chicken head, feet and tail symbolising unity and togetherness), chicken is common in Chinese stir-frys too. Oyster sauce chicken with bok choy, Malaysian mango chicken and cashew nut chicken were some dishes I remember my mum cooked when I was younger.

中國有數不清的雞肉食譜,其中很多都是為了適應世界各地的當地口味而改的。清蒸黃皮雞是慶?;顒又械某R姴穗?雞頭、雞腳和雞尾象征團結和團圓),而雞肉在中式炒菜中也很常見,蠔油雞配白菜,馬來西亞芒果雞和腰果雞是我記憶中媽媽在我小時候做的一些菜。

A lot of the time many Chinese are fond of eating chicken head and chicken feet for their gritty texture. This is in contrast with chicken breast which some Chinese reckon is ‘the meat of fools’, tasting like wood and nowhere near as enjoyable as eating meat with bones. Personally chicken breast is my favourite meat. Thick and smooth is just my preference.

很多時候,許多中國人喜歡吃雞頭和雞爪,因為它們有堅韌的質地。這與一些中國人認為是“傻肉”的雞胸肉形成了鮮明的對比,雞胸肉嘗起來很柴,遠不及骨頭上的肉那么好吃。雞胸肉是我個人最喜歡的肉,厚而光滑正是我的偏好。

On a side note, apart from chicken, duck is notoriously popular in Chinese cuisine. Duck (Peking duck) is historically an iconic dish in Chinese culture, prepared for royalty and later served to everyone else like rice. Not surprisingly China produces around 83% of duck meat production in the Asian region. In general, duck is more expensive than chicken as it’s the rarer of the two birds and not found in all parts of the world.

另一方面,除了雞肉,鴨肉在中國菜中的受歡迎程度也是眾所周知的。在中國文化中,北京烤鴨歷來是一道標志性的菜肴,是為皇室準備的,后來像米飯一樣供應給其他人。毫不奇怪,中國生產了亞洲地區83%的鴨肉。一般來說,鴨肉比雞肉貴,因為它是這兩種禽類中相對稀有的,而且不是在世界各地都能找到。

3. Dates and sesame seeds

3.棗子和芝麻

Some Chinese dishes are sweeter than others. The Chinese date fruit, also known as the red date or jujube, and goji berries are often used in Chinese herbal soups, steamed chicken and teas. Dark red and orange in colour and high in vitamin B and C, a handful of these preserved dried fruits make any Chinese dish a touch sweeter (occasionally sour depending on season) and is believed to bring physical warmth to the body. In recent times jujubes and goji berries have been touted as antioxidant superfoods helping to regulate stress, sleep cycles and suppress cancerous cells.

有些中國菜比別的菜甜。中國的棗子,也被稱為紅棗或棗,和枸杞經常被用于中藥湯,蒸雞和茶。色澤紅里透黃,富含維B和維C,少數腌制的干果可令任何中式菜肴的味道略甜(有時會因季節而變酸),并可為身體帶來熱量。近來棗子和枸杞被吹捧為能讓人體抗氧化的超級食物,有助于調節壓力,睡眠周期和抑制癌細胞。

At times a Chinese dish might come with subtle crunch along with the sweetness. Sesame seeds are commonly sprinkled over poultry dishes such as sesame oil chicken, fried chicken and sweet and sour pork (always debatably a true classic Chinese dish…).

有時一道中國菜伴隨著輕微的嘎吱聲和甜味而來。芝麻通常撒在家禽類菜肴上,比如芝麻油雞、炸雞和糖醋排骨(一直被認為是真正的經典中國菜...)。

4. Dumplings

4.餃子



Chinese dumplings are one of the most important and all time favourite foods in Chinese culture. A staple around the Chinese New Year, dumplings are also popular during yum cha and family gatherings. There are many kinds of Chinese dumplings; the jiǎozi (餃子), xiǎo long bāo (小籠包), shēng jiān bāo (生煎), xiā jiǎo/hā gáau (蝦餃) and shāo mài/sīu máai (燒賣) are just a few of them.
中國餃子是中國文化中最重要也是最受歡迎的食物之一。餃子是中國新年的主食,在飲茶和家庭聚會時也很受歡迎。中國的餃子有很多種,其中包括餃子、小籠包、生煎、蝦餃和燒麥等。

As I wrote in Why Many Chinese Like Eating Dumplings, dumplings are dishes for sharing and represent wealth and togetherness. Interestingly enough, when it comes to eating dumplings many seem content to just eat dumplings and more dumplings, no need for rice of noodles. At least that is the case when I eat dumplings with my Chinese friends in Australia – just eat dumplings and no other dishes. Dumplings really are just that good by themselves and it’s easy to feel stuffed from eating more and more dumplings.

正如我在《為什么很多中國人喜歡吃餃子》一書中所寫的,餃子是可以分享的美食,代表著財富和團結。有趣的是,當提到吃餃子,很多人似乎滿足于只吃更多的餃子,而不需要吃米飯和面條。至少當我和我在澳大利亞的中國朋友一起吃餃子的時候是這樣的——只吃餃子,沒有其他的菜。餃子本身就很好吃,而且吃的餃子越來越多,很容易讓人覺得吃飽了。

5. Green leafy vegetables

5.綠葉蔬菜



There’s almost always a vegetable dish when it comes to having a Chinese meal. Bok choy/Chinese celery (xiǎo bái cài, 小白菜), gai lan/Chinese broccoli (jiè làn, 芥蘭), water spinach and bamboo shoots are some popular greens in Chinese cooking. Probably the most well-known one is the bok choy. Native to China and first cultivated along the yellow Yangtze River Delta, it is nicknamed ‘soup spoon’ for its large leaves that are shaped like a spoon. Chinese immigrants brought bok choy to Australia during the 1850s Gold Rush and it was brought to North America in the 1880s.
說到吃中餐,幾乎總是有蔬菜。白菜或者中國西芹(小白菜)、甘藍或者中國西蘭花(芥藍)、菠菜和竹筍是中國烹飪中常見的綠色蔬菜,也許最有名的是白菜,它原產于中國,最初在黃河長江三角洲種植,因其形狀像勺子一樣的大葉子而被稱為湯匙。在19世紀50年代的淘金熱期間,中國移民將白菜帶到了澳大利亞,并在19世紀80年代將其帶到了北美。

In general, raw and uncooked vegetables aren’t eaten too often among the Chinese. Good sanitation has been a problem in China for a long time, and food here is preferably cooked over heat to minimise bacteria. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, uncooked and ‘cold’ food may not be optimal for digestion. Personally I like my vegetables cooked hot and over the years have learnt vegetables are one of the fastest foods to cook. If I come home from work, have the house to myself for the evening and am feeling lazy, boiling some bok choi or Chinese broccoli for five minutes along with some fresh meat makes for a meal right away. Quick and easy for a hungry girl. Not to mention washing up is easy too.

一般來說,中國人并不常吃生的和未煮熟的蔬菜。缺少良好的衛生條件長期以來一直是中國的一個問題,這里的食物最好是在高溫下烹飪,以盡量減少細菌。從傳統中醫的角度來看,生冷食物可能不是最佳的消化方式。就我個人而言,我喜歡吃煮熟的蔬菜,多年來我已經明白了蔬菜是烹飪速度最快的食物之一。如果我下班回家,晚上一個人懶洋洋的呆在家里,花上五分鐘時間煮一些小白菜或者芥蘭,再加上一些新鮮的肉,馬上就可以做成一頓飯。對于一個饑餓的女孩來說既簡單又方便,更不用說洗餐具也很容易。

6. Tofu

6.豆腐
Traditionally tofu symbolises death in Chinese culture. This is because most tofu is white (at least on the inside) and the colour white is synonymous with death – and so sometimes isn’t served during festivals. That said, some have suggested eating tofu sounds like eating a mouthful of ‘fú’ (福) or good fortune. In everyday Chinese cooking, tofu is cooked with soups and in stir fries and simmered in hotpots. Made out of soybeans, milk and coagulents, there are many varieties of tofu such as beancurd, silken tofu, dehydrated tofu, pickled tofu and stinky tofu. One of the most popular tofu dishes is the Sichuan mapo tofu which is beancurd in red chilli and bean oil.
傳統上,豆腐在中國文化中象征著死亡,這是因為大多數豆腐是白色的(至少里面是白色的),白色是死亡的同義詞——所以有時在節日期間不吃豆腐。而有些人建議吃豆腐,因為聽起來像是吃了一口“fú”(福)或好運。在日常的中國烹飪中,豆腐可以和湯一起煮,用旺火炒,在火鍋里慢燉。豆腐由大豆、牛奶和凝結劑制成,品種繁多,有豆腐、絹豆腐、脫水豆腐、腌制豆腐、臭豆腐等。其中最受歡迎的豆腐是四川麻婆豆腐,它是用紅辣椒和豆油腌制成的豆腐。

Rumour has it tofu is associated with sexual harassment. There is this story out of Chang’an in China where a husband and wife duo ran a tofu restaurant. The husband made tofu at night while the wife ran the shop in the day. The wife was said to have good looks as a result of of eating tofu (supposedly keeps the skin nice and smooth) and men patronised the shop to ‘eat tofu’ – flirt with her.

有傳言說,豆腐和性騷擾有關。在中國古代有這樣一個故事,長安一對夫妻開了家豆腐店,丈夫晚上做豆腐,妻子白天經營店鋪,據說這位妻子因為吃了豆腐(據說可以保持皮膚光滑)而長得很漂亮,男人們都光顧這家店來“吃豆腐”——和她調情。
原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.cqxyscyz.com 轉載請注明出處


Certain Chinese cuisine is spicier than others. Think Sichuan and Hunan cooking out of the Sichuan and Hunan provinces south of China where the climate is relatively cool. In general, many Chinese eat spicy and don’t mind spicy food at all. China currently produces around 28 million tons of chilli, which is 46% of the world’s total chillis. These days if you go to a Chinese restaurant, more than likely you’ll come across a spicy Chinese dish on the menu or chilli condiments on the table like chilli flakes or chilli oil.

某些中國菜比其他菜辣。想想川菜和湖南菜就知道了。四川和湖南是中國南方氣候相對涼爽的省份,一般來說,許多中國人喜歡吃辣而且根本不介意吃辣。中國目前的辣椒產量約為2800萬噸,占世界辣椒總產量的46%。如今,如果你去一家中餐館,很可能會在菜單上看到一道道辛辣的中國菜,或者在餐桌上看到辣椒面或辣椒油之類的辣椒調味品。

my parents forbade me to eat spicy dishes until I was about 15. They argued eating spicy foods at a young age damages brain cells (can’t find research to prove this). Well by the time I started eating spicy food as an adult my tongue couldn’t tolerate it. Eating a bowl of curry noodles never fails to hurt my tongue and stomach a fair bit, and I’ve chugged glass after glass of milk to ease the fire on my tongue and stomach. so all you chilli lovers out there, yes you can call me a wuss.

在我15歲之前,我的父母都不允許我吃辛辣的食物。他們認為在年輕時吃辛辣食物會損害腦細胞(沒有研究可以證明)。當我成年后開始吃辛辣食物時,我的舌頭卻已經受不了了。吃一碗咖喱面總是會讓我的舌頭和胃受到一點傷害,我得一杯接一杯地喝牛奶來緩解舌頭和胃上的火辣感。所以你們這些熱愛辣椒的人可以叫我膽小鬼。

Notably, Chinese meals are often centred about the notion of balance and the yin and yang philosophy. That is, in a given Chinese meal there usually is a balance of flavour (sweet, salty, sour, bitter), balance of ‘hot and cold’ foods and a mix of starch, meat and vegetable dishes and maybe even a soup dish so as to encompass as many nutrients and food groups as possible. As such some might argue Chinese food is healthier than other kinds of food. On one hand, eating a wide variety of foods is favourable so you get all the vitamins your body needs. But on the other hand, eat big portions of Chinese dishes and Chinese dishes that are greasy, that leads to calorie consumption overload.

值得注意的是,中國人的飲食通常以平衡和陰陽哲學為中心,也就是說,在一頓特定的中餐中,通常是味道的平衡(甜、咸、酸、苦),熱食和冷食的平衡,淀粉、肉類和蔬菜的混合,甚至湯和菜的混合,以便盡可能包含更多的營養和食物組合。因此,有些人可能會說中國食物比其他種類的食物更健康。一方面,吃各種各樣的食物是有利的,這樣你就能得到你身體所需要的所有維生素。但另一方面,吃大量的中國菜和油膩的中國菜,會導致卡路里攝入過量。

Today Chinese food is found all over the world. In Australia, it’s not hard to find Chinese food in the capital cities. Here in Melbourne it’s not hard to find more than a few Chinese restaurants in the city and in the towns with a high Asian demographic – quite easy to eat at a different Chinese meal at a different Chinese restaurant every night (and so easy to get broke eating this way). The question of whether Australia’s Chinese food is more on the authentic side or more geared towards a Western palate is a question to ponder. But that’s another story for another day.

現如今中國菜在世界各地都能找到。在澳大利亞的首都找到中國菜并不難,在墨爾本這座城市和亞洲人口密集的城鎮,不難找到幾家中餐館——很容易在每天晚上在不同的中餐館吃不同的中國菜(用這種方式吃飯很容易破產)。澳大利亞的中國菜是更偏向正宗還是更適合西方口味,這個問題值得深思。但這是另外一個故事了。

Do you like Chinese cuisine?

你喜歡中國菜嗎?

原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.cqxyscyz.com 轉載請注明出處