Posts tagged Best Columbus Chinese Food
Unique Vegetables in Chinese Food: Bamboo Shoots
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China is a large continent which in turn brings a lot of different food varieties. One vegetable that is seen in a lot of different Chinese cuisines in Bamboo shoots. What are they you ask?

As the name implies, bamboo shoots are the edible shoots of the bamboo plant, which is native to Asia. They are cut from the plant once they appear above the ground to preserve their tenderness and because if they are left to grow exposed, they will turn a green color. 

Fresh bamboo shoots are available at Asian or Chinese markets, or you can find canned bamboo shoots at most local grocery stores. Fresh shoots need to be boiled until tender, then husked and cut into pieces. Canned bamboo shoots only need to be heated since they are pre-cooked.

You may have eaten bamboo shoots at a Chinese restaurant as they are often part of a stir-fry. You can try them at home in almost any stir-fry dish, including stir-fry beef with bamboo shoots and stir-fry mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Next time you order your favorite dish from Windchimes thing…does this have Bamboo shoots in it?

 
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Happy Lunar New Year: The Celebration Begins
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Just because the new year has begun doesn't mean you're allowed to rest.

While most countries that observe Lunar New Year offer three to seven days of public holidays, celebrations don't end until the 15th day of the first lunar month, also known as the Lantern Festival. (Lunar New Year in 2019 lasts from February 5 to February 19.)

There is a list of superstitious dos and don'ts for the new year but the rule of thumb is to say a lot of "kung hei fat choy"or "gong xi fa cai," and avoid saying things that may sound like a less auspicious word.

During the festival, people will travel around to visit relatives, who will prepare snacks and fill up candy boxes for the visits -- except for the third day of the month.

It's believed that arguments are more likely to happen on that day -- February 9, this year -- called chi kou (or "red mouth"). Hence, most people will engage in other activities like visiting a temple. In Hong Kong, a major spring festival horse racing event takes place every year on the third day.

During the 15 days, married couples have to give out red packets filled with money to children (and unmarried adults) to wish them luck.

The seventh day is renri, or the people's birthday (February 11). when the Chinese mother goddess Nuwa is said to have created mankind.

The highlight comes on the last day, during the Lantern Festival (February 19).

Being the only day when young girls in ancient Chinese society could go out to admire lanterns and meet boys, it's also been dubbed Chinese Valentine's Day.

Nowadays, cities around the world still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the 15th day of the festival.

Some create more sparks than others. Like Nuanquan, a small Chinese town that puts on a spectacular "firework" show by throwing molten metal against a cold stone city wall.

Kung hei fat choy!

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Chinese New Years: Lucky Foods
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February 5th is Chinese New Years and there’s so much to celebrate! One thing that is very important to the celebration is food. There are certain dishes that are eaten for the symbolic meaning and luck.

The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot.

The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all.

Here are the 7 lucky foods to eat:

1. Fish — an Increase in Prosperity

In Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. Fish is a tradtional Chinese New Year dish. Chinese people always like to have a surplus at the end of the year, because they think if they have managed to save something at the end of the year, then they can make more in the next year.

Steamed fish is one of the most famous Chinese New Year recipes. What fish should be chosen for the New Year dinner is based on auspicious homophonics.

  • Crucian carp: As the first character of 'crucian carp' (鲫鱼 jìyú /jee-yoo/) sounds like the Chinese word 吉 (jí /jee/ 'good luck'), eating crucian carp is considered to bring good luck for the next year.

  • Chinese mud carp: The first part of the Chinese for "mud carp" (鲤鱼 lǐyú /lee-yoo/) is pronounced like the word for gifts (礼 lǐ /lee/). So Chinese people think eating mud carp during the Chinese New Year symbolizes wishing for good fortune.

  • Catfish: The Chinese for "catfish" (鲶鱼 niányú /nyen-yoo/) sounds like 年余 (nián yú) meaning 'year surplus'. So eating catfish is a wish for a surplus in the year.

  • Eating two fish, one on New Year's Eve and one on New Year's Day, (if written in a certain way) sounds like a wish for a surplus year-after-year.

  • If only one catfish is eaten, eating the upper part of the fish on New Year's Eve and the remainder on the first day of the new year can be spoken with the same homophonic meaning.

2. Chinese Dumplings — Wealth

With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve, widely popular in China, especially in North China.

Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.

Dumplings generally consist of minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin and elastic dough skin. Popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, frying or baking.

How they're made: Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings. First they mix the dough, second make the dough into round "wrappers" with a rolling pin, third fill the wrappers with stuffing, fourth pinch the "wrapper" together into the desired shape, and fifth cook them.

Different Dumpling Fillings Have Different Meanings

Chinese don't eat Chinese sauerkraut (酸菜 suāncài /swann-tseye/) dumplings at Spring Festival, because it implies a poor and difficult future. On New Year's Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one's skin will become fair and one's mood will become gentle.

How to Make LUCKY Dumplings

  • When making dumplings there should be a good number of pleats. If you make the junction too flat, it is thought to purport poverty.

  • Some Chinese put a white thread inside a dumpling, and the one who eats that dumpling is supposed to possess longevity. Sometimes a copper coin is put in a dumpling, and the one who eats it is supposed to become wealthy.

  • Dumplings should be arranged in lines instead of circles, because circles of dumplings are supposed to mean one's life will go round in circles, never going anywhere.

Lucky Saying for Eating Dumplings

Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure' — a felicitous wish for making money and amassing a fortune.

Read more about Chinese dumplings.

3. Spring Rolls — Wealth

Spring rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. It is a dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, etc.

Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum dish of cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. Fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers, then fried, when the spring rolls are given their golden-yellow color.

Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls

黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A ton of gold' (because fried spring rolls look like gold bars) — a wish for prosperity.

Read more about spring rolls.

4. Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position

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Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a traditional Chinese New Year recipe. In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means "'getting higher year-on- by year"'. In Chinese people's minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao

年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/): 'Getting higher year-after-year by year', can imply children's height, rise in business success, better grades in study, promotions at work, etc.

Read more details on Glutinous Rice Cake.

5. Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness

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Sweet rice ball (汤圆 Tāngyuán /tung-ywen/) is the main food for China's Lantern Festival, however, in south China, people eat them throughout the Spring Festival. The pronunciation and round shape of tangyuan are associated with reunion and being together. That's why they are favored by the Chinese during the New Year celebrations.

Lucky Sayings for Eating Tangyuan

团团圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán /twann-twann ywen-ywen/ 'group-group round-round'): Happy (family) reunion!

6. Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity

Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater's life.

They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.

7. Good Fortune Fruit — Fullness and Wealth

Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. They are selected as they are particularly round and "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken.

Chinese New Year fruits

Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) is 橙 (chéng /chnng/), which sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' (成). One of the ways of writing tangerine (桔 jú /jyoo/) contains the Chinese character for luck (吉 jí /jee/).

Eating pomeloes/shaddocks is thought to bring continuous prosperity. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring, as the traditional saying goes. The Chinese for pomelo (柚 yòu /yo/) sounds like 'to have' (有 yǒu), except for the tone, and exactly like 'again' (又 yòu).


Daily Horoscope: August 8, 2018
 
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Water Monkey
Month of the Earth Goat
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yang
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: West-South-West
Lucky colors: Green

 

 
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The Water Monkey is the most cunning of Monkeys.

His curiosity and talent are as well developed as his sensibility is extreme. Indeed, if the Water Monkey is funny, charming and manipulative as all monkeys can be, his intense emotions also allow him to work with instinct, for better or for worse. On a day of the Water Monkey, creative crafts as well as inspiration and new ideas are favored. Remember, however, that if creativity and dreams are connected, the world of production, marketing and sales of a new product depends on reality, with its ungrateful work and challenging failures, must never discourage you from always starting again. Success always comes to those who persevere against the winds and tides.

Today more than ever, you feel the soul of a conqueror of the impossible, a Christopher Columbus in search of gold and glory, whom no one seems to take seriously, for the time being… If you’re single, you feel perfectly capable of seducing a movie star. Who does not try anything has nothing, but be prepared to suffer disappointments. To conclude, during a Water Monkey’s day, it is above all to oneself that one must avoid lying.

Daily Energetic chart: Weak in Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Great Possession
 

The Legend of Potstickers
 
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Potstickers are one of my favorite dishes. These simple, little fried pillows filled with meat leave you wanting more. Usually they are an appetizer and meant to share but sometimes you just want them all to yourself. How did these little dumplings become so popular and why are they so delicious? 

The Chinese have been enjoying these little treats since the Song Dynasty. No one knows the exact origin of how they were created but according to legend they were invented by a chef in China's Imperial Court who accidentally burnt a batch of dumplings after leaving them on the stove for too long. The dumplings were overcooked and burnt on the bottom but not on top. The Chef went with this mistake and said it was a new dish and was supposed to be served in this style, leading to the Potstickers we enjoy today. 

 
 

Typically, potstickers are made with a hot water dough that uses boiling water, giving the dough greater elasticity so it can hold it's shape. Though, if you are trying to make these at home you can usually pick up Gyoza or wonton wrappers to create a similar substitute. After they are made you want to fry them up and flip over with the brown side up. Then after they are finished and plated up you can use a variety of dipping sauces to bring out the delicious flavors of the pork inside. 

There are other types of potstickers from different regions of China but these fried delights are my favorite. Come into Windchimes today to taste them for yourself. And be prepared not to share!

My First Chinese Restaurant Experience
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I remember my first Chinese Restaurant experience fondly. There was something special about it that has left an impression on me and my memory. When I think about it I've been to so many different restaurants in my 32 years of life and most of them I don't remember but New Peking Chinese Restaurant will always have a special place in my heart. 

Honestly, I don't really know if this was the first time I had actually had Chinese food or not but this place I remember going to as a family. We would go with my mom ,sister, Grandpa and Japanese Grandma to this spot off of North Dixie in a semi tiny strip mall (where all the good food is in the midwest). I just remember it having a big red door that transported you into a different world of smells and visual memories. We would always go on a Wednesday when my dad would be out golfing with his friends and we got to treat ourselves to some dinner out. I remember the menu having so much food that ranged not only from Chinese food but also Korean. This was the first time I had ever seen Bipmpop and it was impressive! 

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Since I was a pretty picker eater those days so I was scared of half of the menu because I didn't know what to expect. I had always liked chicken and thought that you couldn't really go wrong with something that could be both sweet and sour and ordered that dish in hopes that it would be ok. And boy was it! The taste was so new and interesting and left my taste buds confused and excited made me really interested in the wold of Chinese food and what it all had to offer. In a way I couldn't believe that there was this food out there and so many varieties of it. Even though New Peking is no longer around I will always remember that red door and how it opened my taste buds to new experiences and every time I taste sweet and sour chicken I think not only of that but also the wonderful times I had there with family and how Chinese food can bring people together.

Color in Chinese Culture

China is a large and old country that has a lot of traditions and ties to culture that a lot of people don't know. One being the symbolism of color the meaning behind certain ones.

Each color represents one of the five elements that hold a special place in China's culture. Here is the break down :

Black

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Black represents water. In China, as elsewhere in the world, black 黑 symbolizes something serious, very formal. It was the color wore by the imperial dignitaries,  much like the outfits of our lawyers back in the West. Black also expresses the secret in Chinese, something that is happening in the shadow like the mafia. Black is also considered as a neutral color. Thus, in modern China, people usually wear black clothes in their daily life and white is usually for funerals.

Red

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The second color is red. It represents fire. Chinese people usually believe that red can be a sign of joy and fortune. It has been common color in Chinese New Year and other official or traditional holidays. That is why many older people or people that have been married usually give red envelope as red is a sign of good luck. Red in Chinese culture is not usual for an event like a funeral because it  represents happiness. Thus, it can be pretty offensive to wear red clothes to the funeral ceremony.

Green

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In China, green color usually carries a negative meaning. The Chinese think that someone who does not feel good has a green face. “Having a green face” also means to be angry. Another popular meaning is to cheat on someone. “Wearing a green cap” means being unfaithful to your husband. Generally this term is used for a woman who had a relationship with another man and therefore dishonored her husband.

White

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The fourth color is white. It strongly symbolized the purity and brightness of the metal. It is the official color of clothes in a funeral ceremony. The Chinese are also obsessed with the white skin, as it is usually related to your position in the society.

Yellow

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The last color is yellow as a symbol of earth. This color, very important in Chinese symbolism, represents glory, wisdom, harmony, happiness, culture. Yellow is reserved for the Emperor, it is the color of royalty. Later, it took very different meaning as yellow is also the color of sex and pleasure.

As we quickly approach summer we are seeing all the colors that come out in nature and also our food. So, next time you are enjoying your delicious food from Windchimes take a look and see what colors your see and what they might mean!

Inspiring Foods: The History of Moo Shu
 
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Last week I decided to be adventurous and try a new dish at Windchimes. I searched through the menu as my mouth watered at all the delicious sounding food when I finally found what i wanted. I wanted the Moo Shu Chicken.

This stir fried dish served with your choice of meat with cabbage, bamboo shoots, carrots and egg in a plum sauce sounded really good. Though there was an interesting element that caught my attention and was the reason i wanted to try this dish out. It came with a pancake?! What did that mean? I had to try it and I was not disappointed.

Afterward I was curious about how this dish was created since a lot of the Chinese food comes from different regions that specialize in their own flavors or types of food. This dish comes from the northern Chinese origin originating from Shandong, a coastal province and appearing in the United States in the late 1960s. Typically the Moo Shu dish is created with pork tenderloin, cucumber, and scrambled eggs, stir fried in sesame or peanut oil together with mushrooms and minced ginger and garlic. As this dish grew popularity in the United States the chefs had to start to modify the recipe to use ingredients that are easier and more available in the states. This is why they started to use green cabbage, carrots, scallions and bean sprouts a lot more in the dish. Like most dishes that are popular there are a lot of different variations of them from restaurant to restaurant adding their own flavor and twist on it.

 
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My favorite adaptation in the pancake that is served with the dish. The pancake is a white tortilla-like wrapper made of flour and is used to hold all of the contents of the dish. It's basically eaten like a taco and there are even some Chinese restaurants that began serving Mexican style flour tortillas with the dish. I love the way that food has come to grow and adapt to their surroundings and the culture around them that is different then their own. It really illustrates the beauty of America and how we are a melting pot of so many different cultures. 

 

Daily Horoscope: May 8, 2018
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Metal Ox
Month of the Fire Dagon
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yin
Polarity of the Month: Yang
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: North-East
Lucky colors: Green

 

LIKE HIS PEERS, THE METAL OX IS A CONSERVATIVE, FOR WHOM WORK AND FAMILY ARE PARAMOUNT TO HIS PERSONAL WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPMENT.

 

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The Metal Ox is little talkative, preferring to express himself by concrete gestures rather than by speech. It is also when he acts of his own free will that the Metal Ox feels really happy and fulfilled. Indeed, while he hates to be given orders, he is always ready to serve others. A Metal Ox day is beneficial to the business world, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or if you run a department within your company.

Today, you’re able to use discernment and skillfully convince your interlocutors, even more since you won’t hesitate to wet your shirt in the process. In love, if you’ve been married for a long time or if you’ve been in a couple for a short period of time, a small symbolic gift (for example a rose or a bouquet of flowers) to your partner will only strengthen your union by the simplicity and elegance of your gesture.

Daily Energetic chart: Weak in Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): Moulting
 

 

Lets Eat!: Shareable Foods
 
Chicken Lettuce Wraps meant to be shared!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps meant to be shared!

 

Food is an important part of Chinese people's lives. Food is not only seen as enjoyment but also a way to bring others together such as family and friends. 

There are several dishes on the Windchimes menu's that "shareable". Such as the Shrimp Toast, Chicken Lettuce wraps, or the Mango Shrimp. Just look at the portion of food that is presented when it comes hotly out of the kitchen. It's HUGE! It' also, usually, plated in a way that makes it easy to share and allows everyone to enjoy in the deliciousness of the food!

Sharing isn't just a nice act to do when enjoying a meal, it's also good manners in Chinese culture. Food is very important and has a deep rooted history of not only flavors but also courtesy. There is a lot of respect that goes into dining like presenting the best food to senior members of the family first to honor them. Also celebrating special moments in ones life like a birthday (or maybe Mother's Day) at a Chinese Restaurant to eat noodles not only shows respect for tradition but also is a great way to enjoy a meal with the important people in your life.

Sharing with family

Sharing with family

Being able to share food is also a way to be more adventurous and try a few different flavors. Why not try Hunan Pork or the Sizzling House Noodles. Take your taste buds on an adventure and why not bring a friend along for the ride.