Posts in Food Hisotry
Food Facts: Benefits of Eating Nuts
Honey_Glazed_Chicken.jpg

In general, nuts are good sources of fat, fiber and protein.

Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. However, they do contain some saturated fat.

Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.

Many studies have investigated the health benefits of increased nut intake.

One meta-analysis of 33 studies found that diets high in nuts do not significantly affect weight gain or weight loss .

Yet, despite having little effect on weight, many studies have shown that people who eat nuts live longer than those who don't. This may be due to their ability to help prevent a number of chronic diseases.

For example, nuts may reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels .

There are several yummy dishes at Windchimes that include a type of nut like our Honey Glazed Shrimp, any Kung Pao dishes, any Cashew dishes, and my favorite Honey Glazed Cashew Chicken!

Unique Vegetables in Chinese Food: Bamboo Shoots
f04da2db11221a5a5fb047.jpg

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?

 
91XqrinLVmL._SL1500_.jpg
 
Pad Thai: Food History
pad_thai.jpg

What is Pad Thai?

Pad thai is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and is flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts. It may contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, pickled radishes or turnips, and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other animal products. Many of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments such as the red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.


Where did it come from?

A dish of stir-fried rice noodles is thought by some to have been introduced to Ayutthaya during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by Chinese traders and subsequently altered to reflect Thai flavor profiles.

During World War II, Thailand suffered a rice shortage due to the war and floods. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the Thai government under Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram promoted eating noodles instead. His government promoted rice noodles and helped to establish the identity of Thailand. As a result, a new noodle called sen chan (named after Chanthaburi Province) was created. Pad thai has since become one of Thailand's national dishes. Today, some food vendors add pork or chicken (although the original recipe did not contain pork because of the government's perception that pork was a Chinese meat). Some food vendors still use the original recipe.

Come in to Windchimes today to try our version! You wont’ be disappointed!

The Tien Tisn Pepper
Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 9.18.07 AM.png

One thing Chinese food has is great flavor! From sweet to savory it showcases how pleasurable eating can be.

One main element they use in dishes are peppers. They can range from a slight heat to making your mouth feel on fire. A common pepper used a lot in dishes is the Tien Tsin Pepper. You may know Tien Tsin peppers by another, more descriptive name – Chinese red peppers. These are the surprisingly hot, dried chilies that you sometimes find in you Kung Pao chicken or one of many other Szechuan or Hunan dishes. They’re popular to use as a flavoring spice that are removed prior to serving (unless you order your meal extra hot).

Can you eat the Tien Tsin Pepper? Think of it as a small cayenne peppers with extra pop and you’ll be on the right path for both looks and tastes. Tien Tsin chilies are branch-like thin, one to two inches in length. They age from green to a vibrant red, at which time they are picked and dried for their typical usage

The Tien Tsin pepper’s slimness is very reminiscent of cayenne, and it has a neutral, almost musty, flavor behind the heat similar to cayenne too. This is not a complex chili in terms of flavor; the heat is the star here. And that certainly colors how it is used in the kitchen.

All in all it’s a great element to any Chinese dish and makes each bite DELICIOUS!

Tien Tisn Pepper in Kung Pao Trio (look for the pepper flakes in the dish!)

Tien Tisn Pepper in Kung Pao Trio (look for the pepper flakes in the dish!)

The Mystery of Kung Pao
Kung Pao Trio (includes beef, shrimp, and chicken)

Kung Pao Trio (includes beef, shrimp, and chicken)

Kung Pao chicken (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

Ding_Baozhen.jpg

The dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a late Qing Dynasty official and governor of Sichuan Province. His title was Gongbao (Chinese: 宫保; pinyin: Gōngbǎo; Wade–Giles: Kung1-pao3; literally: "Palace Guardian"). The name Kung Pao chicken is derived from this title.

There are a few different versions of the dish from the original Sichuan version that has diced chicken is typically mixed with a prepared marinade. In Sichuan, or when preparing Sichuan-style Kung Pao chicken, only Sichuan-style chili peppers such as facing heaven pepper or seven stars pepper are used. It is these peppercorns that give authentic Kung Pao chicken its distinctive numbing flavor. Kung Pao chicken starts off with fresh, moist, unroasted peanuts or cashew nuts. These are often used instead of their pre-roasted versions. The peanuts or cashew nuts are dropped into the hot oil at the bottom of the wok, then deep-fried until golden brown before the other ingredients are added.

Versions commonly found in the west, called Kung Pao chickenKung Po, or just chicken chili and garlic, consist of diced, marinated chicken, stir-fried with orange or orange juice, ginger, garlic, chicken broth, sugar, cooking oil, corn starch, and salt and pepper to taste. The dish often includes or is garnished with whole roasted peanuts. Instead of chicken, western variations sometimes substitute other meat such as pork, duck, fish, or tofu.

Come try our version today!


Why the Chicken Became Orange
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_chicken

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_chicken

 

The variety of orange chicken most commonly found at North American Chinese restaurants consists of chopped, battered and fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce, which thickens or caramelizes to a glaze. While the dish is very popular in the United States, it is most often found as a variation of General Tso's chicken in North America rather than the dish found in mainland China. Chef Andy Kao claims to have developed the original Chinese-American orange chicken recipe at a Panda Express in Hawaii in 1987. It’s become popular enough that other Chinese restaurants have created their own versions.

In Chinese, this dish is known as "橙花雞", literally "(Fresh) Orange peel chicken". The dish also has a variation known as "陳皮雞", literally "Dried Citrus peel chicken", referring to dried orange or tangerine peel, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as cooking.

For restaurants outside of Asia, fresh orange peel is often used instead, or even no peel at all.

Come and and taste our Orange Chicken and see what you think!

History of Sweet & Sour Cuisine
SWEETANDSOUR_text.jpg

Sweet and sour is a very popular Chinese dish and one of my favorite but how did it become so popular? Is it really something that’s traditional in China or was it adapted to American’s tastes?

Chinese cuisine uses a variety of ingredients and cooking methods that are very different from other cultures. Their own food and recipes vary according to the different Chinese regions, but generally speaking their basic diet consists mainly of rice and vegetables. Sweet and Sour chicken recipes in Western countries are not exactly what you would find in China. Usually the Chinese use the sweet and sour flavor for fish recipes rather than for chicken. Also, the Chinese, unlike the Americans, do not drown their food in the sauce; rather they serve it on the side for dipping. The sweet and sour recipes for fish are associated with the region of Hunan in China. The recipes that we use in America do however combine the classical combination of the five flavors of: sweet, sour, salty, pungent and bitter. The Chinese do not use as much sweet as we do, and their recipes tend to be more on the bitter side; to create the sweet and sour flavor they mostly mix vinegar with sugar. It is believed that the authentic cuisine of China developed during the Manchus Dynasty of 1644-1911; they introduced a life of decadence and leisure, where food became an important feature in their three day long Imperial Banquets. For the Chinese, food is treated with utmost respect, and is associated with health, luck and prosperity.

There are several different variations of this dish but for the most part it was created to satisfy Western tastes but still keeping the tradition and flavor of China.