China

A slight excitement for today in the Minter household, as Rory has been waiting to land on China since we started our journey.

Officially known as The Peoples Republic of China (PRC), China is situated in East Asia and is a sovereign state and the worlds most inhabited country, with a population of almost 1.4 billion. The capital of PRC is Beijing where the single party state are governed by the Communist Party of China who claims jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions, while claiming sovereignty over Taiwan.

PRC is the second largest country by land mass covering around 9.5 million square km. The backdrop of China is varied and huge taking in mountains, desserts and subtropical forests. The rivers that run through China are the 3rd and 6th largest respectively – The Yangtze  and Yellow Rivers – and the maritime border is along the Pacific Ocean which is approximately 14,500km long and also bordered by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.

China began with one of the worlds first ancient civilisations that thrived in the basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For hundreds of years RPC political system was grounded on “hereditary monarchies” which we know as dynasties dating back as far as around c.2800 BCE . The last dynasty was overthrown in 1911 by  The Republic of China who ruled until 1949. Following the second world war the nationalist Kuomintang was defeated by the Communist Party on mainland China and the PRC was founded in Beijing on 1 October 1949. The Kuomintang relocated the ROC to  Taipei – its present capital.

China had the most multifaceted and largest economy in the world for almost 2,000 years where they have seen bouts of wealth and decline. Since 1978 with the beginning of the economic reforms, PRC is now one of the worlds fastest growing important markets.

Chinese food incorporates methods from the varied areas of China alongside Chinese people in many other parts of the world. Chinese food/cooking goes back for thousands of years that has altered from era to era and also from region to region, local food choices and climate. As time has moved on, other ingredients and techniques from other civilisations have been combined into the cooking of Chinese food.  According to food critic Bonny Wolf,

Chinese cuisine is one of the “Three Grand Cuisines” in the world, together with the French and Turkish cuisines.

DSCF2651.jpgAlastair was left in charge again tonight and came up with a simple weeknight dish of prawns. I personally would have liked something different to what we can cook, but nevertheless he tried, proof will be in the eating. Chinese takeaway garlic prawns. The blurb says:

There is a great garlic flavour to this with an underlying heat that is fabulous served over rice!

Alastair opted to serve with noodles instead of rice and a few prawn crackers placed on the side…

A very simple dish to put together that incorporates ginger and garlic initially cooked in a wok until soft.

DSCF2654.jpgThe recipe asked for water chestnuts but were forgotten to be bought, also broccoli was bought instead of mange tout, which actually didn’t make the pan, so it really is Alastair’s take on the menu.

In the meantime get the noodles into a pan of boiling water and bring to the boil and cook according to the pack.DSCF2664.jpg

In the meantime get the baby corn, mushrooms and any other vegetables you wish to add, the prawns and begin to cook slowly until the prawns turn pink.

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Mix the other ingredients together to make a sauce to be added to the dish when all the prawns are cooked.

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I have to say the dish, whilst cooking, didn’t really fill the kitchen with flavours and aromas, like previous dishes we have cooked.

The sauce is thickened, by adding cornflour to a little water ,and add whilst continuing to cook for around 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Family Verdict: Although this was well cooked by Alastair and had a kick to it I did’t enjoy it. I was hoping that because he and his father were at home today they would have put something better together. The children liked it, but Rory’s excitement wained a little and Ian wouldn’t rush to have it again…Lets hope we land on China again.  😉

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