An enormous amount of rice is grown and consumed in China, but to characterise Chinese as rice eaters, or call China a "rice-based" society, as the Asia Rice Foundation does, (an organisation that should know better), is quite misleading. It is true that rice is China's most important grain crop, but Chinese wheat consumption is nearly as high. On average Chinese eat 250 grams of raw rice a day – that's about four heaped bowls when cooked. Wheat – made into dumplings, noodles and bread – follows closely at 230 grams. To generalise, it is reasonable to think of southern Chinese as rice eaters, and northern Chinese as wheat eaters, or rather, wheaten product eaters.
Figures are for China & Taiwan
(1996), not including Hong Kong. Source: The International Institute
for Applied Systems Analysis.
People tend to pigeonhole the wok as an instrument of stir frying. It seems to have been developed specifically for that use; that is the job it does to perfection. Yet this uniquely shaped cooking pot handles at least adequately: frying, deep frying, braising, stewing, boiling, smoking, steaming, and soup making … more