Vegetables are, in general, the second most fundamental part of Chinese cuisine, after rice. Chinese people are fond of vegetables, especially leafy greens, and eat many different kinds at almost every meal. We sometimes preserve vegetables and eat them as snacks.
Listed below are some commonly used vegetables.
Leafy vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, and other dark leafy greens, are very common and can be found easily in supermarkets. They can be stir-fried with sauce and condiments, used raw in salads, or pickled.
Chinese EggplantChinese eggplants
Chinese eggplants are usually long with a purple skin. They are usually stir-fried with meat or stir-fried with garlic sauce. They can also be used in a salad with condiments, or pickled. One of the most famous Chinese eggplant dishes is braised eggplant.
Creamy white with a smooth skin, a raw white radish (daikon) tastes crispy and has a sweet, fresh flavor with a bit of a spicy bite. It is a good source of vitamin C. Chinese people prefer to use them in stir-fries, stewed in soup with meat, or pickled with sauce.
Mushrooms used in Chinese food include wood ears, golden needle mushrooms (金针菇), shiitake (‘shii-tree mushrooms’ 香菇), oyster mushrooms (平菇), and tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇). Chinese people often use mushrooms, fresh or dried, when cooking a hotpot or making some meat soup.
Chinese people use onion in a wide variety of dishes, especially in stir-fries. It can be stir-fried alone as a dish, or stir-fried with pork or other meat like beef or mutton.
Rich in vitamins A, B, and C, soybean sprouts can be eaten raw in salads, and are also popular in stir-fried dishes.
String BeansString beans
String beans are also known as green beans. They are usually stir-fried with pork, or dry fried until the skin turns brown.
Carrots are a popular vegetable for Chinese people. They are widely used in many dishes, especially in the preparation of salad.
Bamboo shoots that are fresh, dried, or canned are very popular as an addition to stir-fries. They are used in numerous Chinese dishes and broths.