Yesterday afternoon, I went to Starbucks with my friend. Maybe it’s because of the weather was still a bit cold, I really wanted to have something could make me feel warm.So I ordered a cup of coconutmilk mocha macchiato. I knew this drink might be sweet, but I had never thought it could be in such a sweet taste. And I even didn’t ask for half sugar when I made my order. But my friend, who knew so well about macchiato and her own taste preference, ordered a half sugar coconutmilk mocha macchiato, which made me feel much better after I tried a little of it.
In fact, this experience reminds me some interesting differences of the cooking recipes in China and some Western countries. Because I know that there are many Western recipes have a very precise limits on the amounts of ingredients. Just like the coffee in Starbucks, the taste with half sugar is different with the one with normal sugar. But Chinese have no very accurate amount requirements within their recipes, and they always change the amount of ingredients based on personal preferences. This could be very obvious when compare restaurants between the China and western world.
When Chinese chefs are cooking dishes, they may tell you that they will add some soy sauce, a little bit sorghum wine, or an appropriate amount of sugar into the dish. Some of the top chefs would use only one huge truner to do everything during cooking. When I learnt cooking at home, my parents would use the exactly same words as those chefs do. In a nutshell, the reason why they never say an accurate number of amount is that Chinese recipes rely more on experiences and personal feelings. Therefore, when the restaurant changes its chef, the dish may change its taste as well.
However, in some of the Western countries, like France and Italy, some chefs will have electronic scales on their cooking table. When adding red wine or oil in the dish, they may use specific tablespoons with exact quantity scales on them. The recipes will tell them how many grams of sugar do they need, or how many milliliters of oyster sauce should add into the dish. Such an accurate cooking style can perfectly control the taste of food and keep it staying in a stable level.
However, since the global communication and interaction have brought many changes to eating habits in various countires, I can’t make a 100% statement that all the people in China or in Western world will completely follow the rules I wrote above. However, it could give you a general idea about how does Chinese cooking differ from the America or other Western ones.