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Chinese Cuisine

     China’s immense size has allowed it to foster many different types of Chinese cuisine (around 5, 000).  Besides taste, Chinese cuisine places great importance on color and smell as well.  The cutting of the ingredients is also very specific in Chinese cooking.  In fact, there are many cutting styles in Chinese cooking, each with a specific name of classification.  Some examples of these names are “pian”, which refers to a flat slice, and “ding”, which refers to small cube cut. 

     The four main cuisines of China are Guangdong(Cantonese) cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Huaiyang cuisine, and Sichuan cuisine. Guangdong cuisine is also called Yue Cai.  This cuisine is known for its wide variety of ingredients and its dim sum. Shandong cuisine is also called Lu Cai.  This cuisine is known for its seafood.  Huaiyang cuisine is also known as Huaiyang Cai.  It focuses on the ingredients themselves and the quality of them.  Finally, Sichuan cuisine, or Chuan Cai, is known for its strong, spicy flavor and use of the Sichuan pepper. 

     Chinese food in general is very healthy, because it is never served with just meat, or just rice.  Instead, Chinese food, when served, always includes small amounts of rice and meat, and large amounts of vegetables, topped off with lots of spices.  This creates a balanced diet that is both nutritious and delicious.

Chinese Spring Rolls

     Ready for some traditional Chinese food?  Then spring rolls are the way to go!  Spring Rolls provide the mouth with an explosion of taste and are also quite nutritional.  They consist of a meat and vegetable filling wrapped in a crispy dough sheet. 

     Spring Rolls originated from China during the Eastern Jin Dynasty, but they were most popular during the Tang and Song Dynasties.  This dish was originally eaten by royalty at the beginning of the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival (which explains the name “Spring Roll”).  Chinese people believed that by eating this dish at the beginning of the New Year, they warded off any evil spirits or troubles.  This tradition continues to this day, and people have also said that the gold color of the spring rolls represent wealth and prosperity for the following year. 

     There are many variations to the spring roll, but the recipe below is one of the more basic types. 

What you’ll need:

(Serving for 8)

200g of minced pork

150g of cabbage

100g of chive

100g of carrots

100g of beansprouts

50g of vermicelli

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1 pack of spring roll paper/dough sheets








How to make your very own Spring Rolls:

Spring Rolls Instructions:

1)       Soak the vermicelli in warm water for 10 minutes

2)       Add oil into a frying pan

3)      Stir fry the minced pork

4)      Add the vegetables (cabbage, chive, beansprouts, carrots)  into the frying pan once the minced pork has been cooked

5)      Add oyster sauce into the frying pan

6)      Drain the vermicelli using a strainer

7)      Add the vermicelli to the frying pan

8)      Stir fry everything together (becomes the filling)

9)      Let the filling cool down

10)   Place the filling onto one corner of the spring roll paper/dough sheets

11)   Roll up the filling halfway, then fold the sides of the paper/dough sheet in

12)   Roll up the rest of the paper/dough sheet

13)   Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown

Greek Cuisine


     Ever since Alexander the Great extended the Greek Empire toIndiain 350 B.C.E., Greek food has been a unique mix of many countries’ cuisines.  Yes, Greek food does have its own unique taste, but a lot of it has been influenced by different Eurasian cuisines, such as that of India and Rome. 

     Ingredients that are often used in Greek food are olive oil, bread, wine, cheese, and nuts.  Spices and herbs are also used very often, which is the reason for the strong flavor that exists in many Greek delicacies. 

    Greek food is one of the cuisines included in the Mediterranean Diet.  For thoseof you who don’t know, the Mediterranean Diet is a type of diet that is recommended by doctors.  According to experts, this type of diet reduces the risk of heart disease because of its large emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and spices.  So whenever you’re eating Greek food, just remember, it’s healthy for you.

Greek Baklava

     Craving some cinnamon?  Try some Baklava!  It’s a scrumptious pastry filled with loads of cinnamon and lots of nuts.  It might not look all that appetizing, but trust me, it’s heaven. 

     Now, for some history.  No one really knows where exactly the Baklava originated, but it’s said to have come from the Assyrians (somewhere about 8 B.C.E.).  The Baklava was originally a dish served exclusively to the wealthy, but later became more widespread.  There are many different variations on the Baklava, but the Greek Baklava is one of the more famous variations. 

     The Baklava was first introduced to the Greeks when Greek merchants visitedMesopotamia.  The important contribution they made to the Baklava was their use of phyllo dough as opposed to the thicker dough used by the Assyrians. 

Now, you probably want to move on to the recipe.  So, without any further ado, here you go:

(Serving for 6)

100g of unsalted pistachio nuts

150g of walnuts

375g of phyllo dough

100g of white sugar

1 tbsp of ground cinnamon

2 tbsp of melted butter

For the syrup:

You can use whatever kind of syrup you’d like (I suggest corn syrup or cooking syrup for a quick fix), but this is one recipe you can use. 

375g of sugar

1/2L of water

1 tsp of lemon juice






Here’s a video showing how to make Greek Baklava:

Baklava Instructions:

1)      Crack open all the nuts (if not done already)

2)      Place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes

3)      Chop the nuts into small pieces (in this case I just used a blender)

4)      Mix the nuts, cinnamon, and sugar in a mixing bowl

5)      Cut the phyllo dough into 6 pieces and roll them out into 3mm sheets

6)      Brush the bottom of a pan with melted butter

7)      Place three layers of phyllo dough sheets onto the pan (including a layer of melted butter between each of the sheets)

8)      Pour the nut mixture on top of the phyllo dough sheets

9)      Top it off with three more layers of phyllo dough sheets (again, including a layer of melted butter between the sheets)

10)   Cut a diamond pattern into the top surface of the phyllo dough

11)   Place the pan into the oven and bake it at 300 F for 1 hour (or until the top of the pastry is golden-brown)

Syrup Instructions:

1)      Pour the sugar, water, and lemon juice into a saucepan

2)      Boil the mixture at medium heat until it reaches a syrupy texture

3)      Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes

4)      Pour the syrup over the Baklava

What We’re All About

     Hello, and welcome to Taste the Silk Road blog! Here, you can browse for thousands of recipes for authentic dishes from various places along the Silk Road.  Besides the recipes themselves, we also provide helpful step-by-step cooking videos.  Each recipe is also accompanied by some historical context, so you can brush up on your history, too!