Chinese food and cooking places as much emphasis on texture as on taste. Flavours differ from region to region, but there’s a strong tradition of resourcefulness – traditional meat dishes include feet and tongue, and artisanal techniques like fermenting, drying and pickling are commonly used to preserve food. Many dishes can be made just from store-cupboard ingredients: pickles, dried mushrooms, dried sausage, dry rice and noodles, and sauces. Order the brands you would find in a Chinese supermarket: Lao Gan Ma (LGM), Lee Kum Kee (LKK), and many more. For ideas for ideas for how to use the ingredients see our Chinese recipes.

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