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Chinese cold dishes: appetizers from the east

They may not be as famous as their hot counterparts, but Chinese cold dishes, especially those mainly consisting of vegetables, are easy to prepare, highly nutritious, and last but not least, as delicious as those sizzling dishes elaborately cooked.

Scientists have proved that some of the biologically active substances in vegetables, when heated to 55 degrees Celsius and above, will lose the attributes beneficial to human beings. Do not scorn the change: some anti-cancer and antiviral substances stand to lose their effect. So it’s best to eat vegetables raw from a nutritional point of view.

Vegetables most commonly featured in Chinese cold dishes include cucumbers, bitter gourds, Chinese lettuce, celery and tomatoes. All of these boast some healthy effects: cucumbers contain more water than any other food; bitter gourds can lower your blood sugar; Chinese lettuce are rich in potassium and good for high blood pressure; celery  lowers cholesterol and helps weight loss efforts, tomatoes, well, everyone knows tomatoes are good for your health.

Chinese cold dishes are usually prepared without all the oily, heavy seasoning treatment that is essential to most hot dishes. As a result, eating these cold dishes will not be a burden to your digestive system and will not leave you feeling thirsty.

To make all the raw vegetables easy to swallow, Chinese turn to vinegar, olive oil, ginger and garlic, among other stuff. You may have noticed the four are also known to be salubrious seasonings. With Chinese cold dishes, therefore, it’s a case of having double the luck where healthy eating habits are concerned.

You’re right to say that Chinese cold dishes are quite similar to salads in the West. While both use raw vegetables, Chinese cold dishes have distinct tastes and don’t use the incredibly fatty mayonnaise, a predominant seasoning for Western salads.

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