Friday, September 19, 2008


Hawthorn is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. The name ''hawthorn'' was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the Common Hawthorn ''C. monogyna'', and the unmodified name is often so used in and Ireland. However the name is now also applied to the entire genus, and also to the related Asian genus ''Rhaphiolepis''.

They are shrubs and small trees growing to 5-15 m tall, characterized by their small pome fruit and thorny branches. The bark is smooth grey in young individuals, developing shallow longitudinal fissures with narrow ridges in older trees. The fruits are sometimes known as "haws", from which the name derived. The thorns grow from branches, and are typically 1-3 cm long. The leaves grow spirally arranged on long shoots, and in clusters on spur shoots on the branches or twigs. The leaves themselves have lobed or serrate margins and are somewhat variable shape.

The number of species in the genus depends on taxonomic interpretation, with numerous ; some botanists recognise a thousand or more species, while others reduce the number to 200 or fewer.

Hawthorns provide food and shelter for many species of birds and mammals, and the flowers are important for many nectar-feeding insects. Hawthorns are also used as food plants by the larvae of a Lepidoptera species.

Many species and hybrids are used as and street trees. The Common Hawthorn is extensively used in Europe as a plant. Several cultivars of the Midland Hawthorn ''C. laevigata'' have been selected for their pink or red flowers. Hawthorns are among the trees most recommended for water-conservation landscapes.

Selected species


Culinary use

The fruits of the species ''Crataegus pinnatifida'' are tart, bright red, and resemble small fruits. They are used to make many kinds of Chinese snacks, including haw flakes and '''' . The fruits, which are called ''shānzhā'' in Chinese, are also used to produce jams, jellies, juices, alcoholic beverages, and other drinks . In South Korea, a liquor called ''sansachun'' is made from the fruits.To the western palate, drinks made from the fruits taste similar to barbecue sauce. and you can grind it up and smoke it

The fruits of ''Crataegus pubescens'' are known in Mexico as ''tejocotes'' and are eaten raw, cooked, or in jam during the winter months. They are stuffed in the ''pi?atas'' broken during the traditional pre-Christmas parties known as ''posadas''. They are also cooked with other fruits to prepare a Christmas punch. The mixture of ''tejocote'' paste, sugar, and chili powder produces a popular Mexican candy called ''rielitos'', which is manufactured by several brands.

In the southern United States fruits of three native species are collectively known as mayhaws and are made into jellies which are considered a great delicacy. In Canada, where hawthorns are strongly associated with the culture of Manitoulin Island, the fruits are commonly known as hawberries.

The leaves are edible and, if picked in the months of April and May, they are tender enough to be used in salads.

Medicinal use

The dried fruits of ''Crataegus pinnatifida'' are used in naturopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as a digestive aid. A closely related species, ''Crataegus cuneata'' is used in a similar manner. Other species are used in Western herbal medicine, where the plant is believed to strengthen cardiovascular function . In recent years, this use has been noted and adopted by Chinese herbalists as well . Hawthorn is also used as an aid to lower blood pressure, and treat some heart related diseases.

;Clinical trials
Several clinical trials have assessed the ability of hawthorn to help improve exercise tolerance in people with NYHA class II cardiac insufficiency compared to placebo. One trial, at for 4 to 8 weeks, found no difference from placebo. The second trial, including 78 subjects for 8 weeks, found "significant improvement in exercise tolerance" and lower blood pressure and heart rate during exercise. The third trial, including 32 subjects for 8 weeks, found improved exercise tolerance as well as a reduction in the "incidence and severity of symptoms such as dyspnea" and fatigue decreased by approximately 50% .

In the HERB-CHF clinical trial, 120 patients took 450mg of hawthorn extract twice daily for 6 months in combination with standard therapy and a standardized exercise program. "No effects of hawthorn were seen on either quality-of-life endpoint , or when adjusted for LVEF" .

One study, consisting of 1011 patients taking one tablet twice daily for 24 weeks, found "improvements in clinical symptoms , performance and exercise tolerance test, and ejection fraction" .

Other uses

The wood of some hawthorn species is very hard and resistant to rot. In rural North America it was prized for use as tool handles and fence posts.

Side effects

Overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and dangerously lower blood pressure. Milder side effects include nausea and sedation.


The custom of employing the flowering branches for decorative purposes on the 1st of May is of very early origin; but since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the tree has rarely been in full bloom in England before the second week of that month. In the Scottish Highlands the flowers may be seen as late as the middle of June. The saying "Ne'er cast a cloot til Mey's oot" conveys a warning not to shed any before the summer has fully arrived and the may flowers are in full bloom.

The hawthorn has been regarded as the emblem of hope, and its branches are stated to have been carried by the ancient Greeks in wedding processions, and to have been used by them to deck the altar of Hymenaios. The supposition that the tree was the source of Jesus's crown of thorns gave rise doubtless to the tradition current among the French peasantry that it utters groans and cries on Good Friday, and probably also to the old popular superstition in Great Britain and Ireland that ill-luck attended the uprooting of hawthorns. Branches of , C. Oxyacantha, var. praecox, which flowers both in December and in spring, were formerly highly valued in England, on account of the legend that the tree was originally the staff of Joseph of Arimathea.

In Celtic lore, the hawthorn plant was used commonly for rune inscriptions along with and Apple. It was once said to heal the broken heart.

In Serbian folklore, a stake made of hawthorn wood was used to impale the corpses of suspected vampires.


During the seventies a facetious gardener working for the city of Vigo in Spain had a passion for grafting on common hawthorn. Onto seedlings of crataegus monogyna , he used to graft pink hawthorn, pear tree and medlar tree on the same trunk so the result was trees which gave pink and white flowers in May and fruits during the summer. He also performed chip budding grafts on hawthorn trunks in order to have several branches of several varieties on the same tree. He gave to these creations the name of sulcudus. Dozen of these trees have been planted in the various municipal gardens of the surrounding . Nowadays many of the sulcudus have disappeared, but it is still possible to admire a few specimens in the park of Pondevedra where in may the trees are all white and pink and in late August every passer by can pick nice ripe pears.

References and external links


Crack seed

Crack seed is a category of snacks highly popular in Hawaii and its place of origin, China. Crack seed is basically preserved fruits that have been cracked or split with the seed or kernel partially exposed as a flavor enhancement. Common terms for this category of snacks is Li hing mui and see mui pronounced "see moy". The snack came with in the 19th century to Hawaii when they were brought to work the plantations.

The flavors are wide and varied ranging from extremely sweet and salty with sour tastes being a possibility as well. Flavors can include rock salt plum, honey mango, licorice peach, or any kind of marriage between fruit, flavor types or preservative ingredient. The largest innovator of flavors in this category is the Yick Lung Company which produces and distributes many varieties. What originally was a food category, preserved fruit, has become a favorite snack of Hawaiian children and a unique cultural food.


Chuanr is small pieces of meat roasted on skewers. Chuanr originated in the Xinjiang province of China and in recent years has been disseminated throughout the rest of the country, most notably in Beijing and Tianjin, where it is a popular street food. It is a product of the Chinese Islamic cuisine of the people and other .

Chuanr is small pieces of meat on skewers roasted over charcoal or, sometimes, electric heat. It is sometimes also cooked by deep frying in oil . It can be classified as a type of kebab. Chuanr was traditionally made from , which is still the most common, but now, chicken,pork, beef, and various types of seafood can also be used. Especially in touristy areas, chuanr can be found made with various insects and bugs, birds, and other exotic animals. In general, chuanr may be spiced according to preference, but generally cumin seed , dried flakes, salt, and sesame or sesame oil are sprinkled or brushed onto it. Another popular incarnation is mantou or steamed bun chuanr; it is commonly brushed with a sweet red bean paste , and its taste serves as a foil to the often spicy meat chuanrs.

In Tianjin, Chuanr is often served with small round breads , also grilled with the same spices. Xiàn bǐng technically means "pie" or "filled bread" -- after cooking bread and meat, the bread is split open and chuanr meat is put inside, then eaten together.


Chopsticks are a pair of small equal-length tapered sticks, which are generally believed to have originated in ancient China, and are the traditional eating utensils of China, Japan, Korea, , and Vietnam.

Chopsticks are commonly used with their associated cuisine. Chopsticks can also now be found in some areas of Tibet and Nepal that are close to Han Chinese populations, due to cross-cultural influences. Chopsticks are commonly used in Xinjiang by Uyghurs and other nationalities to eat . In much of Southeast Asia chopsticks are usually used when eating noodles. Chopsticks are commonly made of wood, bamboo, metal, bone, ivory, and in modern times, plastic as well. The pair of sticks is maneuvered in one hand – between the thumb and fingers – and used to pick up pieces of food.


Chopsticks originated in ancient China as early as the Shang dynasty , and were widely used throughout East Asia. The earliest evidence of a pair of chopsticks made out of bronze was excavated from Yin Ruins's Tomb 1005 at Houjiazhuang, Anyang, Henan, dated roughly 1200 BC. Chopsticks were also common household items of civilized on the Mongolian steppes during the 6th–8th centuries.


The English word "chopstick" seems to have been derived from Chinese Pidgin English, a pidgin in which "chop chop" meant quickly.

The word for chopsticks is ''kuàizi'' 筷子. 筷 is a compound with a phonetic part of "快", which means ''quick'', and a semantic part, 竹, meaning bamboo. In Chinese, the old word for "chopsticks", and also in some varieties of modern Chinese such as , was ''zhù'' . However, ''zhù'' became a taboo on ships because it sounded the same as another word meaning "to stop" . Consequently, it was replaced by a word of opposite meaning, ''kuài'' . This gradually spread until it became the word for "chopsticks" in most varieties of modern Chinese. The character for this new meaning of "chopsticks" for ''kuài'' has the of bamboo added to the character meaning "fast" ''kuài'' .

In , chopsticks are called ''hashi'', written . They are also known as , a phrase commonly printed on the wrappers of disposable chopsticks.

In , 箸 is used in the compound ''jeotgarak'' which is composed of ''jeo'' and ''garak'' . ''Jeo'' cannot be used alone.

In , chopsticks are called "''??a''," also from 箸.

Spread to other Asian countries

While China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam had long included chopsticks as part of their traditional eating utensils, the use of chopsticks in a limited sense spread to other Asian countries in recent centuries with the influx of Chinese immigrants in Southeast Asia.

Many countries in Southeast Asia had traditionally eaten with their hands, but through the influence of Chinese immigrants, countries such as Thailand began to use chopsticks, almost exclusively in noodle dishes. However, the eating of rice and other foods is generally eaten with a western spoon and fork rather than chopsticks.


Many rules of etiquette govern the proper conduct of the use of chopsticks. Held between the thumb and fingers of one hand, chopsticks are used -like to pick up portions of food, which are prepared and brought to the table in small and convenient pieces. Chopsticks may also be used as means for sweeping rice and other nominal morsels into the mouth directly from the bowl.

Chopsticks are traditionally held in the right hand only, even by left-handed people. Although chopsticks may now be found in either hand, a few still consider left-handed chopstick use as improper etiquette. Some historians believe this rule of etiquette originated from a Chinese legend.

In chopstick-using cultures, food is generally made into small pieces; however, some chopstick designs have carved rings encircling the tips to aid in grasping larger pieces of food. Rice, which would usually be nearly impossible to eat with chopsticks if prepared using methods, is usually prepared in East Asia with less water, which leads to "clumping" of the rice conducive to eating with chopsticks. The sticky characteristics of the rice also depend on the cultivar of rice; the cultivar used in East Asian countries is usually '''', which is a more naturally clumping kind of rice than ''indica'', the rice used in most and South Asian countries.


There are several styles of chopsticks that vary in respect to:
* Length: Very long chopsticks, usually about 30 or 40 centimeters, tend to be used for cooking, especially for deep frying foods. In Japan they are called saibashi . Shorter chopsticks are generally used as eating utensils but are also used for cooking.
* Tapering: The end of the chopsticks for picking up food are tapered to a blunt or a pointed end. Blunt tapered chopsticks provide more surface area for holding food and for pushing rice into the mouth. Pointed tapered chopsticks allow for easier manipulation of food and for picking out bones from whole cooked fish.
* Material: Chopsticks can be made from a variety of materials: bamboo, plastic, wood, bone, metal, jade, and ivory.
::*''Bamboo and wood'' chopsticks are cheap, low in temperature conduction and provide good grip for holding food due to their matte surfaces. They can warp and deteriorate with continued use. Almost all cooking and disposable chopsticks are made of either bamboo or wood. Disposable unlacquered chopsticks are used especially in restaurants. These often come as a piece of wood which is partially cut and must be broken into two chopsticks by the user . In Japanese, these are known as ''waribashi'' . Natural wood chopsticks, like natural wood food preparation surfaces, have an innate antibacterial property absent from other materials; lacquering or applying oil or paint to the wood surface reduces the antibacterial effectiveness.
::*''Plastic'' chopsticks are cheap and low in temperature conduction and are resistant to wear. However, due to their composition, plastic chopsticks are not as effective as wood and bamboo chopsticks for picking up food. Also, plastic chopsticks cannot be used for cooking since high temperatures may damage the chopsticks and produce toxic compounds.
::*''Metal'' chopsticks are durable and are easy to clean. Like plastic chopsticks, metal chopsticks do not hold food as well as wood, or bone chopsticks. They also tend to be more expensive. Their higher heat conduction also means that they are not as comfortable to use in cooking.
::*Materials such as ivory, jade, gold, and silver are typically chosen for luxury reasons.
* Embellishments: Wooden or bamboo chopsticks can be painted or lacquered to decorate them and make them waterproof. Metal chopsticks are sometimes roughened or scribed on the tapered end to make them less slippery when picking up foods. High-end metal chopstick pairs are sometimes connected by a short chain at the untapered end to prevent their separation.

Styles of chopstick used in different cultures

* : longer sticks that are square in cross section at one end and round in cross section at the other , ending in a blunt tip.
* Japanese: short to medium length sticks that taper to a pointed end. This may be attributed to the fact that the Japanese diet includes large amounts of whole bony fish. Japanese chopsticks are traditionally made of wood and are lacquered. Some chopstick sets include two lengths of chopsticks: shorter ones for women and longer ones for men. Child-sized chopsticks are widely sold.
* Korean: medium-length stainless-steel tapered rods, with a flat rectangular cross section. Many Korean metal chopsticks are ornately decorated at the grip. They are sometimes used to pick up food onto the spoon,which then sends food into the mouth.
* Vietnamese: long sticks that taper to a blunt point; traditionally wooden, but now made of plastic as well. A ??a c? is a large pair of flat chopsticks that is used to serve rice from a pot.


It is important to note that the chopsticks are used in a large area. While principles of etiquette are similar, the finer points may differ from region to region, and there is no single standard for the use of chopsticks. Generally, chopsticks etiquette is similar to general Western etiquette regarding eating utensils.

Universal etiquette

*Chopsticks are not used to make noise, to draw attention, or to gesticulate. Playing with chopsticks is considered bad mannered and vulgar .
*Chopsticks are not used to move bowls or plates.
*Chopsticks are not used to toy with one's food or with dishes in common.
*Chopsticks are not used to pierce food, save in rare instances. Exceptions include tearing larger items apart such as vegetables and kimchi. In informal use, small, difficult-to-pick-up items such as cherry tomatoes or fishballs may be stabbed, but this use is frowned upon by traditionalists.
*Chopsticks should not be left standing vertically in a bowl of rice or other food. Any stick-like object pointed upward resembles the incense sticks that some Asians use as offerings to deceased family members; certain funerary rites designate offerings of food to the dead using standing chopsticks.

Chinese etiquette

*In Chinese culture, it is normal to hold the rice bowl up to one's mouth and use chopsticks to push rice directly into the mouth. If rice is served on a plate, as is more common in the West, it is acceptable and more practical to eat it with a spoon or spork.
* It is acceptable to transfer food to closely related people if they are having difficulty picking up the food. Also it is a sign of respect to pass food to the elderly first before the dinner starts.
* It is impolite to spear food with a chopstick and/or play with the chopsticks.
* It is rude to use the chopstick to dig for food in the common dish.
* Chopsticks should not be left sticking on the rice because it symbolizes "feeding" the dead and death in general.

Japanese etiquette

*Food should not be transferred from one's own chopsticks to someone else's chopsticks. Japanese people will always offer their plate to transfer it directly, or pass a person's plate along if the distance is great. Transferring directly is how bones are passed as part of .
*The pointed ends of the chopsticks should be placed on a chopstick rest when the chopsticks are not being used.
*Reversing chopsticks to use the opposite clean end is commonly used to move food from a communal plate, although it is not considered to be proper manners. Rather, the group should ask for extra chopsticks to transfer food from a communal plate.
*Chopsticks should not be crossed on a table or vertically stuck in the rice, as this symbolizes death.
*It is rude to rub wooden chopsticks together after breaking them apart, as this communicates to the host that the user thinks the chopsticks are cheap.

Korean etiquette

*Koreans consider it rude to pick up the rice bowl from the table to eat from it.
*Unlike other chopstick cultures, Koreans use a spoon for their rice and soup, and chopsticks for most other things at the table.
*Unlike the rice eaten in many parts of China, cooked Korean rice can be easily picked up with chopsticks, although eating rice with a spoon is more acceptable.
*When laying chopsticks down on the table next to a spoon, one must never put the chopsticks to the left of the spoon. Chopsticks are only laid to the left for deceased family members.
*The blunt handle ends of chopsticks are not used to transfer food from common dishes.
*When no communal chopsticks are available, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up ''banchan'' and eat it without putting it down on one's bowl first.
*Also, there is an old saying suggesting that the closer one's hand is to the tips of the chopsticks, the longer they stay unmarried.

Vietnamese etiquette

*As with Chinese etiquette, the rice bowl is raised to the mouth and the rice is pushed into the mouth using the chopsticks.
*Unlike with Chinese dishes, it is also practical to use chopsticks to pick up rice in plates, such as fried rice, because Vietnamese rice is typically sticky.
*It is proper to always use two chopsticks at once, even when using them for stirring.
*One should not pick up food from the table and place it directly in the mouth. Food must be placed in your own bowl first.
*Chopsticks should not be placed in the mouth while choosing food.
*Chopsticks should never be placed in a "V" shape when done eating; it is interpreted as a bad omen.

Environmental impact

In China alone, an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used and thrown away annually. This adds up to 1.7 million cubic metres of timber or 25 million fully grown trees every year. To encourage that people use and throw away less, a five percent tax was added to the price of chopsticks in China. This measure is part of the first tax package in 12 years.

Reusable metal chopsticks have grown in popularity in recent years. The singer has publicly advocated their use.

Medical problems

A 2003 study found that regular use of chopsticks may slightly increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the hand, a condition in which cartilage is worn off, leading to pain in the hand joints, particularly among the elderly. There have also been concerns regarding the use of certain disposable chopsticks made from dark wood bleached white that may pose a health risk, causing coughing or leading to asthma.

A 2006 Hong Kong Department of Health survey found that the proportion of people using serving chopsticks, spoons or other serving utensils has increased from 46% to 65% since the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Chinese food therapy

Chinese food therapy is a practice of healing using natural foods instead of medications.

Chinese food therapy is a modality of traditional Chinese medicine, also known as Chinese Nutrition therapy. It is particularly popular among people who enjoy slow-cooked soups. One of the most commonly known is a rice soup that goes by many names including ''congee'' and ''jook''. This is a traditional breakfast of Asian people all over the world. Congee recipes vary infinitely, depending upon the desired health benefits as well as taste.

Chinese food therapy dates back as early as 2000 BC. However, proper documentation was only found around 500 BC. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine also known as the Niejing, which was written around 300 BC, was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy. It classified food by four food groups, five tastes and by their natures and characteristics.

Philosophy about food

The ideas of yin and yang are used in the sphere of food and cooking. ''Yang'' foods are believed to increase the body's heat , while ''Yin'' foods are believed to decrease the body's heat . As a generalization, ''Yang'' foods tend to be dense in food energy, especially energy from fat, while ''Yin'' foods tend to have high water content. The Chinese ideal is to eat both types of food to keep the body in balance.
A person eating too much ''Yang'' food might suffer from acne and bad breath while a person lacking ''Yang'' food might be lethargic or anemic.

Cantonese classification of food

Cantonese people pay much attention to the body's reaction to food.
Food items are classified accordingly, and diet is adjusted based on the body's conditions.
In effect, many Cantonese people practice food therapy in day to day situations.
The following is a list of common food classifications:

The ''yin yang'' type of each individual determines how susceptible the person is to these effects of food. A neutral person is generally healthy and will have strong reactions to these effects only after overconsumption of certain kind of food. A ''yang'' type person usually can eat all ''yin'' type food with no ill effect, but may easily get a nose bleed with small amount of ''yang'' type food. A ''yin'' type person is usually very unhealthy and is reactive to either ''yin'' or ''yang'' food. ''Boosting'' or ''nourishing'' type of food is needed to bring a ''yin'' person back to health.

Some common food therapy items and recipes

Oral secretion of swiftlets, collected from the binding material of their nests.
*Alleged effects: promote beautiful skin for women; "strengthen the spleen and open up the stomach"
*vegetables and fruits are believed to nullify the effect of bird nest if taken within the same day.
*The dried material is soaked in water to rehydrate.
*The soaked bird nest is cleaned by hand to remove other nest building debris such as grass and feathers.
*The cleaned and crumbled bird nest is with rock sugar as a dessert or with a small amount of pork as a soup.

Korean or Chinese ginseng

Root of a plant that has the properties.
*Alleged effects: promote circulation, increase blood supply, revitalize and aid recovery from weakness after illness.
*The ginseng root is double steamed with chicken meat as a soup.

American ginseng

Root of a plant similar to Korean ginseng, but it has the properties.
*Alleged effects: cleansing of excessive Yang in the body, aphrodisiac.
*The ginseng is sliced, a few slices are soaked in hot water to make a tea.
*Most American ginseng is produced in Wisconsin, USA.

A Cantonese cough remedy

Dried duck gizzards, watercress, apricot kernels :

Note: the following does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a physician.
*Alleged effects: relieve both Yin or Yang type of coughing.
*Watercress is for removing excessive yang in the body.
*The sweet apricot kernels and bitter apricot kernels target the lungs.
*The dried duck gizzards are used to balance the Yin Yang of the recipe.
*Watercress is available in most supermarkets while the rest of the ingredients can be found in most Chinese herb stores.
*The ingredients are slow cooked for couple of hours into a soup, a small piece of pork is optional for flavor.
*Do not use Yang type meat such as beef or chicken in this recipe because they nullify the effects of the watercress.

Chinese aristocrat cuisine

Chinese aristocrat cuisine traces its origin to the and dynasties when the Imperial officials stationed in Beijing brought their private chefs and such different variety of culinary styles mixed and developed overtime and formed a unique breed of its own, and thus the aristocrat cuisine is often called private cuisine. The current Chinese aristocrat cuisine is a mixture of Shandong cuisine, Huaiyang cuisine and Cantonese cuisine. Since Beijing was the capital for the last three Chinese dynasties, most of the Chinese aristocrat cuisine originated in Beijing. The most famous Chinese aristocrat cuisine include:
*Cuisine of the family of Tan : or Tan Family's Cuisine, which is characterized by its elaborate work, softness, freshness, and pleasing taste/flavor. The cuisine is currently served at Beijing Hotel.
*Cuisine of the family of Li : or Li Family's Cuisine, which was offered in its own restaurant.
*Cuisine of the ''Dream of the Red Chamber'' : derived from the famous Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber, first fielded in 1983 by Laijinyuxuan restaurant located in the Bejing Zhongshan Park in Beijing.
*Confucian cuisine : Family cuisine of Confucius' offsprings, characterized by the direct reflection of Confucianism in that there is a strict rule of different classes of banquets assigned for different occasions according to the status of attendees and the specific event.

Chinese Islamic cuisine

Chinese Islamic cuisine is the cuisine of the and other Muslims living in China.


Due to the large Muslim population in western China, many Chinese restaurants cater to, or are run by, Muslims. Northern Chinese Islamic cuisine originated in China proper. It is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine, with nearly all cooking methods identical, and differs only in material due to religious restrictions. As a result, northern Islamic cuisine is often included in Beijing cuisine.

Traditionally, there is a distinction between northern and southern Chinese Islamic cuisine despite both utilizing mutton and . Northern Chinese Islamic cuisine relies heavily on beef, but rarely ducks, geese, shrimp or seafood, while southern Islamic cuisine is the reverse. The reason for this difference is due to availability of the ingredients. Oxen have been long used for farming and Chinese governments have frequently strictly prohibited the slaughter of oxen for food. However, due to the geographic proximity of the northern part of China to minority-dominated regions that were not subjected to such restrictions, beef could be easily purchased and transported to northern China. At the same time, ducks, geese, and shrimp are rare in comparison to southern China due to the arid climate of northern China.

A Chinese Islamic restaurant can be similar to a with the exception that there is no pork on the menu. The Chinese word for halal is "pure truth" food , so a Chinese Islamic restaurant is a "qingzhen restaurant" that serves "qingzhen" food.

In most major cities in China, there are small Islamic restaurants typically run by migrants from Western China , which offer inexpensive noodle soup. These restaurants are typically decorated with Islamic motifs such as pictures of Islamic rugs and Arabic writing.

Another difference is that and dishes are more commonly available than in other Chinese restaurants, due to the greater prevalence of these meats in the cuisine of western Chinese regions.

Many cafeterias at Chinese universities have separate sections or dining areas for Muslim students , typically labeled "qingzhen." Student ID cards sometimes indicate whether a student is Muslim, and will allow access to these dining areas, or will allow access on special occasions such as the Eid feast following Ramadan.

Famous Dishes


Lamian is a Chinese dish of hand-made noodles, usually served in a beef or mutton-flavored soup , but sometimes stir-fried and served with a tomato-based sauce. Literally, 拉 means to pull or stretch, while 麵 means noodle. The hand-making process involves taking a lump of dough and repeatedly stretching it to produce a single very long noodle.


Chuanr , originating in the Xinjiang province of China and in recent years has been disseminated throughout the rest of that country, most notably in Beijing. It is a product of the Chinese Islamic cuisine of the people and other . Yang rou chuan, or lamb kebabs, is particularly popular.

Beef noodle soup

Beef noodle soup is a noodle soup dish composed of stewed beef, beef broth, vegetables and wheat noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia. The most common Vietnamese version is called Bo kho, but which uses rice noodles instead. It was created by the Hui people during the Tang Dynasty of China.

In the West, this food may be served in a small portion as a soup. In China, a large bowl of it is often taken as a whole meal with or without any side dish.

Suan cai

Suan cai or Chinese Sauerkraut is a traditional Chinese cuisine vegetable dish used in a variety of ways. It consists of pickled Chinese cabbage. Suan cai is a unique form of pao cai due to the material used and the method of production. Although ''suan cai'' is not exclusively Chinese Islamic cuisine, it is used in Chinese Islamic cuisine to top off noodle soups, especially beef noodle soup.


''Nang'' 馕 - A type of round unleavened bread, topped with sesame - similar to South and Central Asia naan.

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