The main ingredient in Chinese cooking is rice, just as it is in other East Asian cuisines. While bread is consumed in the west and corn in South America, rice constitutes the main carbohydrate, and source of energy, in Chinese cuisine. Rice is consumed three times a day and the Chinese really can't imagine a meal without it.

There are other characteristics of Chinese cooking. All ingredients are eaten cooked: that is, nothing is eaten raw or fresh. Fresh salads, for instance, are not part of Chinese nutrition. In fact, if you happen to wander one day through a Chinese market, try eating a fresh carrot in front of local people. You will see how shocked they are. On the other hand, many types of food are semi-cooked and not overcooked like vegetables are in western-style soup. The famous technique of cooking called stir-fry cooks the ingredients "just right". The food is crispy in texture while retaining all the vitamins, natural flavour and taste.