Cookery writers who specialise in Chinese Food constantly equate the merits of a Chinese meal with the qualities of a good novel – it must starts immediately with a situation and follow through with characterization and suspense.

The secret of Chinese cooking lies in its preparation. Food is sliced, shredded or cut according to certain predetermined rules. For very tender, almost velvety meat, themeat should be sliced along the grain; for a slighty crunchier texture, it should ideally, be sliced against.

Vegetables are often diagonally sliced both for aesthetic appeal and for resemblance of regularity.