The Times Ginny McGrath reports the new trends of Chinese restaurants, the use of MSG, and locally sourced ingradients.

If the mention of a Chinese meal conjures up images of lurid chunks of deep fried chicken, it’s time for a rethink.

The Asian cuisine, whose love affair with most Britons extends to nothing more wholesome than crispy seaweed and sweet and sour prawns, is undergoing something of a revolution. Restaurants specialising in regional Chinese cuisine, and not in the ubiquitous, greasy western version, are flourishing.

…there’s an ill-conceived presumption that all ingredients are imported from Asia, accumulating heinous food miles. But in reality, many restaurants will source produce locally simply because it is cheaper. “Without realising it, or advertising it, they [Chinese restaurants in England] will use a lot of locally sourced produce,” says Ching-He Huang, author of a contemporary Chinese cookbook, China Modern, and presenter of Ching’s Kitchen on UKTV Food.

While some Asian seasonings and vegetables cannot be sourced from within the UK, meat and fish are of course available here, and increasingly farmers are experimenting with growing Asian vegetables in the UK.

Read the full story.