Yin and yang is defined as two interconnected and interdependent principles of the universe. Therefore, they complete each other to create perfect balance. In this respect, an accident in the kitchen could indicate an imbalance of the kitchen’s yin and yang.
This concept of balance can also be applied to Chinese cuisine, which classifies food into these 2 categories. Yin food is often associated with having a soothing effect, like duck, carrot, and tofu. On the other hand, yang food is associated with having a warming effect, like chicken, mushroom, and egg. Both of them have to be consumed proportionally, or else it may result in “over-yin” or “over-yang”, which is believed to cause illnesses.
In terms of flavour, yin and yang each have their respective characteristics. Yin food generally has bitter, sour or salty flavour while yang food boasts a sweet or hot flavour. You have to balance them out equally and ensure that you have balanced your dish’s flavour before serving it.
The yin and yang principle can also be incorporated in cooking methods. Yin-cooking includes slow-cooking methods such as simmering, boiling and stewing, while yang-cooking encompasses frying, grilling and sautéing. Yin and yang can also be used to craft a certain menu and the appropriate cooking method for a certain season. For example, you can make tomato salads (yin) for hot days (yang). This adjustment can also be made based on the condition of your body. For example, you can cook chicken soup (yang) to bring down a high body temperature due to fever (yin).
The concept of yin and yang has great influence on a healthy Chinese diet. This is why most Chinese foods consist of a harmonious combination of yin and yang. This philosophy makes it easier to achieve nutritional balance in every dish.