Eight Cuisines in China – Part 2

粤菜 – Cantonese Cuisine

Cantonese food originates from Guangdong, a southern province in China. The majority of overseas Chinese people are from Guangdong(Canton), therefore Cantonese cuisine is perhaps the most widely available Chinese regional cuisine outside of China.

Cantonese are known to have an adventurous palate, able to eat many different kinds of meats and vegetables. In fact, people from Northern China often say that Cantonese people can eat anything that can fly except for airplanes, anything that can move on the ground except for trains, and anything can swim in the water except for boats.

Cantonese food is one of the most diverse and richest cuisines in China. It doesn’t use much spice, which brings out the natural flavor of vegetables and meats. Tasting clear, light, crisp and fresh. Its basic cooking techniques include roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming.

 

烩蛇羹 Braised Snake Porridge
脆皮乳猪 Roast Suckling Pig

 

浙菜 – Zhejiang Cuisine

Comprising local cuisines of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing. Zhejiang Cuisine is not greasy. The chief techniques of cooking lie in the methods used such as frying, quick-fry, stir-fry, braising, and steaming thus rendering the dishes both salubrious and savory. Hangzhou cuisine is the most famous one among them.

West-lake braised fish in vinegar – 西湖醋鱼
Shelled shrimps cooked in Longjing tea – 龙井虾仁

 

湘菜 – Hunan Cuisine

Hunan cuisine lays emphasis on the use of oil, dense color, and techniques that produce crispness, softness, and tenderness as well as the savory flavors and spices. Chairman Mao, together with other leaders praised the Hunan cuisine in 1958.

东安子鸡 – Dong Anzi Chicken
麻辣子鸡 – Numbing-and-hot chicken

 

徽菜 – Anhui Cuisine

Anhui Cuisine chefs focus much more attention to the taste, the color of dishes and the temperature in cooking, they are good at braising and stewing. They are experts especially in cooking delicacies from mountains and sea. Hams are often added to improve taste.

High up on the menu are stewed softshell turtle with ham, Huangshan braised pigeon, steamed stone frog, etc.

Li Hongzhang hotchpotch is a popular dish named after one of Anhui’s famous personages. Li Hongzhang was a top official of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). When he was in office, he paid a visit to the US and hosted a banquet for all his American friends. As the specially prepared dishes continued to flow, the chefs, with limited resources, began to fret. Upon Li Hongzhang’s order, the remaining kitchen ingredients were thrown together into an impromptu stew, containing sea cucumber, squid, tofu, ham, mushroom, chicken meat, and other less identifiable food materials! Therefore the appetites were quenched and a dish was created.

 

火腿炖甲鱼 – Steamed soft shell turtle with ham
李鸿章杂烩 – Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch

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