The Eight Regional Cuisines of China, Part 2December 02, 2016 by Hong Wang
In the first part of this series, we explored four regions of Chinese cuisine and learned what makes the cuisines of Guangdong / Cantonese, Shandong, Sichuan and Jiangsu unique. Today we will discuss the remaining four provinces in China that round out the eight varieties of cuisine found in the country. As always, if you have personal experiences that you would like to add, we invite you to leave a comment.
- Zhejiang Cuisine 浙菜
Zhejiang cuisine originates from the populous and rich eastern province of Zhejiang on the Pacific Ocean. Zhejiang borders on to Shanghai, so their style is similar to Jiangsu cuisine, but it is less elaborately prepared. They focus more on serving fresh food with mellow flavours with fresh ingredients, like shelled fresh shrimps cooked with Longjing tea.
The food is often served raw or almost raw, and is fresh, crispy and seasonal. Their dishes are mellow in taste, using fresh seafood, freshwater fish and bamboo shoots. Zhejiang cuisine uses a wide variety of cooking methods.
- Fujian Cuisine 闽菜
Fujian Cuisine originates from the southeastern province of Fujian on the Pacific. The history of the cuisine dates back 5,000 years. Great seafood soups and the precise use of scintillating, but not tongue numbing, spices are the highlights for its dishes. Adding wild exotic delicacies from the sea and mountains makes their dishes have unusual flavours, which give you a wild culinary adventure. Fujian cuisine is lighter, with a mild sweet-and-sour taste, using ingredients from the sea and the mountains, like Fo Tiao Qiang, which translates to “Buddha jumps over the wall.”
- Hunan Cuisine 湘菜
If you like hot and spicy food, you’ll love exploring Hunan cuisine. Hunan dishes are some of the hottest in all of Chinese cuisine. Hunan Province is a rich agricultural area that produces a broad range of vegetables and herbs; including several kinds of chili peppers. Due to these abundant resources, Hunan dishes are known for their rich flavours that almost always contain a potent punch of chili; such as Hunan Spicy Chicken. No Hunan dish is complete without chili pepper.
- Anhui Cuisine 徽菜
Anhui cuisine uses many wild ingredients such as bayberry and bamboo shoots. Anhui Province is inland, and features big mountains, rivers and lakes that provide a rich source of all kinds of wild foods and herbs. Anhui cuisine is basically a hearty style of food that mainly uses braising and stewing cooking techniques. Natural seasonings are used to enrich the freshness of the ingredients.
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