Chinese regional cuisine
Chinese regional cuisines are the different cuisines found in different provinces and prefectures of China as well as from larger Chinese communities overseas. A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine but perhaps the best known and most influential are Cantonese cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Szechuan cuisine. These styles are distinctive from one due to factors such as availability of resources, geography, cooking techniques. One style may favour the use of lots of garlic and shallots over lots of chilli and spices, while another may favour preparing seafood over other meats, Jiangsu cuisine favours cooking techniques such as braising and stewing, while Sichuan cuisine employs baking, just to name a few. Hairy crab is a sought after local delicacy in Shanghai. Peking duck and dim-sum are other popular dishes well known outside of China, many traditional regional cuisines rely on basic methods of preservation such as drying, salting and fermentation. Cantonese cuisine is focused on Dim sum, a Cantonese term for small hearty dishes and these bite-sized portions are prepared using traditional cooking methods such as frying, steaming and baking.
It is designed so one person may taste a variety of different dishes. Some of these may include rice rolls, lotus leaf rice, turnip cakes, jiaozi-style dumplings, stir-fried green vegetables, congee porridge, the Cantonese style of dining, yum cha, combines the variety of dim sum dishes with the drinking of tea. Yum cha literally means drink tea, sesame paste and ginger are prominent ingredients in this style. Anhui province is endowed with fresh bamboo and mushroom crops. Shandong Cuisine is commonly and simply known as Lu cuisine, with a long history, Shandong Cuisine once formed an important part of the imperial cuisine and was widely promoted in North China. Lu cuisine dishes are known for their fresh, crisp, Lu cuisine chefs devote particular care to the seasoning of both clear broth and creamy soup. It was favored by the family in the Ming and Qing dynasty. Shandong Cuisine features a variety of cooking techniques and seafood ingredients, the typical dishes on local menu are braised abalone, braised trepang and sour carp, Jiuzhuan Dachang and Dezhou Chicken.
Fujian cuisine is influenced by Fujians coastal position and mountainous terrain, woodland delicacies such as edible mushrooms and bamboo shoots are utilized. Slicing techniques are valued in the cuisine and utilized to enhance the flavor and texture of seafood, fujian cuisine is often served in a broth or soup, with cooking techniques including braising, stewing and boiling. Jiangsu cuisine is one of the components of Chinese cuisine
Beijing cuisine, known as Jing cuisine or Mandarin cuisine and Peiping cuisine in Taiwan, because that was the citys name during the Republican era of China, is the cuisine of Beijing. Beijing cuisine has itself, in turn, influenced other Chinese cuisines, particularly the cuisine of Liaoning, the Chinese imperial cuisine. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the actual origin of a dish as the term Mandarin is generalised and refers not only to Beijing. There is emphasis on dark soy paste, sesame paste, sesame oil, and scallions, in terms of cooking techniques, methods relating to different ways of frying are often used. There is less emphasis on rice as an accompaniment as compared to other regions in China. Dishes in Beijing cuisine that are served as main courses are mostly from other Chinese cuisines, when these officials had completed their terms in the capital and returned to their native provinces, most of the chefs they brought along often remained in Beijing. They opened their own restaurants or were hired by wealthy locals, Chinese Islamic cuisine is another important component of Beijing cuisine, and was first prominently introduced when Beijing became the capital of the Yuan Dynasty.
However, the most significant contribution to the formation of Beijing cuisine came from Shandong cuisine, the Qing Dynasty was a major period in the formation of Beijing cuisine. Before the Boxer Rebellion, the establishments in Beijing were strictly stratified by the foodservice guild. Each category of the establishment was based on its ability to provide for a particular segment of the market. Meals previously offered to nobles and aristocrats was made available to anyone who can afford them instead of being restricted only to the upper class, as chefs freely switched between jobs offered by different foodservice establishments, they brought their skills that further enriched and developed Beijing cuisine. The different classes are listed in the following subsections, the form of entertainment provided was usually Beijing opera, and foodservice establishments of this class always had long-term contracts with a Beijing opera troupe to perform onsite. Moreover, foodservice establishments of this class would always have long-term contracts with famous performers to perform onsite, when catering, these foodservice establishments not only provided what was on the menu, but fulfilled customers’ requests.
Foodservice establishments categorised as leng zhuangzi lacked any rooms to host banquets, foodservice establishments with names ending with the Chinese character yuan, or yuan zihao did nearly all their business in hosting banquets onsite. Entertainment was not provided on a basis, but there were stages built onsite for Beijing opera performers. Foodservice establishments with names ending with the Chinese character lou, or lou zihao did the bulk of their business hosting banquets onsite by appointment, in addition, a smaller portion of the business was in serving different customers onsite on a walk-in basis. Occasionally, when catering at customers’ homes, foodservice establishments of this category would only provide the few specialty dishes they were famous for, foodservice establishments with names ending with the Chinese character fang, or fang zihao. Foodservice establishments of this category or lower would not be called upon to perform catering at the homes for special events
Hubei cuisine, known as E cuisine, is derived from the native cooking styles of Hubei province in China. Hubei cuisine has a history of more than 2,000 years, the names of dishes and cuisine styles can be found in ancient literature such as Chuci of Qu Yuan. As Hubei has plenty of lakes and marshlands, freshwater produce are used as ingredients in the local cuisine. Hubei cuisine emphasises on the preparation of ingredients and the matching of colours and its style is influenced by the cooking methods of the cuisines of neighbouring provinces such as Sichuan and Hunan. As a result, Hubei cuisine uses dried hot pepper, Hubei cuisine comprises three distinct styles, Wuhan style, which specialises in soups. Wuhan is known for its dishes, such as hot dry noodles. Huangzhou style, which is oily and tastes more salty than the others. Jingzhou style, which specialises in dishes and uses steaming as the primary method of cooking
Zhejiang cuisine is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It derives from the ways of cooking in Zhejiang province in China, south of Shanghai. In general, Zhejiang-style food is not greasy but has a fresh, dongpo pork, fried pork belly stewed in soy sauce and wine. Beggars Chicken, which originated from Jiangsu but gained its popularity in Hangzhou, West Lake fish in vinegar West Lake chuncai soup About half the dishes on a Hangzhou menu contain bamboo shoots, which add a tender element to the food. Ningbo cuisine is regarded as rather salty, ningbo confectioneries were celebrated all over China during the Qing Dynasty
Sichuan cuisine, Szechwan cuisine, or Szechuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province in southwestern China. It has bold flavours, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from use of garlic and chili peppers. There are many variations within Sichuan province and the Chongqing municipality. It was announced in early 2017 that McDonalds would bring back the promotional Sichuan Mulan McNugget sauce by the end of the year, four sub-styles of Sichuan cuisine include Chongqing, Chengdu and Buddhist vegetarian style. UNESCO declared Chengdu to be a city of gastronomy in 2011 in order to recognize the sophistication of its cooking, Sichuan in the Middle Ages welcomed Near Eastern crops, such as broad beans and walnuts. Since the 16th century, the list of crops in Sichuan has even been lengthened by New World newcomers. The characteristic chili pepper came from Mexico, but probably overland from India or by river from Macao, replacing the spicy peppers of ancient times, other newcomers from the New World included maize, which largely replaced millet, white potatoes introduced by Catholic missions, and sweet potatoes.
The population of Sichuan was cut by three quarters in the wars from the Ming to the Qing dynasty. Settlers from nearby Hunan province brought their cooking styles with them, Sichuan is colloquially known as the heavenly country due to its abundance of food and natural resources. One ancient Chinese account declared that the people of Sichuan uphold good flavor, most Sichuan dishes are spicy, although a typical meal includes non-spicy dishes to cool the palate. Sichuan cuisine is composed of seven basic flavours, pungent, sweet, aromatic, Sichuan food is divided into five different types, sumptuous banquet, ordinary banquet, popularised food, household-style food, and food snacks. Milder versions of Sichuan dishes remain a staple of American Chinese cuisine, the complex topography of Sichuan including mountains, plains and basin has shaped food customs in Sichuan with versatile and distinct ingredients. Abundant rice and vegetables are produced from the fertile Sichuan Basin, whereas a wide variety of herbs, pork is overwhelmingly the major meat.
Beef is somewhat common in Sichuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines. Rabbit meat is much more popular in Sichuan than elsewhere in China. It is estimated that the Sichuan Basin and Chongqing area consume about 70 percent of Chinas rabbit meat consumption, which probably spread from India through Tibet in medieval times, is consumed among the Han Chinese. This is a custom in other parts of the country. The salt produced from Sichuan salt springs and wells, unlike the sea salt, does not contain iodine, Sichuan cuisine often contains food preserved through pickling and drying
Shandong cuisine, more commonly known in Chinese as Lu cuisine, is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine and one of the Four Great Traditions. It is derived from the cooking style of Shandong, a northern coastal province of China. Shandong cuisine is famous for its selection of material and use of different cooking methods. The raw materials are mainly domestic animals and birds, the masterly cooking techniques include Bao爆, Liu溜, Pa扒, roasting（烤）, boiling（煮）, using sugar to make fruit, crystallizing with honey. Its commonly known that Shandong cuisine is divided into two styles and Jiaodong, the style of Shandong cuisine are known for its light aroma and rich taste. It puts emphasis on its two types of broths and milky, both broths are seasoned with scallions and goes well with the freshness of seafood. Jiaodong style, encompassing dishes from eastern Shandong, Qingdao, Yantai and it is characterised by seafood dishes with a light taste. Jinan style, made up of dishes from Jinan, Taian, One of its features is the use of soup.
Modern cuisines in North China are branches of Shandong cuisine, during the Spring and Autumn period, Shandong was a territory of Qi and Lu. Both states, with mountains and fertile plains, were economically and culturally developed and had abundant aquatic products, some of the earliest known descriptions of Chinese culinary methods come from the states. Yi Ya, a retainer of Duke Huan of Qi, was renowned for his culinary skill, Confucius was quoted in the Analects as saying, One should not indulge overly in fine flour, or in kuai that is sliced too thinly. The cuisine as it is today was created during the Yuan Dynasty. It gradually spread to northern and northeastern China, Beijing and the emperors palace, Shandong cuisine is primarily made up of eastern Shandong and Jinan dishes. Although modern transportation has increased the availability of ingredients China, Shandong cuisine remains rooted in tradition and it is noted for its variety of seafood, including scallops, clams, sea cucumbers, and squid.
In addition to seafood, Shandong is unique for its use of maize, unlike the sweet corn of North America, Shandong maize is chewy and often has a grassy aroma. It is served as steamed cobs, or the kernels are removed from the cob, Shandong is noted for its peanuts, which are fragrant and naturally sweet. Large dishes of peanuts are common at meals, and they are served raw in a number of dishes from the region. Shandong uses a variety of small grains, wheat and barley can be found in the local diet, often eaten as congee or milled and cooked into a variety of steamed and fried breads
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong province and is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the number of emigrants from Guangdong. Chefs trained in Cantonese cuisine are highly sought after throughout China, when Westerners speak of Chinese food, they usually refer to Cantonese cuisine. Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, has long been a port and many imported foods. Besides pork and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including offal, chicken feet, ducks tongue, however and goat are rarely eaten, unlike in the cuisines of northern or western China. Many cooking methods are used, with steaming and stir frying being the most favoured due to their convenience, other techniques include shallow frying, double steaming and deep frying. For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavours of a finished dish should be well balanced, there is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking, in contrast with their liberal use in other cuisines such as Sichuan, Thai or Vietnamese.
Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the latter are used as mere garnish in most dishes. Ginger, chili peppers, five-spice powder, powdered pepper, star anise and a few other spices are used. Although Cantonese cooks pay much attention to the freshness of their primary ingredients and this may be influenced by Hakka cuisine, since the Hakkas were once a dominant group occupying imperial Hong Kong and other southern territories. Some items gain very intense flavours during the drying / preservation / oxidation process, some chefs combine both dried and fresh varieties of the same items in a dish. Dried items are usually soaked in water to rehydrate before cooking and these ingredients are generally not served a la carte, but rather go with vegetables or other Cantonese dishes. A number of dishes have been part of Cantonese cuisine since the earliest territorial establishments of Guangdong, while many of these are on the menus of typical Cantonese restaurants, some simpler ones are more commonly found in Chinese homes.
Home-made Cantonese dishes are served with plain white rice. There are a number of deep-fried dishes in Cantonese cuisine. They have been documented in colonial Hong Kong records of the 19th and 20th centuries. A few are synonymous with Cantonese breakfast and lunch, even though these are part of other cuisines. Old fire soup, or lou fo tong in the Cantonese dialect is usually a clear broth prepared by simmering meat, Chinese herbs are often used as ingredients
Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisines originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background, imperial and noble preference plays a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time, the most praised Four Major Cuisines are Chuan, Lu, Yue and Huaiyang, represents West, North and East China cuisine correspondingly. Modern Eight Cuisines of China are Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Sichuan, the color and taste are the three traditional aspects to describe Chinese food, the meaning and nutrition. While, cooking should be appraised from ingredients, cooking time and it is considered inappropriate to use knives on dining table. Chopsticks are the eating utensils for Chinese food, which can be used to cut.
Chinese society greatly valued gastronomy and developed a study of the subject based on its traditional medical beliefs. Chinese culture initially centered around the North China Plain, the first domesticated crops seem to have been the foxtail and broomcorn varieties of millet, while rice was cultivated in the south. By 2000 BC, wheat had arrived from western Asia and these grains were typically served as warm noodle soups, instead of baked into bread as in Europe. Nobles hunted various wild game and consumed mutton, dog, grain was stored against famine and flood and meat was preserved with salt, vinegar and fermenting. The flavor of the meat was enhanced by cooking it in animal fats though this practice was restricted to the wealthy. By the time of Confucius in the late Zhou, gastronomy has become a high art and he was recorded discussing about the principles of dining, The rice would never be too white, the meat would never be too finely cut. When it was not cooked right, man would not eat, when it was cooked bad, man would not eat.
When the meat was not cut properly, man would not eat, when the food was not prepared with the right sauce, man would not eat. Although there are plenty of meat, they should not be cooked more than staple food, there is no limit for alcohol, before a man get drunk. During Shi Huangdis Qin dynasty, the empire expanded into the south, by the time of the Han Dynasty, the different regions and cuisines of Chinas peoples were linked by major canals and leading to greater complexity in the different regional cuisines. Not only is seen as giving qi, but food is about maintaining yin. Salt was used as a preservative from early times, but in cooking was added in the form of soy sauce, and not at the table
Fujian cuisine is one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of Fujian province in China, most notably from the Fuzhou region. The most commonly employed cooking techniques in the cuisine include braising, stewing and boiling. Particular attention is paid on the finesse of knife skills and cooking technique of the chefs, strong emphasis is put on the making and utilising of broth and soups. There are sayings in the cuisine, One broth can be changed into numerous forms. Fermented fish sauce, known locally as shrimp oil, is commonly used in the cuisine, along with oysters, crab. Peanuts are prevalent, and can be boiled, roasted, peanuts can be used as a garnish, feature in soups and even be added to braised or stir-fried dishes. Fujian cuisine consists of four styles, the taste is lighter compared to other styles, often with a mixed sweet, Fuzhou is famous for its soups, and its use of fermented fish sauce and Red yeast rice. Southern Fujian, the taste is stronger than Fuzhou cuisine, showing influence from Southeast Asian cuisine.
Use of sugar and spices is more common, various kinds of slow-cooked soup are found. Many dishes come with dipping sauces, main ingredients include rice, beef, duck and various vegetables. Western Fujian, there are often slight spicy tastes from mustard and pepper, food is saltier and oilier compared to other parts of Fujian, usually focusing on meat rather than seafood. Unique seasoning from Fujian include fish sauce, shrimp paste, Shacha sauce, as well, wine lees from the production of rice wine is commonly used in all aspects of the regions cuisine. One of the most famous dishes in Fujian cuisine is Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, a complex dish making use of ingredients, including sharks fin, sea cucumber, abalone. Fujian is notable for yanpi, literally swallow skin, a thin wrapper made with large proportions of lean minced pork and this wrapper has a unique texture due to the incorporation of meat and has a bite similar to things made with surimi. Yanpi is used to make rouyan, a type of wonton, there are many eating places around the province that sell these specialities for two yuan, and which are thus known as two-yuan eateries.
In Xiamen, a local speciality is worm jelly, a made from a species of marine peanut worm. Shaxian delicacies List of Chinese dishes Chinatown, Flushing Brooklyns Fuzhou Town Manhattans Little Fuzhou
Hunan cuisine, known as Xiang cuisine, consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake, and western Hunan province in China. It is one of the Eight Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine and is known for its hot spicy flavour, fresh aroma. Common cooking techniques include stewing, pot-roasting, due to the high agricultural output of the region, ingredients for Hunan dishes are many and varied. The history of the cooking skills employed in Hunan cuisine dates back to the 17th century, during the course of its history, Hunan cuisine assimilated a variety of local forms, eventually evolving into its own style. It now contains more than 4,000 dishes, such as fried chicken with Sichuan spicy sauce, Hunan cuisine, on the other hand, is often spicier by pure chili content and contains a larger variety of fresh ingredients. Both Hunan and Sichuan cuisine are perhaps significantly oilier than the other cuisines in China, another characteristic distinguishing Hunan cuisine from Sichuan cuisine is that, in general, Hunan cuisine uses smoked and cured goods in its dishes much more frequently.
Another feature of Hunan cuisine is that the changes with the seasons. In a hot and humid summer, a meal will usually start with cold dishes or a holding a selection of cold meats with chilies for opening the pores. In winter, a choice is the hot pot, thought to heat the blood in the cold months. A special hot pot called yuanyang huoguo is notable for splitting the pot into two sides - a spicy one and a mild one, one of the classic dishes in “Xiang” cuisine served in restaurants and at home is Farmer Pepper Fried Pork. It is made with several ingredients, pork belly, green pepper, Douchi. Chilies are a class of flavorings in Hunan. Chinese cuisine Sichuan cuisine List of Chinese dishes