Eight Famous Cuisines in China

The history of Chinese cuisines dates back to many centuries ago. The Chinese have spent such a long time perfecting culinary skills and creations. What could be regarded as typical traditional Chinese food is really a good question. China boasts a huge territory; each area has its own natural conditions and cultural background, hence, the different cooking styles and food. Generally speaking, major traditional cuisines include Lu Cuisine, Yue Cuisine, Chuan Cuisine, Xiang Cuisine, Su Cuisine, Zhe Cuisine, Min Cuisine and Hui Cuisine. This article will give a briefing of each cuisine.

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    Cantonese Cuisine (粤菜)

    The raw materials of Cantonese cuisine (or known as Yue cuisine, Guangdong cuisine) are abundant and peculiar. Cantonese consider the snake, cat and pangolin to be the most delicious food. The light and mellow Sauces are the crucial seasoning that making Guangdong dishes tender and slightly sweet. Most widely used sauces include: hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, plum sauce and sweet and sour sauce. Chrysanthemum Fish, Braised Snake Porridge and Roast Suckling Pig are popular dishes of the local menu. The world famous Guangdong Dim Sums are worth tasting as well.

    Canton Cuisine

    Lu Cuisine (鲁菜)

    With a long history, Lu (Shandong) Cuisine once formed an important part of the imperial cuisine and was widely popularized in North China. Featured with tender, savory and crisp, Lu Cuisine prefers to keep the freshness of ingredients and is fond of salt flavor. There are over thirty cooking techniques applied in Lu Cuisine, among which Bao technique (quick-fry) and Pa technique are used exquisitely and frequently. The typical dishes here are Braised Abalone, Sweet-and-Sour Carp and Dezhou Chicken.

    Sichuan Cuisine (川菜)

    Characterized by Three Peppers, Seven Tastes and eight flavors, Chuan (Sichuan) Cuisine enjoys high reputation all over the world. The delicate use of garlic, chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorn attributes the success to the hotness, sourness and numbness of Sichuan cuisine. The ingredients used are great in variety, including poultry, pork, beef, fish, tofu and vegetables. Its cooking methods contain baking, sautéing and steaming. However, Lamp-shadow Beef, Gong Bao Ji Ding and Fried Pork with Salted Pepper are highly recommended.

    Chuan Cuisine

    Xiang Cuisine (湘菜)

    Well known for its spices, crispness and savory flavors, Xiang (Hunan) cuisine pay attention to its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. The smoked and cured goods are used much more frequently in its dishes. Equally as important to Xiang cuisine is the art of cutting meats and vegetables, both to please the eye and to enhance the tenderness. The Common cooking techniques of Xiang cuisine include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising, and smoking. What’s more, the menu of Xiang cuisine changes with the seasons.

    Su cuisine (苏菜)

    Su (Jiangsu) cuisine consists of the styles of Yangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Zhenjiang dishes. It is very famous all over the world for its distinctive style and fresh taste and remains a major part of the state banquet in China. Precise material choice and cooking schedule contribute to its moderate saltiness and sweetness. Freshwater fish, seafood and a rich variety of local vegetables are widely used in Su Cuisine. There is an excellence in cooking methods such as stewing, simmering, baking over a slow fire, steaming, sautéing, stir-frying, and skillful braising in mud.

    Su Cuisine

    Zhe cuisine (浙菜)

    Featured with fresh, delicate appearance and soft flavor with mellow fragrance, Zhe (Zhejiang) cuisine consists of at least 3 styles, Hangzhou style, Shaoxing style, and Ningbo style. Of which, Hangzhou style is characterized by rich variations and the use of bamboo shoots, Shaoxing style is specializing in poultry and freshwater fish, and Ningbo style, is specializing in seafood. Significant dishes here are West-lake Braised Fish in Vinegar, Sweet and Sour Pork Fillet and West Lake Beef Soup.

    Zhe Cuisine

    Min Cuisine (闽菜)

    The history of Min (Fujian) Cuisine dates back to 5000 years ago. Min cuisine is featured with fine cutting techniques, alternative soups, unique seasonings and exquisite cooking. Min Cuisine pays great attention to utilizing soup and it is often served in a broth or soup, with cooking techniques including braising, stewing, steaming and boiling. Another light spot of Min Cuisine is the drunken (cooked in wine) dishes. Among all the dishes, Buddha Jumping over the Wall, Dongbi Dragon Pearl and Fried Xi Shi's Tongue rank on the top.

    Fujian Cuisine

    Hui cuisine (徽菜)

    Hui (Anhui) cuisine is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China. It is rooted in the native cooking styles of the Huangshan Mountains area in China and is akin to Jiangsu cuisine. One of Hui Cuisine’s notable features is that it emphasizing on the use of a wide variety of local herbs and vegetables, which makes it a healthy cuisine. What’s more, Hui Cuisine is particular about controlling cooking time and temperature. The typifiers of Hui Cuisine are Braised Turtle with Ham and Fuliji Grilled Chicken.

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