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This article was written on 03 Feb 2016.

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Explore eight traditional cuisines of China



Chinese cuisine includes a big variety of styles that emerged from different regions of the country. Cuisine can differ considerably in different parts of China. All think that rice is a staple in China. It can be steamed (basmati), fried, prepared as porridge. However, there are regions where rice does not play such role. Wheat is the main staple in the north of the country. Dumplings, stuffed buns, steamed buns (mantou) are main wheat foods there. Noodles in China is made of wheat and rice, and there is impressive variety of noodles that is produced there: in various textures, sizes and shapes.

In general, there are eight classic cuisines, including Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shandong cuisine.

fv20110812hobDishes in Cantonese cuisine are eaten in small portions (Dim Sum), but they are hearty. In this way, person can try different dishes. The food is fried, steamed, baked and stewed. The dishes include dumplings, soups, porridge, buns, rice rolls and etc. The dishes are not heavily spiced. The taste is slightly sweet. The example of dishes eaten there are soy sauce chicken, shark fin soup, Hoi Sam (sea cucumber), dry fry beef and noodles.

In contrast to it, Sichuan cuisine is numbing hot, sour and spicy. In Sichuan cuisine garlic and chili peppers make the dishes spicy. The flavors of dishes are bold. Such ingredients as peanuts, ginger, tofu and sesame paste are used often. This cuisine tends to use quick frying in a hot wok. You can try Sichuan hotspot, sesame oil chicken, boiled fish with pickled Chinese cabbage and etc.

IMG_9686PR1In Jiangsu cuisine emphasis on dish, duck and soups is made. There are 6 distinct different styles in this cuisine. The dominant flavors are salty and sweet. The most famous dish is Jinling salted dried duck, crystal meat (pork heels in a brown sauce), clear crab shell meatballs, dried duck, triple combo duck, sweet and sour mandarin fish.

Hunan cuisine has dishes with hot and spicy flavor. The dishes are aromatic. The typical dishes are rice noodle soup, stew fish, steaming smoked fish. There is emphasis on sourness in western Hunan cuisine. For instance, such pickles as Douchi – fermented and salted black soybean.

2tb8U_Y0wN8mH_JT9af3uDl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9The dishes in Zhejiang cuisine are made of seafood and fresh waterfish and feature moderate saltiness. Such ingredients as bamboo shoots and tea leaves are common. Bamboo shoots can be found in 50% of dishes. This ingredient adds tenderness to the dish. Try Beggar’s Chicken as an example of Zhejiang cuisine.

Fujian cuisine is based on soups. Basically, sea and woodland-based ingredients are used for cooking. Fermented fish sauce that is called “shrimp oil” is a frequently used sauce. Fijan-style fried rice is worth trying.

hui-cuisine-01Anhui dishes are mainly natural. People in this region apply local natural foods in the cuisine, so mountain local ingredients are used: frogs, berries, tea leaves and etc. Try Dan Jiao – egg dumplings, which is a mix of traditional dumpling and omelette. Shiny Dan Jiao served in soup look spectacular.

Shandong dishes are salty and prepared mainly of scallops, squid, prawns, sea cucumbers and etc. Famous dishes are diced pork cooked in a pot, Shandong-style dumplings Jiao Zi. This cuisine uses quick-fry and deep-fry methods with emphasis on freshness of seafood, natural salty flavor and crispiness.