There may be thousands of Chinese restaurants in the world selling Chinese food to their customers. However, some of these restaurants serve the abridged version of the real deal, adjusted to fit the lifestyle of the citizens of that country. Available ingredients are also a major factor.
At a restaurant in China however, you can get well-cooked Chinese food, prepared by traditional chefs. Planning a trip to China? below are delicious Chinese foods you should explore.
These eight culinary cuisines are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang.
1. Anhui (Hui)
Known for its extensive use of plants, animals, and oil in cooking, the techniques used are similar to those of Jiangsu cuisine. The Anhui Cuisine comes from the Huangshan mountains region in China
2. Cantonese (Yu)
Due to Guangdong’s proximity to the South China Sea, the people of the region have access to a plentiful supply of imported food and fresh seafood. Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including chicken feet, duck’s tongue, snakes and snails. However, due to availability, lamb and goat are rarely eaten.
Many cooking techniques are used, including wok hei (stir-frying) and steaming. Spices are used moderately, and fresh herbs are seldom added to the food. Dishes include dim sum, small morsels of food typically served at breakfast or lunch alongside tea; barbequed char siu, sticky and burnt red in colour; and clear broths flavoured with meat stock.
3. Fujian (Min)
Known for its sweet and sour style and use of seafood, most of it is marinated in wine. Its most famous dish is ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ a shark fin soup with abalone, sea cucumber, and Shaoxing wine. It is cooked in the Fujian province.
4. Hunan (Xiang)
Hunan food is renowned for being hot and spicy, with garlic, chilli peppers and shallots. However, unlike Szechuan cuisine, it is purely hot as opposed to the searing, numbing heat of Szechuan cooking.
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5. Jiangsu (Su)
Jiangsu cuisine consists of several different styles of Chinese cooking, namely Huaiyang, Yangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Zhenjiang. The food in Jiangsu cuisine is known for being soft, but not to the point of falling apart: the meat tastes tender but won’t separate from the bone when picked up.
6. Shandong (Lu)
Derived from the native cooking styles of Shandong, a northern coastal province of China, Shandong cuisine consists of two predominant styles: Jiaodong, characterized by light seafood dishes and Jinan, a style that features the use of soup in its dishes. Shandong cuisine is often considered one of the most influential styles of cooking in Chinese culinary history
7. Szechuan (Chuan)
Szechuan cuisine is renowned for its use of bold flavours; chilli, garlic, and Szechuan pepper throughout the dishes. Szechuan pepper has a unique taste: it is intensely fragrant and causes a numbing sensation in the mouth.
8. Zhejiang (Zhe)
In general, Zhejiang food is fresh and light rather than greasy. It made with four different styles of cooking, which are:
- Hangzhou, characterised by the use of rich foods and bamboo shoots;
- Shaoxing, specializing in poultry and fish
- Ningbo, specializing in seafood
- Shanghai, with xiao long bao.
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