After reading our blog in the previous week, I bet you got more idea about Chinese Cuisines right? Today, to give you a full picture about food culture in China, I am going to introduce you some other lesser-known cuisines in China, which may bemuse or even shock you!
Fujian/Min Cuisine 闽菜 Mǐncài
Characteristics: Lighter, with a mild sweet and sour taste, using ingredients from the sea and the mountains
Signature dishes: Stewed Chicken with Three Cups Sauce, Steamed Chicken in Red Fermented Rice, Buddha Jumping Wall (Sea Food and Poultry Casserole)
For those who like strong flavour with no tongue-burning spice, Min cuisine is probably a good choice for them. Fujian Province is known for great seafood and soups and the precise use of scintillating. They are also famous for their wild exotic delicacies from the sea and the mountains so you should have a try if you are an adventurous eater!
Hunan Cuisine 湘菜 Xiāngcài
Characteristics: Spicy, with a hot and sour taste, favoring sautéing, stir-frying, steaming and smoking
Signature dishes: Pork Tripe Soup, Steamed Fish Head with Diced Spicy Red Peppers, Sugar Candy Lotus
There is a common saying in China that "Sichuan people don't fear hot food, Hunan people don't fear any degree of spiciness at all, and Guizhou people fear to eat food that isn't spicy." For the Guizhou people, it actually means those who grows up to eat Human Cuisine! Not only is the food normally very spicy, they also like giving a hint of sourness in their broth and sauce by adding vinegar. If you can pass the level of eating Sichuan food, you should test yourself with the Hunan food in the next step then!
Anhui Cuisine 徽菜 Huīcài
Characteristics: Uses many wild plants and animals as ingredients, favoring stewing and more oil
Signature dishes: Ham and “Whippy” Bamboo Stew, Honeycomb Tofu, Braised Masked Palm Civet
“You are what you eat” is a saying in English but the Chinese literally believes in it and will eat whatever part/kind of an animal to make themselves healthier. Anhui cuisine is the best example of this saying and they are known for wild picked or caught delicacies from the mountains as the main ingredients and flavorings. Wild caught frogs, local small shrimp, turtles, and lots of other wildlife are put into their soups and stews and there is always something weirder you can find on the menu!
Shandong Cuisine 鲁菜 Lǔcài
Characteristics: Salty and crispy, favouring braising and seafood
Signature dishes: Braised Colon in Brown Sauce, Eight Treasures Stuffed Chicken in Milk Soup, Lungs in Milk Soup
Fresh river fish and seafood were always the local delicacies in Shandong province and they love to fry all ingredients in high heat to lock all the flavour in the food and keep it fresh. If you don’t like some Chinese food which are buried in spices and oil, you will probably like Shandong food, which use relatively less spice or sugar and like to preserve the cut, colour and natural taste of the ingredients.
Getting curious and curiouser aren’t you? Go pack your luggage quickly and pick a restaurant at the minute you land in China then!