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Introduction of Eight Major Chinese Regional Cuisines

Eight Major Chinese Regional Cuisines

If you ever have the chance to travel through China, you will likely experience one or more of its major cuisines. There are eight different major cuisines types in China, their unique attributes are formed by a combination of geographical differences, cultural shifts, and availability of produce and resources through out the different regions. As a general rule of thumb, rice is main staple food in southern China, as the warmer and wetter south makes it more ideal for its growth. On the other hand, dumplings and noodles are more commonly consumed in the drier, colder north.

Many of these cuisines may be unfamiliar with the Western palate. Today, we describe each of the cuisines in detail, so you can see which ones you have already checked off your list, and which ones you still have to try.

Short Summary of Eight Chinese Cuisines

  • Sichuan and Hunan cuisines: hot spice.
  • Anhui and Fujian cuisines: inclusion of wild foods from their mountains.
  • Guangdong (Cantonese), Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu: great seafood, and generally sweet and light flavors.
  • Shandong Cuisine: fresh and salty with a lot of seafood dishes.

Introduction of Eight Chinese Cuisines

1. SICHUAN CUISINE

The most widely-adapted Chinese cuisine into Western society (and often referred to as “Szechuan” or “Szechuanese,”) Sichuan cuisine is known for big, bold flavors and an undeniable spicy taste. Common flavor enhancers include peppers, garlic, ginger, and peanuts. Sichuan cuisine is unique in its abundant use of peppercorns, which cause a tingly and numbing sensation in the mouth. You might want to keep cold water handy to rinse away the fire.

Representative dish: MaPo Tofu, Hot pot, Kung Pao Chicken

 

2. SHANDONG CUISINE

Salty and flavorful, Shandong Cuisine favors slow braising as a technique and adds in a ton of shallots, scallions and garlic. Shandong cuisine has the longest history of all the eight cuisine types, and was once the favored cuisine of the royal court. Due to Shandong’s proximity to the ocean, many of its most famous dishes have seafood as the central ingredient.

Representative dish: Sweet and Sour Carp

 

3. JIANGSU CUISINE

Originating from the temperature zone in China from cities such as SuZhou, Nanjing, and and Yang Zhou, Jiangsu cuisine features a balanced approach to flavor. Its tastes are sweet and salty, mild and soothing to the stomach. The term “red braised” is a cooking method that is dominant in this region. It results in a sweet and salty, caramelized flavor.

Representative dish: Red-braised meatballs

 

4. ZHEJIANG CUISINE

A vast and diverse cuisine that makes heavy use of oil and condiments for strong flavor, Zhejiang Cuisine is unique in its use of techniques such as quick-frying, stir-frying,braising, and smoking. The region produces freshwater fish and shrimps, which are usually cooked to be crispy yet tender.

Representative dish: West lake vinegar fish

 

5. ANHUI CUISINE

Developed in the Huangshan Mountains, Anhui cuisine makes use of plenty of wild plants and animals. Ham is often added to dishes as a flavor enhancer, and rock candy added for additional sweetness. Steaming and braising is a common technique, so Anhui cuisine is typically lighter in flavor compared to some of the other cuisine types.

Representative dish: Steamed Frog and Mushroom, Crispy Rice

 

6. GUANGDONG CUISINE

Have you ever had dim sum which originated from Guangdong cuisine? Most commonly known as Cantonese cuisine, Guangdong chefs focus on using the freshest ingredients to create a light, clean dish that showcase natural flavors. Guangdong cuisine tends to be sweeter, favoring techniques such as braising and stewing.

Representative dish: Dim Sum

 

7. FUJIAN CUISINE

Thanks to its proximity to the sea, Fujian Cuisine became known for fresh seafood and seafood based soups. Fujianese chefs tend to use wine in their cooking, leading to a “pickled” taste for many dishes. A famous Fujianese dish is called Buddha Jumping Over the Wall, which includes abalone, shark fin, sea cucumber, scallops, bamboo shoots, and Shaoxing wine. However, with the controversy in shark-finning, more chefs are choosing to omit that particular ingredient.

Representative dish: Buddha Jumping Over the Wall

 

8. HUNAN CUISINE

Similar to Sichuan cuisine, Hunan cuisine is hot, hot, hot. Dried chilies provide much of the spicy flavor, and often lead to bright red colored dishes. Many American favorites such as Orange Beef and Crispy Duck all originate from Hunan.

Representative dish: General Tso’s Chicken

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Cooking GuideHome and Kitchen

The 10 Most Delicious Beijing Recipes You Should Try

The 10 Most Delicious Beijing Recipes You Should Try

China is rich in tourist attractions. Delicious foods are an attraction indispensable in a good tour. With a long history, unique features, numerous recipes and exquisite cooking, Chinese cuisine is one important constituent part of Chinese culture.

Cold winters and dry summers make for a short growing season in northern part of China. Wheat is the staple grain and root vegetables such as garlic, green onion and potatoes frequently appeared in northern Chinese dishes. Beijing, the capital city of China as well as the acient seat of the Imperial Court – has a long history of incorporated the best of regional cuisines throughout China into the dishes. Here are the 10 most common recipes representing Beijing cuisine:

Mu Shu Pork Recipe

One of the most popular stir-fried recipes in nothern China, Mu Shu Pork is thought to resemble a wooded forest scene, with earthy vegetables such as green onions, and scrambled egg representing yellow flowers, all rolled into small, thin pancakes instead of being served over rice.

Peking Duck Recipe

Peking duck is an iconic Beijing dish, consisting of thin pieces of tender, roasted duck meat and crispy skin wrapped in a thin crepe, along with sliced spring onions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce, each containing an equal portion of skin and fat.

Mandarin Pancakes (Spring Roll Wrappers) Recipe

Mandarin pancakes are enjoyed in Chinese dishes, such as Peking duck and moo shu pork. They can be made at home with a hot water dough, but are also available in the frozen section of Asian markets.

Mongolian Lamb Recipe

This should be one of the most famous lamb dishes inside China. However Mongolian beef is much famous outside China. We do not eat lamb too much expect in cold winter days. The extreme winter weather conditions in Mongolia mean that anyone living there needs a diet high in animal fat to keep warm. Mongolian cuisine is very high in protein. The delicate flavor of rice vinegar brings out the sweetness of lamb.

Chinese Dumplings (Jiaozi) Recipe

Preparing Jiaozi is a Chinese New Year tradition in many northern Chinese homes. Chinese dumplings can be boiled or pan-fried. The dumplings in this recipe are made with a savory pork filling, seasoned with Asian sesame oil and white pepper.

Hua Juan (Flower Rolls) Recipe

Hua Juan, or Flower Rolls, are a very popular variation on steamed buns in the more northern regions of China. Filled with green onion and sesame oil, these rolls spread out during steaming to resemble a flower shape.

Spring Onion Pancakes Recipe

In Northern China, spring onion pancakes (aka scallion pancakes) are a very popular staple food. You can find them both at humble street stalls and in high-end restaurants. This recipe for Chinese Scallion (Green Onion) Pancakes is both vegetarian and vegan.

Mongolian Lamb Hot Pot Recipe

The Asian version of fondue, hot pot consists of cooking food by dipping it in simmering broth. According to legend, the original hot pot was created by Mongolian conquerors who used their helmets as a vessel to cook the food in. Traditionally, Mongolian Hot Pot is made with mutton. However, you can substitute chicken if desired. This recipe for Mongolian Hot Pot With Lamb includes suggestions for dipping sauces.

Douhua (Tofu Pudding) Recipe

Douhua is a popular northern Chinese treat made with very soft tofu eaten with a clear sweet syrup infused with ginger or pandan. Sometimes brown syrup is used in place of clear syrup. Usually eaten warm, it is also quite delicious chilled.

Zhajiang Noodles (Minced Pork Noodles) Recipe

The highlight of this noodle lay in the minced pork sauce or pork gravy. And this pork gravy changes from northern China to Southern China with the most two essential sauces stay the same: sweet bean sauce and soybean paste.

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Cooking GuideHome and Kitchen

10 Quick and Easy Chinese Recipes for Beginners

10 easy chinese receipes

Chinese Recipes Are Actually Extremely Simple

Most of the Chinese recipes are quick and easy to cook. You can find main ingredients at local markets, while others may need to visit an Asian markets. You don’t have to be worry if an ingredient is not available because they are versatile.

Why Chinese recipes is easy to make? It takes only minutes to make a stir-fries receipe. The rest like soups and stews, take longer time to cook. However it includes just a few simple steps. This gives you much free time while the food is simmering.

No matter you’re a biginner with some interests in Chinese recipes or just want to save time in kitchen, you will find some good ideas.

Egg Fried Rice

One of the first Chinese recipes that anyone want to learn of  should be egg fried rice. It is the foundation for many recipes and will give you a clue of quick cooking in the frying pan.

Fried rice is very simple and it takes only a few minutes if you have cooked rice. This recipe requires eggs, green onions, salt and pepper, and soy or oyster sauce. If you like you can add meat and other vegetables and turn this side dish into a quick meal.

Oyster Sauce Chicken

As you explore Chinese recipes, you will notice that oyster sauce is a general ingredient. You can find it at almost any local market that dedicates in Asian foods and a bottle of it can be used for a very long time.

This Oyster Sauce Chicken is a wonderful introduction to the oyster sauce. It’s a quick recipe that cooks chicken and vegetables in a wok. These are simmered in oyster sauce and soy sauces, wine, and broth and everything is served over rice. It takes just about 30 minutes and one pan, so it’s perfect for a busy night.

Pepper Steak with Gravy

Chicken appears in a number of Chinese recipes and so do steak. For a specialized steak recipe which is super easy, such as Pepper Steak.

For this dish, you will cook the meat for around 30 minutes in a soy broth before putting in tomatoes and bell peppers. Also a little cornstarch, some garlic, and baby corn, then let this simmer down to a gravy-like consistency. It’s amazing and impressive, and you only need to put little effort into it.

Beef Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is a fundamental skill used in many Chinese recipes. It’s very simple and, virtually , it is frying food quickly in oil. There are, of course, a few stir-fry tips you should know, but it will soon become common sense.

Before you worry about doing a beef stir-fry recipe with many ingredients, you might want to try an incredibly easy one. If you start with a stir-fry sauce like Kikkoman and a frozen vegetable mix, you just need to do half of the work. It let you concentrate on skill rather than ingredients. It’s just as tasty and just a little faster.​

Orange Pork Chop Stir-Fry

You can swap the meat out in almost any Chinese stir-fry recipe and it works well. If you don’t have chicken for a recipe like the Orange Chicken Stir-Fry, feel free to use beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu.

When it comes to pork, chops are a great cut to use. They are easily cut into bite-sized cubes and they taste great in an orange sauce. For this orange pork chop stir-fry recipe, you need to marinade the pork and make a soy and orange juice sauce. Add a few vegetables and a little oil and starch, and you’re ready to create an amazing stir-fry dish.

Kung Pao Chicken

You might have probably ordered Kung Pao Chicken for times from the Chinese take-away restaurant and it is a delicious dish with a spicy flavour. Did you know that it’s actually really easy to make at home?

If you have a few basic ingredients found in many Chinese recipes stock in your kitchen, you will save time and money by avoiding take-out. The key to a quick meal is to prep all your ingredients before turning on the wok.

The other advantage to this particular Kung Pao recipe is that the chicken is not deep-fried. Instead it is stir-fried and that makes the food a little bit healthier.

Cantonese Steamed Chicken

Steam is another popular method for preparing Chinese food and it creates a healthy, clean dish. This is where those round bamboo steamers can really come in handy. If you don’t have one yet, this recipe is a good reason to add one to your kitchen.

This flavorful Cantonese Steamed Chicken recipe is easy to make. You will simply marinade chicken in a mix of soy, wine, and sesame oil, then place it on the steamer tray with mushrooms. Add a little ginger and green onion and let it steam for about 18 minutes.

Vegetable Chow Mein

It is quite easy to change Chinese dishes into a vegetarian’s joy. You simply ignore the meat, add more vegetables, or even toss in some tofu (stir-fry’s one of the best ways to prepare it).

When you’re ready to try a veggie noodle dish using your new stir-fry technique, this Vegetable Chow Mein is a delight. It uses bell pepper, onion, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and garlic with a sauce of oyster and soy sauces, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. It fries up fast and the taste will impress everyone.

Beef Chow Fun

“Ho fun” is a broad rice noodle that is frequently used in Cantonese food and you might see it before from take-out menus. It adds a depth to the dish that thinner noodles or rice just can’t bring.

This basic Beef Chow Fun recipe may not be as reliable as others, but all the flavors are there and it is a perfect introduction to the recipe, which includes mung bean sprouts.

Mongolian Chicken

Mongolian chicken and beef recipes are like other recipes with the mainly difference being adding the ingredients of hoisin sauce. This is also called Chinese barbecue sauce though it tastes completely different from the American one. Hoisin is a spiced sauce of soybean paste and it’s an fantasitic addition to your Chinese recipes as it can be used for both dipping and stirfry.

This Mongolian Chicken recipe is a speedy stir-fry that includes hoisin sauce, soy, and red wine vinegar with chicken stock. It’s just simple as other Chinese recipes, only a little different and pleasure to make. You’ll find it is amazing when served with soy-fried noodles.

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