The 8 Great Cuisines of China - Deepstash
8 Culinary Traditions: the standard for how Chinese cook food
  • Identified by Chinese chefs as the best of the many styles of cooking in China
  • These have set the course of how Chinese cook food, and are looked to as models.
  • Each of these schools has a distinct style and different strengths.
  • These 8 Culinary Traditions are:
  1. Shandong/Lu cuisine
  2. Sichuan/Szechuan/ Chuan cuisine
  3. Hunan/Xiang cuisine
  4. Guangdong/Cantonese cuisine
  5. Zhejiang/Zhe cuisine
  6. Jiangsu/Su cuisine
  7. Anhui/Hui cuisine
  8. Fujian/Min cuisines

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

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Shandong (Lu) Cuisine — the Mother of Northern Style Cuisine

ORIGIN: Shandong and Southern Liaoning Province

FLAVORS: Fishy, fresh, salty, tender, light and crispy

STANDOUT FEATURES:

  • seafood as the main ingredient; pork is enjoyed too
  • Fresh, fishy and salty dishes
  • Crispness
  • Clear soup
  • Heavy use of vinegar
  • Use of scallions, garlic & ginger
  • "Bao" frying method
  • Preserving the ingredients ' natural taste

NOTES:

- The only self-originated cuisine among 8.

- The most difficult cuisine

- Has the oldest and longest history- 2,500 years (Shandong was 1 of the 1st modernised areas)

- It set the pattern for northern style cooking

-hence seen as the No. 1 of 8 Chinese cuisines

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"Bao" : Extreme heat stir frying

Ingredients are tossed into a wok with boiling oil for a quick fry to singe its outer layer and lock in the flavor (And keep oil from seeping into the food). Excess oil is dumped once the main ingredient is cooked. Herbs, seasoning are then added; after a quick stir, the food is ready to serve. This method leaves little residual oil on the food.

"Pa" : Fried dough coating

Coating a cut of meat with flour, stir frying it until crispy, then adding a sauce and sautéing it while stirring continuously.

Soup making: 

The soup with white broth may contain milk/cream

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Origin: Sichuan Province, Chongqing

  • most popular and widely served cuisine in China
  • famous for its rich,deep flavors; spicy,pungent and hot flavor; and red color
  • Food of Chengdu and Chongqing (used to be part of Sichuan

Spices of Sichuan cuisine

  • various chilis & pepper, 1 of which is the Sichuan peppercorn which is rare in other cuisines;
  • shallots
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • broad bean paste - the soul of Sichuan dishes

Most commonly used spices

  • "The 5 Fragrances" : fennel, pepper, aniseed, cinnamon & clove;
  • chili
  • Sichuan pepper

Cooking Methods

  • stir-frying,
  • steaming
  • braising
  • baking,
  • fast-fryin- the most popular

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  • 'Pockmarked Granny' Bean Curd/Mapo tofu
  • Spicy diced chick/ Kung pao chicken
  • Fuqi Fei Pian (Husband and wife lung slices) was created by Guo Zhaohua who sold the delicious, aromatic and irresistible beef slices by trundling a small cart along the streets. The patrons named the dish in honor of the couple
  • Sichuan Hot Pot - most popular Sichuan dish in China; 1st choice when dining w/ friends
  • Dandan Mian/ Dandan noodles
  • Ganbian Sijidou (Dry stir-fried Green Beans) - thought to be oily and heavy, if done right, by dry-frying, like in Sichuan, this stir-fried green beans are light and crunchy. 

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  • Origins: Jiangsu Province (Coastal East China) Nanjing, Suzhuo
  • one of the lesser known cuisines
  • (Jiangsu Province has the highest per capita income so) food are more gourmet style; very refined and presented colorfully and artistically
  • emphasize bringing out the distinct natural flavors of the meat and plant ingredients
  • don't add much salt, sugar/seasonings that hide/overwhelm the ingredients' flavors.
  • richly aromatic

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High quality ingredients, best seafood (Jiangsu is on the coast +people's high income)

Rice, wheat, rootcrops

watershield, lotus, Chinese chestnuts, winter bamboo shoots, water bamboo, water chestnuts

vegetable/herb combination dishes are carefully chosen for their health benefits

season, weather are taken into account to achieve balance, promote health and comfort. Ginseng is thought to be good for the elderly during cold weather

guide, waiters, Chinese friends can help select the right dishes for you depending on your condition/how you feel physically. Yancheng city is known for medicinal dishes

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1. Huaiyang/(Huai'an) style

  • Considered by chefs as 1 of the 4 best in China
  • frequently served at government banquets
  • 1 of the 4 most influential regional cuisine styles (四大菜系 'Four Great Cuisines')
  • Specialty: aroma, high degree of visual artistry

2. Nanjing

  • famous for its fine cutting & preparation techniques
  • good-looking dishes
  • freshness, fragrance, crispness, tenderness
  • dishes are mildly sweet
  • Specialty: seasonal vegetables, freshwater fish, seafoods

3. Yangzhou

- Known for

  • fine cutting techniques
  • Perfect timing
  • Fresh color
  • Original design

4. Suzhuo

Less notable styles

5. Xuzhou

6. Haizhou

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1. Huaiyang/(Huai'an) style

  • Considered by chefs as 1 of the 4 best in China
  • frequently served at government banquets
  • 1 of the 4 most influential regional cuisine styles (四大菜系 'Four Great Cuisines')
  • Specialty: aroma, high degree of visual artistry

2. Nanjing

  • famous for its fine cutting & preparation techniques
  • good-looking dishes
  • freshness, fragrance, crispness, tenderness
  • dishes are mildly sweet
  • Specialty: seasonal vegetables, freshwater fish, seafoods

3. Yangzhou

- Known for

  • fine cutting techniques
  • Perfect timing
  • Fresh color
  • Original design

4. Suzhuo

Less notable styles

5. Xuzhou

6. Haizhou

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