Eight Cuisine of China
China is a vast country with lots of options and varieties in food. There are a widely different species due to the rich natural landscapes and air conditions. Chinese ancestors know how to make living with the local advantages. The old Chinese saying “靠山吃山，靠水吃水” provides a vivid descriptions about what Chinese people eating.
Chinese cuisine, usually widely get the raw ingredients from forest, lake, coastlines, and plateaus has a different number of genres. Some of them are widely known outside China including Sichuan cuisine and Cantonese cuisine, while others might less well known due to the lack of communications. The “eight cuisines” has been developed from eight regional areas. Each one, either famous or infamous, has its own features and unique history.
There are several facts you might need to know in the first place.
- It is quite hard to define which one is the best among the eight ones. This might be the most controversial question among Chinese people.
- There are many local dishes and local variants of the same dish. So do not get yourself confused if two or three cuisines offer the same dish name.
Yue (粤菜)Cuisine/ Cantonese cuisine
Popular area: Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao
Cantonese cuisine (粤菜) might be the most famous Chinese cuisine internationally due to the large number of the emigrants from Guangdong. But Cantonese cuisine is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Like all the other southern coasting cuisine, Cantonese dishes make full usage of local fresh ingredients, featuring seafood and rice. A general principle of a Cantonese chef is to preserve the original flavor and natural essence of ingredients.
New dishes and featured have been developed in Hong Kong and Macao because of the British and Portuguese influence.
Most famous Cantonese dishes might be dim sum—small one-bite size steamed stuff, char siu (Chinese BBQ pork),
Chuan Cuisine/Sichuan Cuisine
Popular area: Sichuan province (Chengdu) and Chongqing
Sichuan cuisine in fact is a combination of Chengdu and Chongqing food. Within China, Sichuan food might be the most popular one outside of its own region.
Spicy and numbing dishes from Sichuan cuisine also take widely selected raw ingredients. But most of the ingredients are easy to find and inexpensive. The most amazing things about Sichuan cuisine are the seasonings and spices. Chefs from Sichuan cuisine are good at combining different portions of seasonings and spices to create totally different tastes. The most famous Sichuan style seasonings including Doubanjiang, Dou-chi (fermented black beans), pickled peppers (泡椒), combined red oil and the magic Sichuan peppercorn (花椒).
Most famous dishes from Sichuan Cuisine
- Mapo tofu
- Twice cooked pork
- Mala hot pot
- Dan Dan Noodles
- Kung pao chicken