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Various Chinese cuisines


Toby
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As a Fuzhouren, not originally from China, but Malaysia, I turned immediately to the Fuzhou cuisine page. I am surprised to learn that Fotiaoqiang has origins in Fuzhou. As a kid, I heard stories of this legendary dish from my relatives, but never put two and two together. Has anyone here eaten it?

It must be the Fuzhou blood in my veins but my absolute favourite version of chunjuan is the Fuzhou version, and I have a very strong attraction to anything made from yutou, or taro (dunno why, but we call it yam in Malaysia). My absolute fav dessert as a kid was sweet yutou paste, mixed with lots of rendered pork fat so that it's incredibly rich and fragrant, which was often served at wedding banquets. But I will eat (almost) anything made from yutou, from Cantonese wutaukeuk, a dimsum of deep fried taro stuffed with minced pork; to wutaugou, another dim sum favourite, seared on all sides; to Malaysian "sarang burung" which is taro paste shaped into a bowl and deep fried, that holds a stir-fried mixture of shrimp, scallop, squid, chicken, straw mushrooms, cashew nuts, baby corn, and carrots. Fantastic stuff.

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Great site.  Wonder how they can know about the cuisine of so many different cities!  The "China Pictures" section has photos of many of the same places.

They're obviously very knowledgeable about Western Chinese cuisines, probably because or the agency's location and its apparent market base of back-packers and trekkers. I noticed that their coverage of some of the coastal cities was pretty text-book and spotty, and some (like Ningbo and Yangzhou) not covered at all. But they've got Xinjiang and surrounding territories covered like a glove!

I was favorably impressed with the website's focus on street food and "real" local specialties.

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  • 1 month later...
Here's a pretty good basic summary of the different regional cuisines of China and the foods from each.

Eight regional cuisines of China

Resurrecting this old thread, as I, too, am becoming more curious about regional Chinese cuisine.

I've (somewhat recently) moved to Seattle, where we have a strong Sichuanese contingent. For me, it's like having eaten nothing but Sicilian food all your life and then discovering northern Italy. :)

I enjoyed reading the website suggested, but it's a bit too brief for my taste. Does anyone have suggestions of books (or other resources) that I can put my hands on to learn more? There area seemingly endless number of multi-region Chinese cookbooks out there, mostly out of print; I'll probably end up buying a couple of them blind if nobody can suggest a favorite.

I'm not wholeheartedly interested in cooking from cover to cover, but reading recipes is definitely one way that I can imagine grasping some of the differences and specialties.

Thanks,

~Anita

edited for a typo

Edited by ScorchedPalate (log)

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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八大菜系

中国菜肴素有四大风味和八大菜系之说。

四大风味是:鲁、川、粤、淮扬。八大菜系一般是指:山东菜、四川菜、湖南菜、江苏菜、浙江菜、安徽菜、广东菜和福建菜。其中并无北京菜。究其原因,主要在于北京菜品种复杂多元,兼容并蓄八方风味,名菜众多,难于归类。过去北京餐饮业中,山东馆最多,当时有所谓十大堂,即指庆丰堂、聚贤堂等堂字号;八大居,指同和居、砂锅居等居字号;八大楼,指东兴楼、致美楼、泰丰楼等楼字号;还有八大春,指庆林春等春字号,这些餐馆大多是山东风味。近十多年来,北京老字号餐馆呈现兴旺景象,全国各地20多省市著名风味餐馆,又有百余家到北京开业;世界五大洲名吃也有一些在北京落户。不出北京,就能品尝到全国,甚至世界各地的风味菜点。

There are four cooking styles in China:

鲁菜Lu Cai (Shan Dong Style) ,

川菜Chuan Cai (Sichaun Style) ,

淮阳菜(Huai Yang Style),

粤菜 (Cantonese Style).

Under those Cuisines, they have totally eight Sub-Cuisines. They are all named by the province’s name.

North, and East, Lu Cai style, taste heavy and salty

山东菜,Shan Dong Cuisine

Shan Dong province in north of Yellow river, and is on the east coast.

Beijing foods are under influence of Shan Dong Cuisine a lot. They are really good to cook Sea Cucumber, Abalone, Shark Fin, and Fish Maw.

Southwest, Spicy

四川菜,SiChuan Cuisine

You know very well of this.

湖南菜,Hunan Cuisine

It spicy, but not num. General Tsao’s chicken is famous, but it is not the way they serve in America.

East, downstream of the Yangtze River, follow the Huai Yang style, light and maybe little sweet

江苏菜,Jiang Su Cuisine

Nanjing food is representing Jiang Su Cuisine. Something like Turnip Bun.

浙江菜,Zhe Jiang Cuisine

Affects Shanghai food a lot.

安徽菜,An Hui Cuisine

Steaming is the major method, the Beggar’s Chicken famous.

Southeast Coast , light and fresh

广东菜,Guang Dong(Cantonese)Cuisine

福建菜.Fujian Cuisine,

Seafood is major ingredient.

"All the way to heaven is heaven."

___Said by St. Catherine of Sienna.

Let's enjoy life, now!

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Resurrecting this old thread, as I, too, am becoming more curious about regional Chinese cuisine.

I've (somewhat recently) moved to Seattle, where we have a strong Sichuanese contingent. For me, it's like having eating nothing but Sicilian food all your life and then discovering northern Italy. :)

I liked the website suggested, but it's a bit too brief for my taste. Does anyone have suggestions of a book (or other resource) that I can put my hands on to learn more? There area seemingly endless number of multi-region Chinese cookbooks out there, mostly out of print; I'll probably end up buying a couple of them blind if nobody can suggest a favorite.

I'm not wholeheartedly interested in cooking from cover to cover, but reading recipes is definitely one way that I can imagine grasping some of the differences and specialties.

Thanks,

~Anita

I'd recommend Yan Kit-So's "Classic Food of China" (ISBN 0333569075). She was a real scholar (holds a doctorate in history) and a lot of the books in her bibliography aren't even available in English. This book has quite a few good regional recipes, and recipes I haven't seen in any other cookbooks. For a more introductory book, I always recommend her "Classic Chinese Cooking" (ISBN: 0789433001). Her food always tastes great too. I was quite sorry we lost her to cancer a few years back.

If you're interested in a book devoted to Sichuanese food, then the most recent and one of the nicest would be "Land of Plenty". You might be interested to see the differences in what they do in Sichuan and what they do in Sichuan restaurants in Seattle.

regards,

trillium

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I liked the website suggested, but it's a bit too brief for my taste. Does anyone have suggestions of a book (or other resource) that I can put my hands on to learn more?

I'd recommend Yan Kit-So's "Classic Food of China" (ISBN 0333569075).

<snip>

For a more introductory book, I always recommend her "Classic Chinese Cooking" (ISBN: 0789433001).

<snip>

If you're interested in a book devoted to Sichuanese food, then the most recent and one of the nicest would be "Land of Plenty". <snip>

Thanks, Trillium. I'll see if I can find the two Yan Kit-So books you mentioned.

I actually have had Land of Plenty on order as of last week. I read about the UK edition in John Thorne's Simple Cooking newsletter last year, and had been awaiting is US release. (Somehow I must have missed the news of its actually happening...)

Thanks, also, to Qing for taking time to add a little more info to the data on the site linked to at the top of the thread.

~Anita

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Trillium -- I also give a thumbs up on Yan-Kit-So's "Classic Cooking of China". A very informative book! Her "Chinese Cooking, Step-by-Step Techniques", when she went by the name Yan Kit Martin, is one I've recommended to beginners. Lots of useful guides in it. She will be missed.

Of the other Regional books I have, several stand out, and have great information, but If I had to choose just one it would be "Classic Cooking".

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  • 2 months later...

This forum is so incredible and every thread piques my curiosity. I can't stand it any more! :wacko: I must know the answer to the following question:

How often do you get to go to China and sample the great food and gather such knowledge!??

I mean, there's Gary who has an apt. in Shanghai, but lives in US.

Yetti, who I believe will soon relocate to US?

maaraw who gave such detailed info on HK but lives in Madrid?

Jo-mel who is non Asian but IS Asian at heart, with lots of travelling in China.

And the list is endless!

This poor prairie woman is feeling so deprived! :sad::angry:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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My first trip to China was a bargain-basement trip paid for with savings from birthday checks and gig money. My second, I owe to my parents, who decided to make it a family trip.

Sue-On, perhaps you could arrange a China tour for your band.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I am typically in China twice a year, for a few months during the summer and a few weeks in the winter. This has been the general pattern since I returned for the first time in 1998 and has only been broken once. As I'm currently looking for employment, hopefully this will go up (or I'll be based in China) when I have a job...

Edited by chengb02 (log)
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I must visit Tong San soon. Hubby, who's more travelled than <sniff, sniff> me, keep marvelling and going on and on how delicious the siu loong bao and other delectables he had when he visited China, every time we have them here. :angry:

Edited to add:

This poor prairie woman is feeling so deprived! 

Dejah, you're feeling so deprived? I'm so close yet so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wahhhhhhhhhhh!

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Chinese food in Malaysia is marvelous, though, so don't feel too deprived!

Plus, I can't believe airfare from Sepang is too expensive, and once you get there, you don't have to spend much.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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My parents fly to Shanghai and Beijing 2 - 3 times a year and they would always go to Hong Kong for Christmas or New Year. My mum on the other hand goes to HK quite often because her parents are over there. I only get to go with them twice a year during my school breaks... :hmmm:

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Chinese food in Malaysia is marvelous, though, so don't feel too deprived!

Plus, I can't believe airfare from Sepang is too expensive, and once you get there, you don't have to spend much.

Thanks, Pan, for the words of comfort. Sure, we can find good food in M'sia but one does wish for 100% genuine China-chinese fare, you know. It's not so much the airfare, but the baggage; where mum goes, the 3 kids go. I do apologize if I offend anybody, but, I'm a bit wary of the hygiene side of things in China, especially, the more rural parts. My parents have travelled to China to visit relatives on many occasions, and, my mum, has had diarrhoea at least twice. Well, at least, she had the experience of being treated by a chinese doctor. :raz:

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Hey, my beloved Dejah -- let's not forget Pan, who I'm certain is Asian at heart as well.  As you recall he recently returned from China where he might've had the  Best Meal of His Life !

Yetti,

Smack me on the side of the head! How could I have forgotten to mention Pan?!!

There will be many whom I didn't list...but then, I didn't want to write all the posts myself. :wink:

Pan, I wish we could tour the Far East. My late b-i-l knew people who worked in radio broadcasting. When we first recorded our music, they DID play the records...as novelties, I am sure. :laugh: We have one more kid to put through university, then, look out world!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Sue-On,

As if you weren't busy enough, I'd like to nominate/suggest/recommend you and Gary Soup for Forum Co-Hosts/Leaders of the magnificent China and Chinese Cuisine Forum.

OoooooooYetti! You are a trouble maker! :laugh: Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I don't feel I can do justice to the job at this time. But, Gary would certainly be a good choice. :smile:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I mean, there's Gary who has an apt. in Shanghai, but lives in US.

Yetti, who I believe will soon relocate to US?

maaraw who gave such detailed info on HK but lives in Madrid?

Jo-mel who is non Asian but IS Asian at heart, with lots of travelling in China.

And the list is endless!

This poor prairie woman is feeling so deprived! :sad:  :angry:

And there's me, a Hong Kong born Chinese (maybe we don't count because we are Chinese) now live in US, travelled over China in early years. :wink:

How about you, Dejah? Have you been back to Hong Kong at all since you departed Kai Tak Airport in the 50's?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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We haven't seen Shanghai or our apartment in two years (not to worry, it's busy collecting rent for our retirement nest egg). My view, though, reinforced by a weekend trip to Vancouver (see my report on the Canada board), is that if you know the culinary landscape you don't HAVE to go to China to get good restaurant food (localized street food is another matter). Ever since the Cultural Revolution trashed high cuisine, China has been playing catchup with Chinese food in the diaspora. Over the weekend, there was a story in the Globe and Mail's excellent series on "China Rising" about the current status of restaurants in China which contained this amazing assertion:

After three weeks of eating my way through four Chinese cities, I can say that not only are the restaurants affordable, they also offer more exciting cuisine, often better décor, and much better service than many — Chinese or otherwise — in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.

I guess what the reporter is saying is that you can actually find better Chinese restaurants in Beijing than in Toronto :raz:

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Sure, we can find good food in M'sia but one does wish for 100% genuine China-chinese fare, you know.

I'm not sure if there really is such a thing. Instead, there's some kind of local food everywhere, much as there are local Malay specialties in different parts of the country, only more so (because China is so much bigger and has strong regional identities reflected in part in mutually unintelligible local spoken languages - the so-called "dialects").

I do apologize if I offend anybody, but, I'm a bit wary of the hygiene side of things in China, especially, the more rural parts. My parents have travelled to China to visit relatives on many occasions, and, my mum, has had diarrhoea at least twice. Well, at least, she had the experience of being treated by a chinese doctor. :raz:

My parents and brother all were sick after coming back from China (I wasn't), and I think all of us got at least minor intestinal problems at some point while we were there. Then again, we got those in Malaysia, too. :laugh::raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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    • By liuzhou
      Chinese food must be among the most famous in the world. Yet, at the same time, the most misunderstood.

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      That said, in this topic, I want to attempt to debunk some of the more prevalent myths. Not trying to start World War III.

      When I moved to China from the UK 25 years ago, I had my preconceptions. They were all wrong. Sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice was reported to be the second favourite dish in Britain, and had, of course, to be preceded by a plate of prawn/shrimp crackers. All washed down with a lager or three.

      Yet, in that quarter of a century, I've seldom seen a prawn cracker. And egg fried rice is usually eaten as a quick dish on its own, not usually as an accompaniment to main courses. Every menu featured a starter of prawn/shrimp toast which I have never seen in mainland China - just once in Hong Kong.

      But first, one myth needs to be dispelled. The starving Chinese! When I was a child I was encouraged to eat the particularly nasty bits on the plate by being told that the starving Chinese would lap them up. My suggestion that we could post it to them never went down too well. At that time (the late fifties) there was indeed a terrible famine in China (almost entirely manmade (Maomade)).

      When I first arrived in China, it was after having lived in Soviet Russia and I expected to see the same long lines of people queuing up to buy nothing very much in particular. Instead, on my first visit to a market (in Hunan Province), I was confronted with a wider range of vegetables, seafood, meat and assorted unidentified frying objects than I have ever seen anywhere else. And it was so cheap I couldn't convert to UK pounds or any other useful currency.
       
      I'm going to start with some of the simpler issues - later it may get ugly!

      1. Chinese people eat everything with chopsticks.
       

       
      No, they don't! Most things, yes, but spoons are also commonly used in informal situations. I recently had lunch in a university canteen. It has various stations selling different items. I found myself by the fried rice stall and ordered some Yangzhou fried rice. Nearly all the students and faculty sitting near me were having the same.

      I was using my chopsticks to shovel the food in, when I noticed that I was the only one doing so. Everyone else was using spoons. On investigating, I was told that the lunch break is so short at only two-and-a-half hours that everyone wants to eat quickly and rush off for their compulsory siesta.
       
      I've also seen claims that people eat soup with chopsticks. Nonsense. While people use chopsticks to pick out choice morsels from the broth, they will drink the soup by lifting their bowl to their mouths like cups. They ain't dumb!

      Anyway, with that very mild beginning, I'll head off and think which on my long list will be next.

      Thanks to @KennethT for advice re American-Chinese food.
       
       
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