eTALK China Insights: China’s Eight Cuisines

China eight cuisines
Source: Epicurious

Chinese dishes such as Sichuan hotpot or Peking duck are world famous today.
However, Chinese cuisine can be divided into a total of 8 culinary cuisines.
The differences between them result from the millennia-old traditions and ethnic influences.

Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan Cuisine
Spicy Sichuan Hotpot - Source: China Discovery

Sichuan Province cuisine is the most served cuisine in China.
It is best known for its pungent flavor and the numbing aroma of Sichuan peppercorns.
Main characteristics: Chili, garlic, Szechuan pepper.
The dish that makes Sichuan especially popular is Sichuan or Chongqing hotpot.

Sichuan Cuisine

Zhejiang Cuisine
Fish Zhejiang Style - Source: Pinterest: Chinese Culture

The province Zhejiang is located close to Shanghai and is known for mostly fresh and light food.
It is considered as quite Japanese, since a lot of food is served (partly) raw.
Main characteristics: Seafood, bamboo shoots, sweet deserts

Cantonese Cuisine

Cantonese Cuisine
Variety of Cantonese dishes - Source: Chungying

This Chinese style is the most famous in the world.
Cantonese cuisine, or Guangdong cuisine, is best known for its wide variety of dishes.
The dishes are mostly lightly spiced and a little sweet. The emphasis is on the original flavor of the ingredients used.
Main characteristics: Seafood, Rice, Dim Sum

Hunan Cuisine

Hunan cuisine
Steamed fish head with hot chilis - Source: chinaplus

While most think of Sichuan when it comes to spicy food, Hunan province tops this again.
In comparison, no numbing peppercorns are used, which makes the taste experience even more hot for many.
Main characteristics: Chili, vinegar, citrus fruits

Jiangsu Cuisine

jiangsu cuisine
Different dishes from Jiangsu - Source: asiaculturaltravel

Jiangsu cuisine is known as gourmet cuisine and is usually served at banquets.
More elaborate cooking techniques than conventional dishes make this cuisine special.
Generally, fewer spices are used, and most ingredients are seasonal and fresh.
Main Characteristics: Presentation, Seafood, Health

Anhui Cuisine

Anhui Cuisine
Fried hairy tofu - Source: travelchina

Similar to the cuisine of Jiangsu, the cuisine of Anhui originates from the inhabitants of the Huangshan Mountains.
The regional aspect also leads to the use of less seafood and more herbs and vegetables from the countryside.
Main characteristics: Mountain peasant food, sweet, wild plants and animals

Shandong Cuisine

shandong cuisine
Sweet and Sour Fish - Source: chinaplus

The coastal region of Shandong Province is reflected in the food.
Most served is seafood or soup. The dishes are usually fried and are not oily.
Main characteristics: Seafood, salty, crispy,green onions, extreme heat
While not part of classic Shandong cuisine, it has made it into the top 10 largest breweries in the world: Tsingtao Beer

Fujian Cuisine

fujian cuisine
"Buddha jumping over the wall" - 佛跳墙 - Source: xinshipu

Similar to Shandong province, Fujian Cuisine mixes both ingredients from the sea and the mountains.
In general, it has three different styles.
Sweet and sour, slightly spicy as well as spicy and sweet.
Main characteristics: Various Seafood, Mountain delicacies, different styles and tastes

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