Get To Know More About The Chinese Cuisine!
Chinese cuisine is much more than just noodles and dumplings. Due to the climate, geography, culture, it can break down into roughly five regions – north, south, central, east, and west. Let’s get to know more about the cuisines in China and try them during your next journey!
The staple food in North and South
Generally speaking, China has two main carbs: wheat and rice. As Chinese staple food, the north eats noodles, while the south eat rice.
Rice requires a lot of water, and the south gets plenty of it, with more rain on average than the north. You can easily find the stunning rice terraces view in Guilin, Yunnan, Fujian, and other southern cities during your trip. Therefore, rice is consumed more in the south, and you can find a lot of fried rice, rice noodles, rice noodle rolls.
North specializes in wheat because it doesn’t need all that much water. In the north, you will see a lot of wheat noodle dishes and a variety of buns. Unlike the rice noodle, the noodle made with wheat has a much heavier flavor and more chewy.
Different Cuisine in Five Regions
Five distinct geographic regions make its food wholly unique and special.
In the east of China, the flavor feature here trends to be salty and sweet, and also because of its proximity to the sea and a lush network of waterways, therefore has denoted as “land of fish and rice.”
Guangdong Province and Hong Kong are home to Cantonese cuisine where you can enjoy dim sum, a class of small brunch bites powered by steam. Besides, it is also the birthplace of oyster sauce and hoisin sauce, people here are really good at making sweet barbecued meat.
Δ Barbecued Pork
Just above are Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province. Freshwater fish and crustaceans can be often found on the menu. The best try can be fish in deep-fried ladled with sweet and sour sauce, or pork ribs coated with soy sauce with sugar, and of course, do not forget to try the famous Xiaolongbao.
If you travel to Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces, you might find out that the food here tastes sour with a lot of preserved ingredients. It is mainly because many minorities live in the mountains and use this kind of cooking method to prevent the wastage of food.
Yunnan is known as China’s “fungus kingdom.” You can find lots of wild mushrooms, herbs, and flowers being used as featured ingredients in the food.
Δ Yunnan flower cake
If you prefer unique sour-spicy flavors, then Guizhou might meet your expectation. The representative dish for the Miao people is sour fish soup.
Δ Sour fish soup
Sichuan province and Hunan province from central China are famous for their abundant fresh greens and the flavor profile is spicy and numbing. This is also the home of the Sichuan peppercorn, a Chinese spice that literally will numb your tongue.
Traditional Chinese medicine says Sichuan is very humid, therefore Sichuanese people must eat hot food to sweat, excreting the body’s toxins and internal dampness. If you ask me what are the must-try then I will recommend dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, Hotpot, and Mapo Tofu.
Unlike Sichuan, Hunan spicy boasts a lot of dry spice or hot and sour flavors. Classical dishes are Dry Pot Chicken and steamed fish with red chilies.
Δ Fish Head with Chopped Chili
Here is a wheat-heavy region, noodles, buns and dumplings are everywhere. Tibetan, Xinjiang, and Gansu are inhabited by many ethnic groups which make its cuisine full of exotic flavor.
Xijiang owns China’s largest Hui Muslim and Uyghur minority populations. Food from Xinjiang and Gansu heavily features lamb and beef rather than pork. Here you will probably eat the best lamb barbecue ever.
Δ Lamb barbecue
As you might have heard before, Gansu is well known for its hand-pulled noodles that are notoriously difficult to make. You’ll find dished like lamb dumplings and beef noodle soup.
Δ Lanzhou beef noodle
And finally, we have the north. In Beijing, Xi’an, Inner Mongolia, and Northeast China leafy greens are harder to find here. But potatoes, eggplant onions, and cabbage tend to be the plants of choice.
Peking Duck is the must-try in Beijing. It is origins from imperial court cuisine, which originated from the imperial kitchens.
Δ Peking Duck
To fight the brutal winters, Mongolian cuisine relies heavily on meat and dairy. Typical dishes include roasted whole sheep, roast leg of lamb, and hand-grabbed lamb.
Δ Milk Tofu
Knife-cut noodles in Shaanxi province is a source of pride for the region. These noodles are shaved by hand from a block of dough over a pot of boiling water and require a skillful technique to make. Other dishes you may try is Yangroupaomo and Liangpi.
Δ Xian Roujiamo
Shandong cuisine is full of seafood. It is known for its fresh, salty, crisp, and tender flavors.
Δ Zhoucun sesame seed cake
If you are a foodie like us and would like to know more about amazing dishes for your trip, please talk to our travel consultants right ahead!