China is the most populous country in the world, along with the vastness and diversity of products as well as climate, leading to clear differences between culinary cultures. That is why Chinese food dishes are extremely diverse and unique, but still have their own characteristics of each region, rich, rich in identity, has a great influence on the cuisine of countries in the Asian region.
The delicacy in the dishes is the full diversity in terms of aroma, color, taste to presentation, and decoration. Delicious food must be eye-catching, with an aroma that captivates diners, a delicious taste of food made from fresh ingredients, and an impressive presentation. In addition, the dishes are also nutritious by the ingenious combination of foods and herbs such as sea cucumber, traditional Chinese medicine, etc.
The dishes are usually prepared in different styles such as warming, cooking, simmering, stir-frying, steaming, roasting, boiling, braising, dipping, etc. Each processing method brings a different aftertaste and feeling.
The region matters
Chinese food dishes can be divided into 8 major schools: Shandong, Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui.
* Shandong: The first Chinese food cuisine is the Shandong culinary school. This is a province located in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, where the land is fertile. Shandong is the breadbasket of China, vegetables here are also very diverse and abundant. All of the above factors have created a unique and leading Chinese cuisine. The characteristic of the cuisine of this land is the dishes with strong, strong flavors of frying, baking, steaming with fresh colors, very eye-catching. In particular, the dishes often use a lot of onions and garlic, especially seafood dishes. Braised snails, sweet and sour carp are the two most famous dishes of Shandong.
* Cantonese: As one of the 4 main culinary schools, Cantonese food cuisine constantly absorbs the quintessence of other schools and combines Western dishes in its dishes. Cantonese dishes are very diverse in ingredients and are prepared in 21 different ways of cooking: stir-fried, deep-fried, grilled, roasted, stewed, steamed, braised, steamed in a bowl, etc.
Cantonese dishes need to ensure the “4 requirements” of color, flavor, taste, shape, fresh but not raw, fat but not boring, bar and not pale. The dish also needs to be suitable for the weather, autumn and summer need to be cool, winter and spring need to be dense. In terms of ingredient combination and taste, Cantonese people prefer raw cooking. Nowadays, Cantonese people love raw fish and raw fish porridge. Guangdong has some famous dishes such as roasted suckling pig, salted steamed chicken, roasted goose, boiled chicken, char siu pork, steamed shrimp, braised snake chicken, etc.
* Hunan: Over 2000 years of existence and development, Hunan culinary school has perfected and asserted itself by unique delicacies. Hunan cuisine is famous for its 3 ingredients, which are Huong Giang basin kitchen, Dong Dinh lake area kitchen, and Hunan mountain kitchen. The menus and baking art of Hunan dishes are exquisite and flawless. The basic taste of Hunan is fatty, sour-spicy, aromatic, and light. The dishes often include a lot of chili, garlic, shallots, and sauces to enhance the flavor of the dish.
* Fujian: Fujian province’s delicacies are famous for the sophistication of the menu and the elaborate preparation and special processing. Formed on the culinary foundation of the cities of Fuzhou, Huanzhou, and Xiamen. In general, the dishes here are a bit sweet and sour, less salty, the main ingredients are seafood, fresh and nutritious, and delicious mountain dishes. The most famous dish here is Buddha jumping the wall.
* Zhejiang: is a combination of the specialty dishes of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing, but the most famous is still Hangzhou dishes. The dishes here are usually not greasy, focusing on freshness, softness, and light aroma. The taste of Zhejiang cuisine is fresh, soft, frugal without being boring. The cooking process is very important so not only the taste is delicious but the presentation is also extremely eye-catching. Famous Hangzhou dishes such as Dong Pha pork, Hangzhou grilled chicken, Longjing spring rolls, Tay Ho carp…
* Jiangsu: Jiangsu dishes are very elaborately and beautifully decorated like a work of art. The specialty of Jiangsu dishes is “Focus on knife technique, delicate dishes, frugal taste” with steamed, simmered, and fried dishes. Jiangsu people do not like to use soy sauce in dishes. Instead, they prefer to add sugar and vinegar to create a “sour, sweet” taste. Steamed meat and crab meat is the most famous dish here.
* Anhui: Similar to Jiangsu, Anhui cuisine is also famous for its use of wild ingredients and herbs. Anhui cuisine includes three main regions: Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Southern Anhui. The Southern Anhui cuisine plays a key role with its salty, delicious, and pleasant aroma. The most famous dish here is the gourd duck.
* Sichuan: with very spicy dishes. Szechuan dishes focus on color and flavor: spicy, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, aromatic, skillfully mixed, and flexible. Not only that, but the dishes here also have many ways of changing flavors, suitable for the taste of each diner, suitable for each season, and climate of the year.
The bottom line
Chinese food dishes are considered to be oriental. Coming to the world of Chinese food dishes is coming to traditional dishes from all parts of their country. Each region has its own culinary culture with its own unique characteristics. That’s why not only Chinese but also foreign diners always take the time to experience regional specialties.