Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tianjin cuisine

Tianjin cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Tianjin region in China, and it is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine. Tianjin cuisine differs from Beijing cuisine in the following ways:

*Tianjin cuisine is much more heavily concentrated on riverine fish/shrimps and seafoods due to its geographical location of on the coast.
*For the same dish, the taste of Tianjin cuisine is not as heavy as that of Beijing cuisine, and this is often reflected in the lighter salty taste of Tianjin cuisine.
*Though Beijing cuisine and Tianjin cuisine are both mainly salty in taste, in the cooking of Tianjin cuisine, sugar is required more frequently and resulting in the unique taste of Tianjin cuisine: there is a slight sweet taste in the salty taste.
*Tianjin cuisine utilizes Mutton and lamb more frequently due to the less frequently utilized pork in comparison to Beijing cuisine, and in the event of traditional holidays, Mutton / lamb are nearly always prepared for holiday dishes.
*A greater proportion of Tianjin cuisine is consisted of rice in comparison to Beijing cuisine.
*The ways noodles are served in Tianjin cuisine is different than that of Beijing cuisine in that for Tianjin cuisine, the vegetables and meat are served separately in Beijing cuisine are together with the noodles in a single dish instead.
*The most significant characteristic of Tianjin cuisine is perhaps its healthy breakfast diet in comparison to its neighboring cuisines: although Tianjin is right next to Beijing, the rate of cancers associated with diet is far less in Tianjin than Beijing and researchers discovered the main reason was in the difference of breakfast:
**The main ingredients of breakfasts in Tianjin cuisine are tofu and soy milk, whereas a great number of the items in breakfasts of Beijing cuisine are fried, which resulted in contributing to the occurrence of cancer.

Another characteristic of Tianjin cuisine is its utilization of Tianjin preserved vegetable , which is similar to the salt pickled vegetable, or yancai of Guizhou cuisine, but the former takes much longer to prepare than the latter, usually half a year. Another clear distinction between the two is that instead of having two separate steps of salt pickling and then fermentation, the salt pickling and fermentation is combined in a single step that takes a much longer time:

Chinese cabbage is mixed with salt and garlic together and then fermented, which creates the unique garlic flavor / taste and golden color. In order to preserve the unique taste, Tianjin preserved vegetable is often used for soups, fishes, and stir fried and directly eaten.

Shanxi cuisine

Shanxi cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Shanxi region in China, and it is famed for noodles, its fried , and its sour taste. The cuisine is also famed for utilizing its locally produced vinegar, just like the Huaiyang cuisine, but the flavor is totally different. The main diet reflects its crop : millet, sorghum, and wheat, while pork, mushrooms, potatoes and turnips are frequently used in dishes. The cuisine comprises three styles:

* The Northern Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Datong and , with emphasis on color and oil.
* The Southern Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Linfen and the Grand Canal regions, specializing in seafood, despite the fact that Shanxi is a landlocked province.
* The Central Shanxi style, represented by dishes from Taiyuan, which is the mixture of both the Northern Shanxi style and the Southern Shanxi style. The region is especially famous for its hand shaven noodles .


Shanxi mature vinegar , called ''Shanxi lao chencu'' in Chinese, is a famous product of the region, and is produced primarily in Qingxu County, near the provincial capital of Taiyuan. The Shanxi Vinegar Culture Museum has been built there.

Northeastern Chinese cuisine

Northeastern Chinese cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine in Northeastern China. Many dishes originated from Manchu cuisine. It relies heavily on preserved foods and hearty fare due to the harsh winters and relatively short growing seasons. Pickling, such as is a very common form of food preservation and pickled cabbage is traditionally made by most households in giant clay pickling vats. Unlike southern China, the staple crop in northern China is wheat and it supplies the majority of the starch found in a northern Chinese diet where it is found in the form of noodles and steamed bun. Popular dishes include pork and chive dumplings, suan cai hot pot, cumin & caraway lamb, congee, tealeaf stewed hardboiled eggs, ''nian doubao'' , congee with several types of pickles , and cornmeal congee. Perhaps the most important characteristic of Northeastern Chinese cuisine is its utilization of ''suan cai''. Another distinct feature that separates Northeastern cuisine from other Chinese cuisines is to serve more raw vegetables and raw seafood in the coastal areas.

Due to its riverine environment, the Heilongjiang style of the Northeastern cuisine is famed for its fish banquet, specializing in anadromous fish such as the trout banquet and the sturgeon banquet, and similarly, due to its mountainous environment, the Jilin style of the Northeastern cuisine is famed for its dishes that utilize game animals. Although by law, only farm raised animals are allowed for culinary use and such use of wild animals is strictly forbidden, this practice is still being criticized because critics argue that such use of farmed animals, despite the fact that they are farm raised, would encourage the consumption of wild animals.

Liaoning cuisine is a new rising star among Chinese cuisines and has become increasing popular recently. Furthermore, Liaoning cuisine chefs have continuously won awards in recent culinary arts competitions in China.

Liaoning cuisine

Liaoning cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Liaoning region in China, and it is the most famous Northeastern Chinese cuisine. Liaoning cuisine has gained increased popularity in China recently and its chefs have continuously won awards in the national culinary competitions in China, and the cuisine is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine. The main characteristics of Liaoning cuisine is that it is colorful, tastes are strong, food is soft, and one dish has many flavors/tastes, however, the sweet taste and the salty taste are very distinct.

Jiangxi cuisine

Jiangxi cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Jiangxi province of southern China. Like the cuisines of neighboring provinces, Jiangxi cuisine favors overtly spicy flavors; in many region of the province, chili peppers are directly used as vegetable instead of as a flavoring, as in most other Chinese regional cuisines.

Another characteristic of Jiangxi cuisine is that there are rarely any cold dishes or anything served raw in contrast to other Chinese cuisines.

The reason why there is rarely any cold or raw dishes in Jiangxi cuisine is due to another characteristic of the cuisine: it is the number one Chinese cuisine that utilizes the tea oil as its primary cooking oil. However, if the raw tea oil is consumed uncooked, it would cause severe stomach problems for most people. As a result, any dish that uses the oil is cooked, as in other part of China where tea oil is used as primary cooking oil. However, Jiangxi cuisine is unique in that the other one seventh of total Chinese populations in other parts of China uses tea oil in the main cooking oil, but it is supplimented by variety of cooking oil of other type, and in fact, tea oil is not a majority despite being number one. In Jiangxi, on the other hand, the tea oil is used almost exclusively as the only cooking oil of Jiangxi cuisine, and the only other cooking oil used is the oil from rapeseed, but it only consisted a minor portion.

Due to its geography, fish banquet is also one of the characteristics of Jiangxi cuisine. In contrast to the which is famed for anadromous fish banquets, Jiangxi cuisine is famed for freshwater fish banquets.

The last characteristic of Jiangxi cuisine is its heavy emphasis on the utilization of ''douchi'' and tofu, in comparison to other Chinese cuisines. Fried tofu is a must for everyone during the celebration of Chinese New Year.

Hubei cuisine

Hubei cuisine is derived from the native cooking styles of the Hubei province of China. It emphasizes on how carefully the material is cut, and how the color matches, and specializing in steaming. Hubei cuisine comprises three distinct styles:

* Wuhan style: Specializes in soups. Wuhan is also known for its noodle dishes, such as re gan mian.
* Huangzhou style: More oily than others; often tastes salty.
* Jingzhou style: Steaming is the primary method of cooking, specializing in fish.

Huaiyang cuisine

Huaiyang cuisine is one of the major traditions of the Cuisine of China. It is derived from the native cooking styles of the region surrounding the lower reaches of the and Rivers, and centered upon the cities of Yangzhou and Huai'an in Jiangsu province, hence the name. This style is characterized in that for every dish, the work is emphasized on the major material, and the way the material is cut is very important in how successful the dish is cooked, and consequently, the taste. The cuisine is also well-known for utilizing its famous Chinkiang vinegar, which is produced in the Zhenjiang region.

Huaiyang cuisine is the most popular Jiangsu cuisine, and sometimes it is viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine, and hence, Jiangsu cuisine is sometimes simply called Yang cuisine, short for Huaiyang.

Main dishes

Far and away the most famous creation of Huaiyang cuisine is the Yangzhou fried rice. Huaiyang cuisine tends to have a sweet side to it and, in contrast to that of Sichuan cuisine, is almost never spicy. Pork, fresh water fish, and other aquatic creatures serve as the meat base to most dishes, which are usually more meticulous and light compared to the more “brash” eating styles of northern China.

Huaiyang cuisine also includes a smattering of breakfast choices such as crab soup dumplings , thousand layer cake , steamed dumplings , tofu noodles , and wild vegetable steamed buns .

Other standard Yangzhou dishes include:

皮蛋瘦肉粥 Duck Egg and Pork Porridge

酸菜鱼 Sour Vegetable Fish Pot

鲜肉锅贴 Pot Stickers

虾子饺面 Pork and Shrimp Dumpling Noodles

狮子头 Giant “lion’s head” Meatball

翡翠烧卖 Steamed Pork Rice Wraps

扬州炒面 Yangzhou Fried Rice

东坡肉 Dong Po Pork

厚皮香猪 Sliced Fatty Pork Slices

Yangzhou pickles, baozi,Gansi,sticky candy, ginkgo, Qionghuayu liquor, Nanshan green tea, Baoying lotus root starch, Jiangdu short pastry