Eight Cuisines of Chinese Food
Chinese cuisine has thousands of years worth of history. Chinese food is classified by its region, ingredients and cooking techniques. Each province or city has its own famous local food and restaurants. The best known Chinese foods are the "eight cuisines of Chinese food", which are the famous local foods from eight provinces.
Shandong Cuisine is referred to as Lu Cuisine in China. It originated in Shandong province and is quite common in North China. It was a significant part of the imperial cuisine during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. There are over 30 cooking techniques associated with Shandong Cuisine and mainly concern seafood, fish and meat. The most famous local food includes Sweet and Sour Carp, Jiuzhuan Dachang, Braised Abalone, Sixi Meatball (Braised Pork Balls in Gravy Sauce) and Dezhou Chicken. Famous local restaurants include the Penglaichun Restaurant, Hui Bin Lou Hotel and White Swan.
Guangdong (Cantonese) Cuisine is called Yue Cuisine in China and is known for its small and delicate dishes. Typical cooking techniques when cooking Guangdong foods are steaming, baking, stewing and frying. Famous local dishes include Wenchang Chicken found at the Guangzhou Restaurant, Inebriate Shrimp and Inebriate Crab found at the Jufengyuan Hotel, braised sharks fin from the Dasanyuan Hotel and the Crispy Crucian Carp found at the Fulaiju Hotel.
Sichuan Cuisine is famous for its pungent and spicy flavours. Sichuan Cuisine mainly began in Chengdu and Chongqing. Famous local food found in Chengdu includes Yu-Shiang Shredded Pork, Mapo Tofu (Stir-Fried Tofu in Hot Sauce), Kung Pao Chicken, Sautéed Diced Chicken with Chili and Pepper & Fish Fillets in Hot Chili Oil. Famous and popular restaurants include Old Residence of Chengdu Food, Cai Gen Xiang Restaurant and Ba Guo Bu Yi Restaurant.
Hunan Cuisine focuses on the use of oil, colour and presentation of dishes, the soft but crisp texture, coincided with a spicy kick. Famous local foods and restaurants in Chengdu includes Dong'an Chicken, Zuan Shark Fin and Lotus Seeds with Crystallised Sugar. These dishes can be found at the Wang Xiangyuan Restaurant, Maojiawan Restaurant and the Jusanxiang Hunan Cuisine Restaurant among others.
The main places of origin of Jiangsu Cuisine are Yangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing. Braising and stewing are the two major cooking methods when it comes to Jiangsu Cuisine, with this cuisine having a heavy focus on salt and sweet flavours. Famous local foods include the Three Sets of Ducks, Steamed Pork Balls with Crab Soup, Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, Jinling Salted Dried Duck and Crystal Pork. There are many famous restaurants in the area, such as the Shi Wei Tian Holiday Hotel, Jiangsu Hui'an Restaurant and the Yangzhou Restaurant.
Zhejiang Cuisine mainly started in Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Ningbo. The main cooking techniques involved are frying, braising, stir-frying and steaming.
Famous local foods: West-lake braised fish in vinegar, Steamed Lotus Root Stuffed with Sweet Sticky Rice, Shelled Shrimps with Longjing Tea.
Restaurants: Louwailou, Kong Yiyi Restaurant, Tianxianglou Restaurant, Zhiweiguan Restaurant.
Fujian Cuisine is called Min Cuisine in China and is known for its soup and cutting techniques. Fujian cuisine mainly involves seafood and focuses on keeping the freshness.
Famous local foods: Fotiaoqiang (Steamed Abalone with Shark's Fin and Fish Maw in Broth), Oyster Omelette, Red yeast chicken, Inebriate Ribs.
Restaurants: Fuzhou Hotel, Huanqiao Restaurant, Guoxiangguan Restaurant, Yunxianglou Restaurant.
Anhui Cuisine began in Huizhou and several areas along the Yangtze River and the Huai River in Anhui. Associated cooking methods include braising with the main flavour of Anhui Cuisine being sweet.
Famous local foods: Braised Turtle with Ham, Fuliji Grilled chicken, Baogong Fish.
Restaurants: Hefei Hotel, Huangshan Hui Cuisine Restaurant, Luzhou Roast Duck Restaurant, etc.