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Chinese cuisine has a long history and is famous all over the world for its rich flavour
and delightful colorings. Because of the different local climate, history and eating
customs in each area, local dishes developed their own characteristics so special cuisine
and local snacks were gradually formed.
Cantonese dishes comprise of Cantonese, Chaozhou and Dongjiang dishes. While Cantonese
dishes being the representative, they are characterised by their great variety of
ingredients, such as fresh water fish, seafood, birds, snakes, insects, rats etc.. Fresh
materials and an exact degree of heat ensure a fresh and tender texture of Cantonese
foods. The major condiments are oyster sauce, fermented soya bean sauce, fish sauce, lard,
sugar and vinegar.
Shangdong Cuisine is famous for its wide selection of material and use of different
cooking methods. Soups and dishes prepared with scallions are especially wide known. Also
famous are its sea food dishes.
Sichuan dishes is one of the four major dishes in China and is noted for using Chinese
prickly ash and hot pepper. It is characterised by a variety of flavouring and
adaptability of cooking style. Sichuan cuisine enjoys high reputation with locals
widespread publicity of "Best eat at Sichuan". Major flavouring styles include
fish, the five-spices (prickly ash, star aniseed, cinnamon, clove and fennal), prickly
ash-hot pepper, and vinegar-pepper flavouring style.
Huaiyang Cuisine mainly consists of Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, and Juaian dishes in water
villages south of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) which are characterised by the
strictness in material selecting, the emphasis of cleanliness and freshness of its
ingredients, fine workmanship in cutting, matching, cooking and arrangement. Freshness and
mildness in taste are the features of their dishes and special attention is paid to
retaining ingredient's natural juices and flavours.
Imperial Palace Dishes
Imperial Palace dishes orginated from dishes cooked for the imperial family by the
imperial kitchen. Imperial cuisine was developed on the basis of Shandong cuisine and
later Islamic pastry and Tibetan dishes were included.
The Cuisine is characterised by its strictness in selecting ingredients. For example duck
dishes must be made of Peking duck, mutton dishes must be made of black trotter or
black-and-white faced sheep. It also emphasised on season food: instant-boiled mutton is
consumed at the beginning of autumn, spring roll at the beginning of spring and shrimp in
the summer. Quick-frying is used to keep flavour, tenderness and no extra juice in their
Vegetarian cuisine has a long history and a high place in Chinese cuisine. Its main
ingredients are green leaved vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, bean curd and vegetable oil,
which are not only tasty and nutritious but also easy easy to digest and anti-cancer
Major dishes include Vegetarian Chicken, Sauced Meat made of Bean Curd, Vegetarian Pork,
Assorted Bean Curd, Mushroom with Gluten, Hot and Sour Slices, Vegetarian Prawn, Fish with
Chiese Toon and Little Tender Meat.
Medicinal diet is an important component of Chinese culinary art. The five flavours of
food, namely salty, sour, sweet, bitter and pungent, if applied appropriately in meal,
would be conducive to one's health and longevity. Drawing from the theory of traditional
Chinese medicine and pharmacy, Chinese culinary masters have found a scientific way for
dietotherapy with proper cooking.
Well known dishes are Chicken Egg in Lilly Soup, Shrimp Slices with Pearl Powder,
Tianfu-style Carp, Braised Duck Seasoned with Soysauce and Dried Tangerine Peel, Steamed
Bun with Minced Meat and Tuckahoe Stuffing.