Western countries’ people usually think that sweet and sour sauce is the most represent sauce which been used for Chinese food. In fact, those Chinese food cooked with sweet and sour sauce is not the typical Chinese food, it is Chinese food that been evolved to suit western people’s taste.
China has the larger population, the richest and the most diversity landscapes. It leads to the four major different taste from the four part of china, those difference of types of cuisine not only defined by geography, climate, natural resources and environment but also by the cultural tradition and national customs.
There are four typical cuisines in china, which are Shandong cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Cantonese cuisine and Huaiyang cuisine.
Shandong cuisine = North
Sichuan cuisine = West
Cantonese cuisine = South
Huaiyang cuisine = East
Shandong located at downstream of the Yellow River, this area have a moderate climate, there is rivers, lakes, hills, plain and ocean. The diversity of landscape makes Shandong cuisine, even more, variety. The food frequency for fruit, vegetable, seafood, mushroom, dry food, and meat, in each dishes are around 15%-18%. The taste of Shandong cuisine are the combine of fresh and salt, most of the cooking skill been used is stir frying.
Chinese food – Braised prawn in tomato sauce
Chinese food – Twisted large intestine
Chinese food – Stir fried scalloped pork kidneys
Sichuan located in the basin, there are mountains, hills, highland and plain within the area. The food frequency for meat are 50% which means in this type of cuisine meat is a common ingredient.
The common taste of Sichuan cuisine is pungent and spicy. Using cooking skill of fried, quick-fried, decocted, dry-fried and sautéing. This cuisine is most popular cuisine in china.
Chinese food – Mapo tofu
Chinese food – Kung pao chicken
Chinese food – Hotpot
The Cantonese cuisine probably is the most well know Chinese food type in other countries, even the Chinese word “dim sum” become well know English word. Cantonese cuisine is the most decorated dishes of all of the four types. The taste of Cantonese cuisine is a bit lighter and fresher than others. The cooking skill is manifold, there are 21 kinds of cooking skill for Cantonese cuisine, such as steamed, braised, stewed, simmered, roasted, stir fried and etc.
Chinese food – Dim sum
Chinese food – Barbequed pork
Chinese food – Sliced boiled chicken
Huaiyang cuisine demands a very high level of cutting skill and slicing technique, the taste of Huaiyang cuisine is also light and emphasize the original taste of different foods. The cooking skill used in common are braised, stewed and boiled.
Chinese food – Braised meatballs in soup; also known as”Braised lion head”
Chinese food – Sliced dried bean curd with chicken soup
Chinese food – Deep fried boneless mandarin fish; also known as”squirrel fish”
To find more about Chinese food, watch the documentary series: A bite of China.