The four typical Chinese food

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 cuisine

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.

Represent dishes:

Chinese food – Braised prawn in tomato sauce

youmen daxia

Chinese food – Twisted large intestine

jiuzhuan dachang

Chinese food – Stir fried scalloped pork kidneys

youbao shuangcui

Sichuan cuisine

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.

Represent dishes:

Chinese food – Mapo tofu

mapo doufu

Chinese food – Kung pao chicken

kongbao jiding

Chinese food – Hotpot


Cantonese cuisine

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.

Represent dishes:

Chinese food – Dim sum


Chinese food – Barbequed pork


Chinese food – Sliced boiled chicken


Huaiyang cuisine

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.

Represent dishes:

Chinese food – Braised meatballs in soup; also known as”Braised lion head”


Chinese food – Sliced dried bean curd with chicken soup

jizhi gansi

Chinese food – Deep fried boneless mandarin fish; also known as”squirrel fish”

songshu guiyu

To find more about Chinese food, watch the documentary series: A bite of China.