CHINESE-II Cantonese cuisine (粵菜, pinyin: yue4 cai4) originates from the region around Canton in southern China's Guangdong

province. There is a Cantonese saying: "We eat everything on the ground with four legs except tables and chairs. We eat everything in the sky except airplanes."1 Cantonese cuisine includes almost all edible food in addition to the staples of pork, beef and chicken -snakes, snails, insects, worms, chicken feet, duck tongues, ox genitals, and entrails. A subject of controversy amongst Westerners, dogs are raised as food in some places in China, though this is not a common food you find in restaurants, and is illegal in Hong Kong. Despite the countless Cantonese cooking methods, steaming, stir frying and deep frying are the most popular cooking methods in restaurants due to the short cooking time, and philosophy of bringing out the flavor of the freshest ingredients. Elements of Cooking Spices Cantonese cuisine can be characterized by the use of very mild and simple spices in combination. Ginger, spring onion, sugar, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, corn starch and oil are sufficient for most Cantonese cooking. Garlic is used heavily in dishes especially with internal organs that have unpleasant odors, such as entrails. Five spices powder, white pepper powder and many other spices are used in Cantonese dishes, but usually very lightly. Cantonese cuisine is sometimes considered bland by Westerners used to thicker, richer and darker sauces of other Chinese cuisines. Freshness Spicy hot dishes are extremely rare in Cantonese cuisine. Spicy hot food is more common in very hot climates, such as those of Szechuan, Thailand, etc. where food spoils easily. Canton has the richest food resources in China in terms of agriculture and aquaculture. The copious amount of fresh food and mild weather led to Cantonese cuisine bringing out, rather than drowning out, the natural flavors.

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As an example of the high standard for freshness at Cantonese meals, cows and pigs used for meat are usually killed earlier the same day. Chickens are often killed just hours beforehand, and fish are displayed in tanks for customers to choose for immediate preparation. It is not unusual for a waiter at a Cantonese restaurant to bring the live flipping fish or the crawling lobster to the table to show the patron as proof of freshness before cooking. Seafood Due to Canton's proximity to the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine. In a Cantonese's viewpoint, strong spices are added only to stale seafood to cover the rotting odor. The freshest seafood is odorless, and is best cooked by steaming. For instance, only a little soy sauce, some ginger and some spring onion is added to a steamed fish. The light seasoning is used only to bring out the natural sweetness of the seafood. However, most restaurants would gladly get rid of their stale seafood inventory by offering dishes loaded with garlic and spices. So if the waiter insists on a spicy preparation for your pick of seafood, it may mean that it's already started to smell. Pick something else. As a rule of thumb in Cantonese dining, the spiciness of a dish is usually inversely proportional to the freshness of the ingredients. Soup Another unique Cantonese specialty is slow cooked soup. This is almost unheard of in any other Chinese cuisines. The soup is usually a clear broth prepared by simmering meat and other ingredients for several hours. Sometimes, Chinese herbal medicines are added to the pot. The ingredients of a rather expensive Cantonese slow cooked soup are: fresh whole chicken, dried air bladder of cod fish, dried sea cucumber and dried abalone.

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Another more affordable example includes pork bones, watercress with two types of almonds, etc. The combinations are varied and numerous. The main attraction is the liquid in the pot, the solids are usually thrown away unless they are expensive ingredients like abalones or shark fins. A whole chicken may simmer in a broth for six hours or longer. The solids are usually unpalatable but the essences are all in the liquid. Traditional Cantonese families have this type of soup at least once a week. Though in this day and age, many families cannot afford this tradition due to the long preparation time required. For the same reason, not many restaurants serve this type of soup either. Even if they do, it can only be served as soupe du jour. Preserved food Though Cantonese cooks pay much attention to the freshness of their cooking ingredients, Cantonese cooking also uses a long list of preserved food items. Some items gain very intense flavors during the drying/aging/preservation/oxidation process, similar to Italian style sun-dried tomatoes' intensified flavor from drying. Some chefs combine both dried and fresh variety of the same items in a dish to create a contrast in the taste and texture. Dried items are usually soaked in water to rehydrate them before cooking, such as mushrooms. Or they are cooked with water over long hours until they are tender and juicy. For example, dried abalone and dried scallop have much stronger flavors than the fresh one without the undesirable strong fishy odor. Not only do preserved foods have a longer shelf life, sometimes the dried foods are preferred over the fresh ones because of their uniquely intense flavor or texture. Some favorite dried/preserved food products include: Dried Shiitake mushroom Dried abalone Dried scallop Dried sea cucumber 641.5 K.Rajshekhar. November- 04. No.9(02) BSc H& HA. Page 3 of 9

Dried air bladder from various fishes Dried shrimp Dried shark fin Dried bird nest Dried Bok Choy - a kind of chinese green vegetable Pickled Bok Choy Pickled raddish Fu Yu - Salted and fermented tofu Salted preserved fish Salted preserved duck Salted preserved pork Salted egg - preserved in brine until the egg white turned watery and the yolk turned solid Thousand year old egg - preserved in lime until the egg white turned gelatinous and dark brown, the yolk dark green various dried fruits, herbs and flowers etc. Sample Dishes Cantonese dishes are too numerous to be completely listed, but some notable dishes include: Dim Sum - (literally touch of heart), small dishes served with tea usually at lunch Shrimp wonton noodle soup Char shiu - BBQ pork usually with a red outer coloring Braised squabs Thick rice porridge with various toppings and deep-fried breadsticks Pork rind curry Dace fish balls Steamed fish Steamed fish intestines Salted preserved fish Steamed chicken Slow cooked soups Shark fin soup Braised dried abalone Herbal turtoise gelatin Various steamed desserts and sweet soups Steamed shrimp dumplings (har gow) Lo mein - noodles served a unique way Other favorites with unique Cantonese style: Roasted suckling pig Roasted duck Braised crispy chicken 641.5 K.Rajshekhar. November- 04. No.9(02) BSc H& HA. Page 4 of 9

Soy sauce chicken Beef entrails Beef stew Hot pot Pan-fried crispy noodles - two sides brown fried egg noodles Black tea with condensed milk Various dessert drinks served with shaved ice Hakka (客家) people are migratory tribes of ethnic Han people originated from central China. Their ancestors exiled themselves from foreign rulers such as the Mongols in Yuan Dynasty. Due to their late migration to the southern areas of China, they found that all of the best land had been settled long before. The Hakkas then were forced to settle in the sparsely settled hill country. As a result, fresh produce was at a premium, forcing the Hakkas to heavily utilize dried and preserved ingredients, such as various kinds of fermented beancurd and much use of onion. Due to the hill country being far inland seafood is a rarity. Pork is by far the most favored meat of the Hakkas, with back bacon being the preferred cut as it has alternating layers of fat and lean meat, providing an excellent texture. A couple of famous dishes in Hakka restaurants in Hong Kong: Salt baked chicken (東江鹽焗雞) - supposed to be baked inside a heap of hot salt, but many restaurants simply cook in brine nowadays. Duck stuffed with rice (糯米鴨) - a whole duck is de-boned while maintaining the shape of the bird, the cavities are filled with seasoned sticky rice. Tofu soup in pot (東江釀豆腐煲) - the stuffed tofu cubes. Beef ball soup - very simple clear broth with lettuce and beef balls. Other traditional Hakka dishes include: Fried pork with fermented beancurd: This is a popular Chinese New Year offering which involves two stages of cooking. As previously mentioned, fresh food was at a premium in Hakka areas, so the marinated pork was deep fried to remove the moisture in order to preserve it. When a meal of pork was desired, the fried pork was then stewed with water and wood's ear fungus. Think of it as a Hakka equivalent to canned soup. Yong Tau Foo (釀豆腐): Various oddments including eggplants, chillies and bitter melon stuffed with fish paste, beancurd, beancurd skin, fish and meat balls among other ingredients, served in clear soup. Kau yuk (扣肉): Alternate pieces of pork and yam served in a dark sauce whose principal component is, of course, fermented beancurd.

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Hakka food also includes takes on other traditional Chinese dishes, just as other Chinese dialects do. Hunan Cuisine, sometimes called Xiang Cuisine (湘菜 pinyin xiang1 cai4), consists of the cuisines of the Xiangjiang region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province, in China. While similar to Szechuan cuisine, Hunan Cuisine is often spicier and contains a larger variety of ingredients. Hunan is known for its liberal use of chilli peppers, shallots and garlic. Many Hunan dishes are characterized by a strongly flavored brown sauce. Some rely on sweetness from ingredients such as honey; sweet and sour sauces are also characteristic of the style. Hunan cuisine is difficult to precisely characterize, as it has absorbed stylistic elements from all over China. For this reason, the region is sometimes regarded as China's culinary center. Common cooking techniques include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising, and smoking. Due to the high agricultural output of the region, ingredients for Hunan dishes are many and varied. Some representative Hunan dishes include: Sweet and Sour Chicken Orange Beef Crispy Duck Dongan Chicken Peppery and Hot Chicken (Hot and Spicy Chicken) Lotus Seeds in Sugar Candy Mandarin cuisine refers to cooking style in Beijing, China. It is known as jing1 cai4 (京菜) among Chinese. Since Beijing has been the Chinese capital city for centuries, its cuisine was influenced by people from all over China. The Emperor's Kitchen was a term referring to the cooking places inside of the Forbidden City of Beijing where thousands of cooks from the different parts of China showed their best cooking skills to please royal families and officials. Therefore, sometimes it is very difficult to tell if a Mandarin dish is really originated from Beijing or not. Mandarin wikis may help here. Some famous Mandarin dishes: Hot and sour soup?? String beans with minced pork?? Eggplant with Minced pork in chili sauce Due to a large Muslim population in China, many Chinese restaurants cater to Muslims or cater to the general public but are run by Muslims. A Chinese Islamic restaurant (清真菜 館) can sometimes be similar to a Mandarin restaurant with the exception that there is no pork in the menu. In most major cities in China, there are small Islamic restaurants typicially run by migrants from Western China, which offer inexpensive noodle soup. 641.5 K.Rajshekhar. November- 04. No.9(02) BSc H& HA. Page 6 of 9

These restaurants are typically decorated with Islamic motifs such as pictures of Islamic rugs and Arabic writing. Another difference is that lamb and mutton dishes are more commonly available than in other Chinese restaurants. In the US, Chinese Islamic restaurants are frequented by non-Chinese as well. Pakistanis and Arabics are among the regular clientele.

Shanghai cuisine, known as Hu cai (滬菜 in pinyin: hu4 cai4) among Chinese. someone needs to describe the characteristics of Shanghai cuisine. Some famous Shanghai dishes include: Shao Loon Bow - steamed dumplings with meat filling, Yin See Jiaun - silver threaded bun, Yim Douh Sin - a soup, Sze Ji Tou - braised meat ball Chiu Do Fu - deep fried stinky tofu (pinch your nose for the rotten odor). Szechuan Cuisine or Sichuan Cuisine (川菜, pinyin: chuan1 cai4), originating in the Sichuan province of western China, has an international reputation for being spicy and flavorful. Some well-known Szechuan dishes include "Kung Pao Chicken" and "Twice Cooked Pork". Although many Szechuan dishes live up to their spicy reputation, often ignored are the large percentage of recipes that use little or no spice at all, including recipes such as "Tea Smoked Duck". What many do not realize is that the chili pepper, a common ingredient in Szechuan cuisine (often used unseeded), was only introduced to China following Columbus's discovery of the New World. Chili peppers were perhaps introduced to the remote Szechuan province by Western missionaries. Previous Szechuan cuisine was not completely without spice, however. Szechuan Pepper is an indigenous plant (fruit) that produces a milder spice, and is still a key ingredient in Szechuan food to this day. The reason for this emphasis on spice may derive from the region's warm, humid climate. This climate also necessitates sophisticated food-preservation techniques which include pickling, salting, drying and smoking Common preparation techniques in Szechuan cuisine include stir frying, steaming and basting. Beef is more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the widespread use of oxen in the region. Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with rice flour to produce a rich gravy. 641.5 K.Rajshekhar. November- 04. No.9(02) BSc H& HA. Page 7 of 9

Some common Szechuan dishes include: Chengdu Chicken Kung Pao Chicken Tea Smoked Duck Twice Cooked Pork Mapo Dofu Szechuan Hotpot Chiuchow cuisine or Chaozhou cuisine originates from Chiuchow, a city of China in the Guangdong Province, not far from Canton. Hence the cooking style is very similar to Cantonese cuisine. However, Chiuchow cuisine does have some unique dishes that are not in Cantonese cuisine. Chiuchow cuisine is known for serving rice soup, in addition to steamed rice with meals, which is quite different from Cantonese porridge or congee which is very thick and gluey. The Chiuchow rice soup is very watery with the rice sitting loosely at the bottom of the bowl. Authentic Chiuchow restaurants serve very strong oolong tea in very tiny cups before and after the meal. There is a famous feast in Chiuchow cuisine called "Gau Dai Gui" (九大簋) which roughly means "nine big courses" in the dinner. Chiuchow chefs pride themselves on their skill in vegetable carving. Carved vegetables are used as garnishes on cold dishes and on the banquet table. Chiuchow is also known for a late night dinner called "Da Loun" (打冷). Chiuchow people like to eat out in restaurants or at roadside food stalls close to midnight before they go to bed. Some restaurants stay open till dawn. Some famous Chiuchow dishes include, among others: Steamed goose Cold crab Fun Goh (a steamed dumpling filled with dried raddish, peanuts and ground meat) Shrimp balls Oyster pancake Tiet Kwun Yum (a premium grade Oolong Tea)

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Buddhist cuisine is known as zhai1 cai4 (齋菜 -- literally, pure dishes) among Chinese. When picking up the menu in a Chinese Buddhist vegetarian restaurant, one may wonder if the menu is misprinted. One will find the menu listing dishes such as chicken, duck, beef, lamb, pork, fish etc in addition to the vegetable dishes. All these meat dishes are made of imitation meat. Some of these taste like the real thing. Due to religious beliefs, many Buddhists do not eat animal products because they don't believe in killing. Other Buddhists will interpret the precept against killing to mean human beings and thus indulge in omnivorous behavior. Even Buddhist monks in some parts of the world have been known to eat meat. Many adherents would allow milk and (unfertilized) eggs in their diet, but some strict believers would not. Some Buddhist vegetarians don't eat onion, garlic nor leek either. Buddhist cuisine is not necessarily vegan. someone need to expand on the Buddhist rules on dietary restrictions. In order to cater to those Buddhist customers who have missed the meat dishes, Buddhist vegetarian chefs become extremely creative in imitating meat using gluten, tofu, agar and other plant products. Gluten and tofu are very versatile material, because they can be manufactured into various consistencies and textures. With the proper seasoning and flavour, they can mimic various kinds of meat quite closely. Many soy (mainly those fermented) products provide the meaty favour. Pure vegetable dishes in these restaurants are not different from those offered in regular Chinese restaurant, perhaps with the only exception that lard would never be used in Buddhist cooking. Occasional customers to a Buddhist restaurant tend to forget about the pure veggie dishes and order a table full of imitation meat dishes due to the novelty. Buddhist vegetarian restaurants can be profitable businesses because the material cost is much cheaper than meat, but the dishes are priced as if they are made of real meat. Also, Buddhism is so widespread in China that there is never a shortage of customers.

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