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Types of Chinese Cuisine in Mainland China

The Eight Types of Chinese Cuisine are the Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Fujian cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine, Zhejiang cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Anhui cuisine. 

Sichuan cuisine: is a Chinese cooking style originated from Sichuan province. Sichuan cuisine emphasizes colour, shape, smell, and taste. Most Sichuan dishes are hot and spicy. The taste criteria are composed of 7 criteria – hot, salty, sweet, bitter, numb, sour, and aromatic. Sichuan peppercorn is the most important spice in Sichuan cuisine, it delivers intense citrus-like flavour and a numbing sensation to our mouth.

Sichuan cuisine - Type of Chinese Cuisine

Shandong cuisine: More commonly known in Chinese as Lu Cuisine. Modern Chinese cuisine in Northern China is developed from Shandong cuisine. Shandong cuisine uses mainly domestic birds and animals, vegetables, and seafood. With over 50 types of cooking methods, the major cooking techniques include quick frying, quick frying with corn flour, stewing, roasting, boiling, using sugar to make fruit, and crystallizing with honey.

Cantonese cuisine: Locally called Yue Cuisine, which consists of Guangzhou, Chaozhou, and Hakka cooking styles.  Cantonese cuisine is often regarded as the quintessence of Chinese Cuisine. Cantonese dishes should be well balanced and not greasy. Cooking methods include, stir fry, deep-fried, stew, double boiling, roast, bake, braise, boil, smoke and others, with clear soup being their notable specialty. Hakka style, uses more meat, emphasizes flavors of the primary ingredients. Temperature control is the key to this cuisine for stew, roast, braise, baked, especially for their casserole dishes.

Cantonese cuisine - Type of Chinese Cuisine

Fujian Cuisine: Also known as Min cuisine, originated from Fuzhou province. 

Fujian cuisine consists of 3 styles – Fuzhou, Southern Fujian, and Western Fujian. Famously known for their local products, salty produce – shrimp sauce, shrimp oil (also known as a fermented fish sauce), soy sauce, shacha sauce, etc,

Fujian cuisine makes exceptional quality soup stocks and bases. Their cooking method consists of boiling, steaming, pan-fried, deep-fried, stew, roast, braise, stir fry, smoke, simmer, etc.

Southern Fujian style is slightly heavier than Fuzhou style. Incorporating various slow cooking methods with the usage of sugar and spices. 

Whereas Western Fujian style, it is often slightly spicy flavor from the usage of pepper and mustard. Dishes are commonly stir fry, frying, and steaming. Their dishes are saltier and oilier, focusing more on meat than seafood.

Jiangsu cuisine: Jiangsu cuisine, sometimes called Su cuisine, is heavily developed from Huaiyang cuisine. Jiangsu cuisine is very delicate in shape, color, and appearance. They produce soft texture but not to the point of falling apart or mushy. Seafood is a common ingredient as Jiangsu province is located just right beside the sea.

Zhejiang cuisine: Zhejiang cuisine or in short as Zhe cuisine dependent on seasonal ingredients, fine and delicate knife skills, temperature control, emphasizes the freshness of the ingredients with each dish having its own charm. The cooking method includes stew, braise, steam, and baking. The dishes are moderately seasoned so as not to mask the freshness of the ingredients. Shaoxing cuisine is famous for its aromatic dishes and delicate flavors, authentic broth, just like the historic riverside town, simple and peculiar. 

Hunan Cuisine: Is a type of Chinese Cuisine also called Xiang cuisine, is known as the land of fish and rice because of its abundant resources around the Xiang River region and Dongting Lake. For foreigners, Hunan Cuisine is often mixed up with Sichuan Cuisine, both are their dishes and have a similar trait which is hot and spicy. Hunan Cuisine, is hot and spicy and the flavor of the dish is greatly dependent on the primary ingredient used, minus the numbing sensation. Hunan is one of the most popular Chinese Cuisine emphasizes flavor not only at the exterior but also the interior flavor. Diverse cooking technique – roast, stir fry, steam, smoked, and others.

Hunan Cuisine - Type of Chinese Cuisine

Anhui cuisine: Also known as Huizhou cuisine, originated in the Southern Song Dynasty of Huizhou (now Anhui Province, Huangshan City), was originally the local flavor of Huizhou mountain regions, particularly Huangshan Mountains. As the era of Ming and Qing develops, Huizhou cuisine gradually influences and flourishes to the local flavors of the lowlands alongside the Yangtse River, namely, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Shanghai. The International Huizhou Food Culture Festival is held annually in Anhui province. During the early development of Anhui cuisine, the braising technique was the major cooking technique. Anhui cuisine emphasizes knife skills, temperate control which is shown in their ability to roast, smoke, stew, and steam.

Other than these eight Chinese cuisine there are also sub-regional cuisines and also a few cuisines that are reflect cooking styles of ethnic groups. One such Cuisine that has taken the internet by storm is the Uyghur cuisine found in the Xinjiang region. Signature ingredients include roasted mutton, kebabs, roasted fish and rice. This Chinese Cuisine is famous for its Noodles, It is a special type of handmade noodle, made from flour, water and salt. 

Because of the Muslim population, the food is predominantly halal. In Chinese, halal food is called Qingzhen Cai. It is easy to find in most major cities in China because of the large Muslim population in China.

Muslim restaurants and food stalls are widely available in cities or towns because of a large number of Muslim migrants from western China.

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