Cookbook:Cuisine of China
Chinese cuisine is actually not a single entity, but instead is made up of the individual cuisines of many provinces and ethnics groups of China. So combined together, there are perhaps thousands of types all over the China. That is why Chinese have a famous old saying "Cuisine is heavenly in first priority" (民以食为天). However, there are some common ingredients and philosophies about most Chinese foods.
First and foremost, Chinese believe that having a knife at the table is barbaric. This means dishes are usually prepared in portions to be eaten directly with chopsticks or spoons. Second, Chinese foods are usually served warm and well-cooked.
Common ingredients include:
Genres of Cuisine
It is a common sense to most Chinese that there are eight main genres (or types) of cuisine in China. They are:
- Chuan cuisine（川菜）(Combined with Cheng-Du and Chong-Qing regional cuisines; Spicy and hot)
- Hui cuisine（徽菜）(Combined with Wan-nan, Yangtze river drainage area; Very good at pot-roasting and using sugar)
- Lu cuisine（鲁菜）(Combined with Ji-Nan and Jiao-Dong regional cuisines; Garlic and seafood)
- Min cuisine（闽菜）(Combined with Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Xiamen; South sea seafood)
- Su cuisine（苏菜）(Combined with Yang-zhou,Suzhou and Nanking; Good at braising and soup;Fresh and yum)
- Xiang cuisine（湘菜）(Specially hot and heavily using of chilly and vinegar)
- Yue cuisine（粤菜）(Combined with Guangzhou, Chaozhou and Dongjiang; Simple yet complex, crisp and fresh)
- Zhe cuisine（浙菜）(Combined with Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing;Soft and good-smelling)
The genres are mainly based on the provinces of old China.
However, nowadays new cuisine types are created and there could be more than eight types.
The cuisines of modern China:
- Anhui cuisine
- Beijing cuisine
- Chaozhou cuisine
- Chinese cuisine (Imperial or aristocratic cuisine)
- Fujian cuisine
- Guangdong cuisine (Cantonese) - fresh ingredients, very light spices
- Henan cuisine
- Huai-Yang cuisine
- Hubei cuisine
- Hunan cuisine
- Jiangsu cuisine
- Liaoning cuisine
- Shaanxi cuisine
- Shandong cuisine
- Shanghai cuisine
- Sichuan cuisine (Szechuan) - includes use of spicy peppers
- Yunnan cuisine
- Zhejiang cuisine
Please see our listing of Chinese recipes.