The regional procedure for classifying Chinese cuisine can be broken down in various ways. Traditionally, there are what are called the Eight Great Traditions which originated in the ancient regions of China. These 8 culinary regions were then added to 4 new regions such as Xinjiang, Mongolia, Yunnan, and also Tibet.
1. East Chinese Culinary
It is this area that has the greatest culinary varieties in Chinese cuisine. One of them has been popular throughout the world. Of course we can all guess that this is Cantonese cuisine which is famous for its dim sum menu and various other stir-fried menus. Typical Cantonese cuisine generally focuses on simple cooking methods but uses natural and fresh flavors from the ingredients.
Meanwhile, there are also other popular culinary delights such as Fujian cuisine which focuses on soupy dishes and long cooking times. Zhejiang cuisine is famous for its blend of various cooking methods and tastes fresh and mellow. Anhui cuisine introduces many ingredients that are obtained fresh from the mountains. Finally, there is also Jiangsu cuisine, which is famous for its soft texture and the use of protein from rivers and seas.
2. Central Chinese Cuisine
Consists of 2 popular regional cuisines such as Sichuan and Hunan. Both use Sichuan pepper and mala seasoning which has a spicy taste. The food usually appears in red or black because of the bold flavors exhibited by these two regional culinary delights. Examples of very popular Sichuan dishes are mapo tofu, dandan noodles, and kung pao chicken.
Meanwhile, Hunan culinary offers dishes that are spicier and also refreshing. Especially when the hot season comes, the banquet usually starts with cold food. One of the most popular Hunan dishes in Jakarta is mala hotpot.
3. North Chinese Cuisine
It consists of 3 regions that represent it, namely the cuisine of Beijing, Inner Mongolia, and also the cuisine of Shandong. Usually, Chinese dishes from this area are simpler and have a savory taste and use vegetables in small quantities.
The most famous is the culinary Beijing which is a relic of the luxury culinary dynasties in the past and the Peking Duck is the champion. Meanwhile, Inner Mongolia cuisine has a menu of popular red meat roasts such as deer, beef and goat. Shandong cuisine, on the other hand, focuses more on seafood that relies on fresh flavors and rich soups.
4. Western Chinese Cuisine
There are 2 major regions that represent the Western region of China and both have unique characteristics. The first is the cuisine of Xinjiang which has culinary influences from Central Asia and the Middle East and the population is mostly Muslim. Meanwhile, Tibetan cuisine takes influence from Indian and Nepali dishes as well as the popular Sichuan cuisine.
5. Southern Chinese Cuisine
This southern region of China has many ethnic minorities and Yunnan cuisine represents all of these. In addition, Chinese cuisine in this country also has a lot of influence from Southeast Asian cuisine, so it is difficult to categorize in detail. In general, Yunnan cuisine has a spicier taste and uses ingredients such as mushrooms, algae and insects. This area is also famous because it is the country of origin of pu’er tea and as a producer of cow and goat cheese.
How about more or less stories about Chinese cuisine this time? Certainly open knowledge for those of you who want to commemorate Chinese New Year this year. Also get to know some of the legendary Chinese New Year dishes such as boiled milkfish and legendary snacks that are worth trying. Happy commemorating!