The 8 Great Cuisines of China
chinese-food

The 8 Great Cuisines of China

By GavinUpdated Mar. 18, 2021

There are many styles of cooking in China, but Chinese chefs have identified eight culinary traditions as the best. These have set the course of how Chinese cook food, and are looked to as models. Each of these schools has a distinct style and different strengths.

C hina's eight Cuisines

The Features of the Eight Great Cuisines of China

1. Guangdong/Cantonese Cuisine

Chicken SoupMaking a great variety of soup is a feature of Cantonese cuisine.

Cantonese food is the most popular style internationally. Guangdong Province and Hong Kong are noted for fine seafood dishes and rice dishes

They eat a very wide variety of foods. The dishes they serve don't have strong flavors since it is lightly seasoned, and they often tend to be a little sweet. More on Yue cuisine...

2. Sichuan  Cuisine 

Sichuan Province produced the most widely served cuisine in China. Their dishes are famous for their hot-spicy taste and the numbing flavor of Sichuan peppercorn that is rare in other regional cuisines. It is the food of Chengdu and Chongqing (which used to be part of Sichuan). More on Chuan cuisine...

3. Jiangsu Cuisine

sweet and sour spare ribsSu cuisine features sweet foods. Sweet and sour spare ribs is a famous dish from Jiangsu.

Jiangsu Province and China's biggest city, Shanghai, have a very refined gourmet cuisine that is often served at government banquets. 

What makes it special is the exquisite cooking techniques that produce richly aromatic and visually artistic dishes. Their chefs also focus on serving meals that promote health. More on Su cuisine...

4. Zhejiang Cuisine

Zhejiang Province is the province south of Jiangsu, and it borders on Shanghai too, so their style is similar to theirs, but it is less elaborately prepared. They focus more on serving fresh food. 

The food is often served raw or almost raw and is fresh and crispy and seasonal. It is more like Japanese food. Ningbo cuisine is very salty. More on Zhe cuisine...

5. Fujian/Min Cuisine

Fujian Province is known for great seafood and soups and the precise use of scintillating but not tongue numbing spices. Adding much wild exotic delicacies from the sea and mountains makes their dishes have unusual flavors. It is like a culinary wild adventure. More on Min cuisine...

6. Hunan Cuisine

ChiliesPeople in the Hunan region can't seem to live without chilies; no dish is complete without chilies in Hunan cuisine.

If you like Sichuan food, you'll probably like Hunan food too since it is even hotter. It is tastier and more delicious because they don't use peppercorn that numbs the mouth. 

It is a rich agricultural area that produces a broad range of vegetables and herbs, and these are served up. More on Xiang cuisine...

7. Anhui  Cuisine

Anhui cuisine is even wilder than Fujian cuisine. It is inland, and big mountains such as the Yellow Mountains are the source of lots of different wild foods and herbs. It is basically a hearty mountain peasant food. Some of the best dishes incorporate wild food for an unusual taste. Some dishes are sweet from added sugar. More on Hui cuisine...

8. Shandong Cuisine

Shandong was one of the first civilized areas, and it set the pattern for northern styles of cooking. With a long coast, seafood is its forte. 

They preserve the original taste of the seafood by using simple ingredients and braising, and they like vinegar and salt. Unlike southern cuisines, they serve much more wheat food, including their noodles. More on Lu cuisine...

Travel with China Highlights and Taste Authentic Chinese Cuisines

Enjoying Chinese CuisineEnjoying Chinese Food

If you want to try china's authentic food, our tours can take you to authentic local restaurants as you tour around China. See our most popular food tour as follow:

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