Cultured Palate: International Dishes from China

For many Americans, our exposure to Chinese cuisine is limited to the fried noodles and saucy spare ribs that populate the menu of our favorite take-out spot. In reality, though, these dishes tell us more about America than about China – American Chinese cuisine has spun off into its own genre, developing a unique culinary history. True Chinese food is entirely different from what we know.

If you’re interested in exploring China’s cuisine, we’ve compiled a list of some essential international dishes you need to try. Each is representative of one of China’s eight regional food cultures and culinary traditions, highlighting different ingredients, spice profiles, and cooking methods. Today, we’re going to dip our toes into each culinary tradition’s most famous dishes and explore other well-known dishes popular in China.

Related Topics (Ads):

    1. Dan Jiao

    The egg dumplings known as dan jiao come from the cuisine of China’s Anhui region, one of the largest areas of the country. Anhui cuisine features fresh vegetables and wild herbs and is generally considered one of the healthiest regional cuisines. Dan jiao are made out of an egg batter swaddled around minced meat mixed with Shaoxing wine and are prepared using a large ladle over an open fire. Delicate and light, they’re typically eaten in a soup for Chinese New Year.

    xiaomoon / Shutterstock

    2. Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

    Fujian cuisine, which comes from the province’s capital of Fuzhou, is known for highlighting individual ingredients, treating them simply so their flavor shines. Soups are considered the perfect vehicle for fresh ingredients in Fujian cuisine, and broths act as a backdrop for vegetables and protein. One of the region’s most famous soups is Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, which includes shark fin, quail eggs, bamboo shoots, ham, and ginseng. It takes at least one full day to prepare this special soup, and it’s extremely rare to find these days because of concerns regarding shark fin harvesting.

    Suwarin Rachanikorn / Shutterstock

    3. Hairy Crab

    Jiangsu cuisine is made up of three distinct culinary traditions centered around the three major cities in the Jiangsu region: Nanjing, Suzhou, and Yangzhou. Since freshwater seafood is plentiful in this area, many Jiangsu specialties focus on fish. You’ll find fish in soups, stews, or cooked whole. Local hairy crabs are a popular delicacy, available in restaurants in the late summer or early fall. They’re steamed, then eaten with a simple sauce of vinegar and ginger to emphasize the freshness of the crab’s sweet flesh.

    [resp]

    bonchan / Shutterstock

    PAGE 1 OF 4
    SHARE ON

    Advertisement

    Mini Guide to Iceland

    Iceland is a Nordic island country located in the Arctic Circle. It has a population of nearly 350,000 citizens; however, roughly two-thirds of them live in Reykjavik, the capital, and its surroundings. The country is famous for its geothermal and volcanic activity, which throughout thousands of years created a somewhat otherworldly landscape. Travelers also flock to Iceland to see the incredible Northern Lights and learn about its Viking inhabitants, who settled there in 874 AD.

    Top Neighborhoods to Live in If You Love Christmas

    If you can’t wait to get into the Christmas spirit every year, it’s probably evident from the outside of your home. Many people put up traditional decorations like twinkling lights, evergreen branches, and even inflatable figures in the form of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Even though we all love Christmas, some people take it to the extreme by choosing where to live based on the town’s level of Christmas cheer. There are tons of towns scattered around the United States that are known for their extreme decorating style, and over-the-top Christmas events. Here are the best neighborhoods to live in if you love Christmas.

    Top 11 U.S. Destinations to Hit the Slopes This Holiday

    If your choice is to embrace the season, a skiing or snowboarding vacation is the perfect winter getaway. It may feel intimidating, but you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy it. Most ski resorts offer group or individual lessons, as well as rentals for all the equipment you require — it really couldn’t be easier. There are so many amazing ski slopes and resorts all over the United States. Today, we’re going to check out some of the best options for American winter sporting destinations.