Today let`s focus on the Fujian cuisine, also known as Min cuisine or Hokkien cuisine which is known as one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of China’s Fujian Province, most notably from the provincial capital, Fuzhou. Fujian cuisine is known to be light but flavourful, soft, and tender, with particular emphasis on umami taste, known in Chinese cooking as xianwei (鲜味; 鮮味; xiān wèi), as well as retaining the original flavour of the main ingredients instead of masking them. It has four distinctive styles: Fuzhou, Western, Southern and Quanzhou.
- Fuzhou cuisine is light compared to the other styles, often with a mixed sweet and sour taste. Emphasis is on utilizing soup in a variety of styles
- Western Fujian cuisine often has a spicy taste and the cooking methods used are often steaming and the well known stir-fry method.
- In the Southern style of Fujian cuisine frequently there is a mix of tastes in spicy and sweet flavours with an elaborate selection of sauces to provide the diner with a seemingly unending number of choice options
- Quanzhou cuisine is the least oily among all the Fujian styles of cuisine but with the strongest taste/flavour. It also puts a great deal of emphasis on the shape of the material for each dish.
To list all of the ingredients typical to Fujian Cuisine would require many pages, but a few of the major seasonings used include shrimp sauce and shrimp oil, while soy sauce is used for salty dishes, and white vinegar and qiaotou (qiaotou is a vegetable similar to green onions, or garlic) are often used in sour dishes. Sweet dishes feature brown and crystal sugar, while the spicier dishes feature pepper and mustard. Ingredients that give off a sweet aroma include brown sugar, spice powder, aniseed and cassia bark.
Fujian Cuisine is especially fussy when it comes to the flavoring of its clear soups. The Fujian Cuisine chef goes to great lengths to prepare the base stock for a Fujian soup. This can take several hours, but when the final result is filtered, it yields a very clear broth that is rich in colour, fragrance and flavor, and is well worth the chef’s extra effort.
The dishes of Fujian Cuisine often have very descriptive if not somewhat literary names. Representative dishes include: Braised Weeverfish with Chrysanthemum, Sautéed Phoenix-Tailed Shrimp, Simmered Top-Grade Pomfret Fish; Buddha’s Delight (made of select seafoods), Stir-Fried Azure-Jade Peas, Finding Pleasure Amid Suffering (made of tomato, balsam pear, prune, bread crumbs, red seaweed, lobster sauce, fresh caraway and lettuce), Stewed Frog with Garlic (or, as a French chef would call it, Ragout de Grenouille). Other typical Fujian Cuisine dishes make use of various diced meats, stir-fried with celery and bamboo shoots, as well as soups made with cabbage and dried shrimp. You can choose many variations of this cuisine from our traditional Chinese menu! Learn more…
In each of the localities where the four Fujian Cuisine styles reign, the visitor will run across local specialties that surprise and delight the palate, making Fujian Cuisine one of the more exciting “schools” of Chinese cuisine.