The Anjui region is an inland area located in East China. The region surrounds the Huangshan Mountain, also referred to as Yellow Mountains. The region consists of many different types of terrain—including not only these mounjtains, but also forests and farmland.
Anhui cuisine revolves around wild plants and animals, very similar to Fujian cuisine that we talking about in an earlier post.,,,although there is less emphasis on seafood.
Anhui cuisine is humble and hearty peasant food. ..created by the native rustic cooking styles of the mountain dwellers.
Food is seen as therapy and meant to be healthy, visually stimulating, and simple.
As far as cooking method, it is important that the food is cooked in a way that doea not destroy the nutrients of the food. The cooking methods used in this province are simple, usually one of these four methods—braising, stewing, steaming, salting—with special emphasis on controlling cooking time and temperatures
As far as meat, Anhui cuisine includes more gamey meats than anyjui other regional cuisine.
As far as spices, Anhui cuisine uses many fresh wild herbs,
As far as vegetables, Anhui cuisine uses a lot of woodland vegetables—such as foraged mushrooms, berries, tea leaves, bamboo shoots, and other wild plants that can be found locally.
Examples of Anhui entrees that you might find on a menu are…
Jiangsu cuisine seems like the aristocracy of Chinese regional cuisine. I say this for many reasons.
First of all, Jiangau cuisine places much emphasis on artistic presentation—carefully arranging the food so that it makes visual impact.
Jiangua cuisine also requires being able to use precise and delicate carving techniques, mastering various meticulous cooking methods—such as braising, stewing, and quick-frying.
Not only that, but Jiangau cuisine is often the go-to for elite banquets and state dinners.
Jiangua cuisine combines several taste sensations—saltiness, umami, and sweetness—in almost every single dish. The flavors tend to be rich, light and fresh. The texture tends to be tender. The emphasis seems to be on soup, with soup being a staple on almost all menus. The foods tend to be highly aromatic.
As far as ingredients, the Jiangsu province is widely known as a “fertile land of fish and rice.” Because most of the ingredients come from the many rivers and lakes of the region, as well as the sea, the cuisine often uses a variety of fish.
As far as spices, sugar is often used to round off the flavors.
One dish that you might find on a menu in this region might be Salted Duck.
When I first decided to take a detour through the different Chinese cooking cuisines, I had no clue that this was going to take up a total of nine posts…what started as one post, soon led into about two or three weeks on my blog.
And all this time I have been thinking back on those times as a kid playing the game of Risk with my brother…fighting over who holds what territory.
But Chinese regional cuisine also poses a risk of a sort…the risk of cooking with the wrong methods and ingredients for taking care of a diabetic…as well as the risk of standing at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet debating between getting Sichuan chicken or Hunan chicken for about twenty minutes and then settling for the orange chicken of the sweet-and-sour chicken like most of us do anyway…
Anyway, on to the next province…
The Hunan Province is a land-locked agricultural hub in south-central China that produces a broad range of vegetables and herbs.
And Hunan cuisine takes advantage of the great variety of ingredients that its rolling hills and beautiful valleys that the region provides.
Hunan cuisine is very similar to Sichuan food, but even hotter.
But the fact that the spiciness is derived from chilies makes it even more delicious because you can actually taste the ingredients, instead of only being able to taste mouth-numbing peppercorns.
Hunan cuisine is not only known for this spicy flavor, but also for its deep colors, oily texture, and fresh aromas.
Another characteristic of Hunan cuisine is an emphasis on sourness. All shapes, sorts, and sizes of pickles are popular in the Hunan region.
As far as meat, Hunan cuisine uses lots of peppered and smoked meats, such as cured hams
As far as spices, people in the Hunan region can’t even begin to imagine life with without chilies. In fact, no dish is complete without chilies…kinda like no dish is complete without sour cream to many people, including me..
As far as other ingredients, Hunan cuisine uses heaps of garlic, shallots, and tofu, fermented bean curd.
Examples of foods that you might find in the Hunan region include…
Because the Fujian province is surrounded by both the mountains and sea, Fujian cuisine can be a true culinary adventure.
This cuisine takes advantage of both worlds by incorporating the best of both worlds..the offerings of the sea—such as mussels, shrimp, and various types of fish—as well as the offerings of the mountains woodland—such as forest-foraged herbs and mushrooms, garlic, bamboo shoots
The people of the Fujian province tend to prefer mild and lightly seasoned…with a great passion for what we know as “sweet and sour.”
The chefs of this region take great pride in their expert knife skills and use these skills to enhance the flavor, aroma and texture of their food.
Another factor that distinguishes Fujian cuisine from the other Chinese cuisines is the use of fermented products…making the region distinct by its reputation for marinated dishes, soups, stews and stir-fries.
As far as meat, Fujian cuisine includes pork, duck, chicken and beef…but especially takes advantage of what the sea offers—such as mussels, shrimp, and various types of fish.
As far as sauces, Fujian cuisine takes advantage of many different sauces—such as fish sauce, shrimp paste, shacha sauce and preserved apricots. In addition to these, orange juice is often used for a little complexity and sweetness.
As far as spices, Fujian cuisine is known for the precise use of scintillating, but not tongue numbing, spices. Fujian cuisine uses sugar, much like Sichuan cuisine uses Sichuan peppers…probably not a bood thing for any of my diabetic readers, right?
Examples of Fujian cuisine recipes that you might find on the internet include…
Sichuan cuisine is the most unique of the eight main regional cuisines.
Famed for its bold flavors and use of strong spices, this cuisine was strongly influenced by Indian cuisine.
As foreigners, including Buddhist missionaries and Spanish traders, began travelling through this landlocked, mountain-ringed province along China’s famous “Silk Route.” they introduced the locals to the characteristic spicy flavors of Indian cuisine. The people of the area eventually developed their own unique cuisine based on these influences, a cuisine that is so very different and distinct from any other Chinese cooking styles.
Even though this cuisine is famous for being spicy, not all Sichuan dishes are spicy., many Sichuan dishes taste like fish or fried tangerine.
Let’s take a look at some of the conventional Sichuan ingtredients…
—As far as meat, Sichuan cuisine gives you your typical meats—such as chicken, freshwater fish, and pork…but you will also find more unconventional ingredients—such as shark fins and bear paws. You will also find that air-dried meats are commonly used.
—As far as sauce, Sichuan cuisine tends to use more sesame paste, fish sauce, ginger juice, sweet-sour sauce, garlic puree, red chili oil….(and soy sauce, of course)….
—As far as spices, Sichuan cuisine uses Sichuan pepper…lots and lots of Sichuan pepper…as well as chili peppers and garlic.
—As far as other ingredients, Sichuan cuisine leans more toward pungently flavored vegetables such as garlic and onions. Nuts and seeds are also commonly used in Sichuan cuisine.
A few of the most popular Sichuan entrees that you might find on the menu, kook for…
- Chongqing Chicken…China Sichuan Food
- Kung Pao Chicken,,,Food Nettworik
- Twice Cooked Pork…Red House Spice
Another leafy green vegetable that type 2 diabetics should consider adding to their diets is bok choy.
Bok choy has been cultivated in China for more than five thousand years and has played a large part not only in its cuisine, but also in traditional Chinese medicine.
Bok choy is a common ingredient in the foods cooked in the Philippines and Vietnam, even though most other countries rarely even use it as an ingredient, if at all.
Bok choy—sometimes referred to as white cabbage, mustard cabbage, celery cabbage, Chinese white cabbage, Chinese mustard, and white celery mustard—-is in fact a member of the cabbage family. In fact, the name “bok choy” is derived from the Cantonese words “bai cai,” which means “white cabbage.”
However, bok choy doesn’t look like a typical cabbage at all. Bok choy more closely resembles celery.
Nor does bok choy look like any other cruciferous vegetables—such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts—which form “heads” in their more mature plant stages.
Instead bok choy has smooth, dark green leaf blades that form a cluster similar to mustard greens or celery—resembling Romaine lettuce on top and a large celery on the bottom.
Even though we usually only envision the typical variety of bok choy found in local grocery stores, there are over twenty varieties of bok choy available.
A few of these varieties are…
- Baby bok choy…a miniaturized version of bok choy that can often be found in Asian and Chinese supermarkets
- Chinensis bok choy…do not form heads and have smooth, dark green leaf blades, much like mustard greens or celery
- Choy sum…also known as “Chinese flowering cabbage,” has light green leaves and tiny yellow flowers, typically sold as trimmed leaves and stalks of choy sum instead of the whole plant, more expensive variety of bok choy
- Mibuna Early, Canton, and Ching Chang—bok choy varieties that feature green spoon-shaped leaves and slightly flattened white stalks
- Purple Hybrid—variety of bok choy with purple leaves
- Shanghai Green and Green Boy—variety of bok choy that have stalks that are various shades of green
This leafy vegetable has a light, sweet flavor and a crispy, crunchy texture.
Bok choy is slowly becoming more and more popular here in American cuisine.
Bok choy can be used in many different ways—such as salads, soups and stir-fries.
So keep reading to learn what the nutritional benefits of bok choy are and for recipes to help you enjoy adding bok choy to your grocery list.