Jiangsu food is from the Jiangsu province and it is an extremely popular cooking style. This cooking style is considered to be one of the eight culinary traditions of China.
Classification of JiangsuCuisine
There are three main styles of cooking in Jiangsu and they are
- Nanjing style of cooking encourages matching sizes, shapes and colors of food. Fish, vegetables, prawns and duck are preferred in this cooking style
- Suzhou cooking styles require a sweeter taste to the dish as compared to any other Jiangsu cooking style. Ingredients have to be fresh and the flavors are much stronger than any other Jiangsu cooking style.
- Wuxi cooking styles prefer fish and fish based ingredients that are used in specific recipes. Three varieties of sea food are preferred and they are whitebait, white shrimp, and white fish.
Historical and Cultural Influences on JiangsuCuisine
The Jiangsu food cooking style is also called as the Huaiyang cuisine style. Although no one is really sure of when the cooking style started, the proximity of the lower part of the Yangtze River has encouraged the use of a lot of fresh fish and vegetables. The cuisine is light and soup based and very little oil is used. The earliest mention of this cooking style in the Qing Dynasty and later on in the Han, Sui and Tang dynasties
Ingredients Commonly Used in JiangsuCooking
Fresh fish is the prominent ingredient followed by shellfish. Local meats and chicken are also cooked quite regularly. Seasonal vegetables are prepared but seafood is a major part of the diet.
Cooking Methods Adopted in JiangsuRegion
The cuisine is considered a heritage cooking style as several method of cooking from ancient times are still being used like exquisite cutting techniques for making fruit and vegetable flowers, delicate balancing of salty and sweet, using cooking styles to retain the original taste and flavor of the ingredients. Special cooking styles are used that are specific to the ingredients.
Popular traditional recipes include the following-
- Hong Shao Paigu or braised pork ribs
- Fried Gluten balls or You Mian Jing stuffed with meat and vegetables or served on its own with vegetables
- Yin yu Chao Dan/Fu Rong Dan or fish omeletter or scrambled fish with omelette.
- Jinling salted dried duck
- Crystal meat or pork trotters in a bright brown sauce
- Farewell My Concubine is a dish that is supposed to have a 600 year old history and is made of soft-shelled turtle cooked with a variety of ingredients like chicken, mushrooms and wine.
The trademark of Jiangsu food is that it has to be soft but not mushy. Meat should be cooked to a very soft point but not till it falls off the bone. Matching colors and shapes are preferred for the Jiangsu food preparation.