Cantonese Cuisine

Cantonese Dim Sim Cantonese Dim Sim

Cantonese Cuisine, also known as Yue Cuisine, is the culinary style of Guangdong Province, which was called Canton when the Wade-Giles romanization of Chinese was in use. This particular type of Chinese food has been popularized by Chinese restaurants around the world as the majority of those who set up these restaurants were of Cantonese origin.

Guangdong dishes are characterized by their tender and slightly sweet taste. Sauces are a crucial seasoning in Guangdong cuisine. Classic Cantonese sauces are light and mellow. The most widely used sauces in Guangdong Cuisine include: hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, plum sauce and sweet and sour sauce. Other ingredients popular in Guangdong Cuisine include spring onions, sugar, salt, soya bean products, rice wine, corn starch, vinegar and sesame oil. Garlic is used heavily in some dishes, especially those in which internal organs, such as entrails, may emit unpleasant odors. Ginger, chili peppers, five-spice powder, powdered white pepper, star anise and a few other spices are used, but often sparingly.

The raw materials for Guangdong Cuisine are very plentiful. "The Chinese eat everything with four legs, except tables, and everything that flies except airplanes" is the most suitable expression of the countless variety of Guangdong food. Things that are rarely eaten or rarely seen on Western tables are commonly used in Guangdong dishes. Snake, cat and pangolin (scaly anteater) are considered by the Cantonese people to be most delicious food.

In contrast to the fast-fried cooking method of Sichuan dishes, Guangdong people prefer to braise, stew and sauté their food. These cooking methods aim to preserve the flavor of the dishes.

Cantonese Dishes

Traditional Dishes

These dishes are the earliest collection of Chinese food. They are often simple and easy to learn and cook, and are widely found in Chinese homes. They are also the most common foods on the menus of Cantonese restaurants.

steamed egg Chinese Steamed Eggs

Chinese Steamed Eggs

Chinese Steamed Eggs are made by beating eggs to a creamy consistency and then steaming. Variations are derived by adding different ingredients, such as spring onion and soy sauce.

Deep Fried Dishes

Although deep fried dishes are not the main stream of Guangdong dishes, there are quite a number of them which are very popular both in China the in the West.

Zhaliang (literally "Fried Two")

Zhaliang is made by tightly wrapping a rice sheet roll round a youtiao (deep-fried dough stick). Zhaliang is widely eaten in Guangdong and Hong Kong. It is usually eaten with soy milk.

Youtiao

A youtiao is a long, golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough. Youtiaos are usually eaten for breakfast with soy milk.

Noodle Dishes

Shahe Noodles (Shahefen)

Shahe noodles a kind of rice noodles which probably originate from the town of Shahe, now part of Guangzhou. They are broad and white in color. Their texture is elastic and a little chewy. They do not freeze or dry well and are thus generally (where available) purchased fresh, in strips or sheets that may be cut to the desired width. Shahefen is popular in southern China's Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces.

Other Dishes

Baiqie Chicken (White Cut Chicken)

Baiqie Chicken is made by boiling salt-marinated chicken in water or chicken broth. When it is done, the chicken looks golden in color and tastes fresh and light, preserving the best of the original taste of chicken.

The famous Baiqie Chicken served by Panxi Restaurant in Guangzhou is believed to be the most delicious. The restaurant has received the Golden Tripod of High Quality Production from the Department of Commerce for its Baiqie Chicken.

A Cantonese Food Menu

EnglishChinesePronunciationCharacters
Dry-Fried Beef and Noodlesgànchǎo niú hégan-chaoww nyoh her干炒牛河
Barbequed Pork (Char Siu)chāshāochah-shaoww叉烧
Soy Sauce Chickenchǐyóu jīchrr-yoh yaa豉油鸡
White Cut Chickenbái qiē jībeye chyeah jee白切鸡
Preserved Salted Ducklà yālaa yaa腊鸭
Tea-Smoked Duckcháxūn yāchaa-sshynn yaa茶熏鸭
Brine-Soaked Ducklǔshuǐ yāloo-shway yaa卤水鸭
Dace (fish) Ballslíngyú qiúling-yoo chyoh鲮鱼球
Steamed Frog on a Lotus Leafhéyè zhēng tiánjīher-yeah jnng tyen-jee荷叶蒸田鸡
Shark Fin Soupyúchì gēngyoo-chrr gnng鱼翅羹
Cantonese Seafood Soupyuèshì hǎixiān tāngywair-shrr heye-sshyen tung粤式海鲜汤
Orange Cuttlefishlǔshuǐ mòyúloo-shway mor-yoo卤水墨鱼
Sea Cucumber (Hoi Sam)hǎishēnheye-shnn海参
Small Pan Ricebāo zǐ fànbaoww dzrr fan煲仔饭
Pastries (Gou Dim)gāo diǎngaoww dyen糕点

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