[East] Different Regions in Eastern China
A modern city contrasting greatly between luxury and squalor, Shanghai is much subdued in cookery now, though it still remains its brilliance.
Above the Yangtze lowlands, Shantung is a place highly commented on its food and manners. Wheat products are popular here-especially filled dumplings-apart from game, fish, vegetables, millet etc.
At the lower coast lies the well-known province-Fukien. The cooking there is typically Eastern.
- Lards & Blood
Lard is commonly used as cooking oil in Fukien. Many people use lard for deep frying.
Why is lard used so much?
There are lots of pigs in eastern China, and because there aren't many oilseeds, lard is used quite often in the place of other cooking oils. Apart form lard, Fukien foods are also quite bloody sometimes as the blood can help with digestion. Pig's blood is considered dishes for working class while fresh poultry blood served together with the bird is for nobles and rich men.
Dipping sauces is also a practice in Fukien.
garlic crushed in vinegar for poultry
sweet malt syrup for fried fish balls
The fun is the mixing and choosing while we eat!
- Soupy food
Soup is much focused here, from thin and clear soups to thick stews. Even rice is often eaten as congee. Therefore the people in Fukien are very good at cooking foods in stewed form. (e.g. shark fins and bird's nest)
Fukien sub regions
- Fuchou (capital of Fukien)
Rice in Fuchou is reddened by fungi which shows a beautiful port-wine colour to dishes, though the flavour is not so heavy. Dumpling skins made of powdered pork and other well-known dumplings are produced here, too. However, soya sauce is not so commonly used here. Instead fish sauce is used.
- Teochiu/Chaochou (Mandarin translation) /Chiuchow (Cantonese translation)
Chaochou, the northeastern district of Guangdong, is famous for its fine and elaborate dishes. Although it has been more or less influenced by Cantonese cooking, the Fukien-type of cooking, when compared to Cantonese cooking, requires a quicker speed, a lighter hand and a better sense of timing. Moreover the dishes have more flavour and are spicier.
This tropical island is also located in the Guangdong province. In here, rice is usually cooked in the pilaf way, in which you fry the rice in sesame oil then boil it in some of the stock.