As one of the eight most famous cuisines in China, Hui cuisine has a history of more than 1000 years. It originated from She County but gained popularity through the travels of Hui merchants to major cities in China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Hui Cuisine consists mainly of the dishes of three geographical regions: South Anhui as well as the coastal areas of the Yangtze and Hui Rivers. The cuisine of South Anhui serves as the flagship for Hui Cuisine, seen in the international perspective.
The highly distinctive characteristic of Hui cuisine lies not only in the extensive choice of cooking materials but also in the strict procedures of the cooking process. Most ingredients in Hui cuisine originate in mountain areas. The ingredients are cooked over a hot fire, and Hui chefs pay close attention to the presentation of the dish, to ensure it is appealing to the eye, as well as to the palate.
There are 4 basic features that define Hui Cuisine:
1 - It uses only local product, and, as a result, the freshness of the dishes is unparalleled
Anhui Province abounds in mountain delicacies such as: wild animals from the lush and dense forests; fishes, crustaceans, etc., from the lakes and rivers; and both wild and domesticated fowl. A strict adherence to the use of local foodstuffs not only guarantees freshness, but also guarantees unique regional flavors that cannot be experienced elsewhere, as produce and wildlife harvested in a particular locality will always have a different taste than the same produce and wildlife harvested elsewhere, not to speak of the fact that many plants and animals abound only within certain regional boundaries.
2 - It rests on precisely controlled cooking times and temperatures
The dishes of Hui Cuisine are prepared in accordance with tradition-bound principles as regards the use of high, medium or low heat, depending on the characteristics of the foodstuffs in question and on the flavor objectives, as it were. That is, the food traditions that make up Hui Cuisine may call for a given foodstuff to be prepared at a much higher or much lower temperature than is typical for the preparation of the same foodstuff elsewhere.
3 - It excels in the arts of sautéing, braising, smoking, steaming, stewing and flambéing, as well as deep-frying and stir-frying
The chef traditions behind Hui Cuisine rest on a mastery of all of the traditional Chinese cooking techniques. The result is that a Hui Cuisine chef can prepare the same ingredients in a variety of ways, each yielding a unique taste nuance, albeit, a taste nuance that is readily recognizable as belonging to the world-famous "Hui Cuisine" tradition. Hui Cuisine dishes stewed in brown sauce are typically heavier on the use of oil than one encounters in comparable dishes in certain other regional Chinese cuisines. Ham is also often added to enhance the taste.
4 - It often combines "medicinal herbs" and other natural ingredients that are traditionally believed to promote health
Hui Cuisine follows time-honored regional traditions regarding the use of herbs and other foodstuffs, taste-enhancers, etc., that are considered beneficial to one's health. This is one of the unique traditions of Hui Cuisine.
Some popular local Hui dishes served in Huangshan:
Soft Shell Turtle Stewed with Ham
A soft shell turtle, pork, ham, bamboo shoots, a clove of garlic, shallot, ginger, soy sauce, salt, rice wine, black pepper, lard are all stewed together in a pot on charcoal fire. The dish is not greasy and gives diners endless aftertastes.
Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch
This dish is a popular dish named after one of Anhui's famous personages. Li Hongzhang was a top official of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). When he was in office, he paid a visit to the US and hosted a banquet for all his American friends. As the specially prepared dishes continued to flow, the chefs, with limited resources, began to fret. Upon Li Hongzhang's order, the remaining kitchen ingredients were thrown together into an impromptu stew, containing sea cucumber, squid, tofu, ham, mushroom, chicken meat and other less identifiable food materials! Thus appetites were quenched and a dish was created.
Mandarin Fish (Chou Guiyu)
This dish features the Mandarin fish from the Xin'an River. After salting, it is braised in soy sauce.
Fried Odorous Bean Curd (Youjian Mao Doufu)
Odorous bean curd is a kind of sour bean curd with a layer of white 'hair' fried in a pan then sprinkled with seasonings. While the bean curd smells bad, it is delicious. It is common to see in snack stalls. If you can bear the odor, you should try it.
Royal Pot (Yi Pin Guo)
It is said that Royal Pot was created by Mrs. Yu, the wife of Bi Qiang who was Ministry of Justice, Works, Revenue and Personnel of Shitai County in Ming Dynasty. One day, the emperor suddenly came to the ministry’s house for dinner. Mrs. Yu prepared a feast of fat things and especially cooked a Hui style hot pot, and the emperor enjoyed this dish very much and called it Royal Pot after he learned it was cooked by Mrs. Yu herself.
The cooking of this dish is quite demanding. Dried bamboo shoots are put on the bottom of the pot, then flesh lumps are put on the second layer, fried bean curd on the third, pork balls on the fourth and bean threads are covered on the fifth dotted by spinach or dried lily flower. Then all this things are simmered in water with seasonings.
This dish is famous for its county flavor, and tastes thick and fresh.
Fuliji Roast Chicken
Fuliji Roast Chicken, renowned both at home and abroad, originates from Fuli town 30 miles north to Suzhou City. It has a history of more than 80 years and is famed for its distinctive flavor.
It’s a fine art to cook the roast chicken. First we should choose the healthy and strong chicken and make them drink clean water before killing them. Then hang them up to dry, spread malt sugar on them and fry them in sesame oil. Last, stew them in soup stock for four to six hours with 13 kinds of spices like nutmeg, pepper, angelica, etc.
Cook like to recommend:
|Stir-fried Mountain Fern
||Steamed Mushroom and Stone Frog
|Braised Ham and Chicken
|Braised Chinese Angelica and River Deer
||Stewed pork tongue in Chinese wine
|Deep-fried & Steamed Mandarin Fish
|Boiled bamboo shoots and pea seedlings
||Steamed Chestnuts with Chicken
|Quick Fried Sweet Pork
||Braised Duck with Dumplings
|Braised Dried Shellfish and Radish
||Roasted Mandarin Fish
|Deep-fried Wrapped Pork
||Quick-fried Fish Head and Tail
|Steamed chicken wrapped in Lotus leaves
||Braised Turtle with Ham
|Stewed Leopard Cat
||Deep-fried Maofeng Tea and Egg
|Stewed Mandarin Fish
||Braised pork leg & chicken with ham
|Boiled Bean Curd
||Steamed bamboo shoots with chrysanthemum
|Sauteed Hairy Bean Curd
||Hotpot with Chrysanthemum
Hui Cuisine Restaurant:
Add: No. 19 Wenfeng Road, Huizhou District, Huangshan, Anhui, China
Qing-Qing Restraint of Huangshan CTS:
Add: No. 1 West Binjian Road, Tunxi, Huangshan, Anhui, China
Dian Yun Restaurant:
Add: No. 45, Yanan Road, Tunxi, Huangshan, Anhui, China