It is a most popular and prestigious cooking style in China, and often served at official banquets hosted by Chinese central government, for example, at the banquet for the visiting US President George W. Bush in 2002.
The prestige of Huaiyang cuisine as “state-banquet dishes” may be attributed to its elegance, delicacy, intricacy, etc., which are characters most representative of Chinese culture. It highlights strictly selected ingredients, exquisite workmanship, elegant shape, delicate taste, and rich culture trait. The ingredients chosen are fresh. Pork, fresh water fish, and other live and fresh aquatic products (like crabs) are the meat base to most dishes, and such vegetable ingredients as tealeaves, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, pears, and dates are often used. The ingredients are meticulously cut, with delicate carving workmanship. In contrast to Shandong cuisine (prevalent in north China) characterized by stirring and frying on hot fire, Huaiyang cuisine more often employs cooking methods of stewing, braising and steaming over a low fire. Its taste is generally light (with a tendency to sweetness), as against “brash” in Sichuan and Shandong cuisine styles. The point is to keep the original flavor as well as freshness and temperance of the ingredients.
Representative dishes of Huaiyang cuisine are:-
Thousand layer cakes (千层糕 qian ceng gao)
Tofu noodles (煮干丝 zhu gan si)
Duck egg and pork porridge (皮蛋瘦肉粥 pi dan shou rou zhou)
Giant “lion’s head” meatballs (狮子头 shi zi tou)
Pork and shrimp dumpling noodles (虾籽饺面 xia zhi jiao mian)
Yangzhou Fried Rice (扬州炒饭 yang zhou chao fan)
Steamed Pork Rice Wraps (翡翠烧卖 fei cui shao mai)
Crab soup dumplings
Thousand layer cakes
Yangzhou Fried Rice
Duck egg and pork porridge
Steamed Pork Rice Wraps
Pork and shrimp dumpling noodles
Giant “lion’s head” meatballs
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