Updated: Apr 7, 2022
“民以食为天 mín yǐ shí wéi tiān”- People take food as their heaven, this proverb tells us what is important for the Chinese. And talking about food could be an efficient ice breaker when you are lack of ideas in a conversation with a Chinese. Obviously, Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture.
There is not only one Chinese cuisine, but there are numerous regional, religious, and ethnic styles of Chinese cuisine found within China and abroad. The most praised Four Great Traditions in Chinese cuisine are 川Chuān, 鲁Lǔ, 粤Yuè, and 淮扬huáiyáng, representing cuisines of West, North, South, and East China, respectively. The modern Eight Cuisines of China are Anhui (徽菜; Huīcài), Guangdong (粤菜; Yuècài), Fujian (闽菜; Mǐncài), Hunan (湘菜; Xiāngcài), Jiangsu (苏菜; Sūcài), Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài), Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài), and Zhejiang (浙菜; Zhècài) cuisines.
In Chinese cuisine, Color （色 sè）, smell（香 xiāng）, and taste（味 wèi） are the three traditional aspects used to describe Chinese food, as well as the meaning, appearance, and nutrition of the food. Cooking should be appraised with respect to the ingredients used, knifework, cooking time, and seasoning.
In Singapore, Chinese restaurants are everywhere. You can taste various styles of Chinese cuisine.
不辣 bú là！ Not Spicy !
Guangdong (粤菜 - Yuècài) : People in Guangdong province are not afraid of trying new type of food, which makes this cuisine so rich in variety. Keeping the freshness and the original taste of ingredients are important. In Singapore, you can go to “Yum Cha Chinatown” to try delicious 点心 Diǎnxīn，Cantonese style of snacks in an authentic setting.
Fujian (闽菜; Mǐncài) : Fujian province is in the north of Guangdong province. Beautiful mountains and tea plantations spread out of the whole region. The Cooking style is very similar to Cantonese style, but with more gibier and wild mushrooms. In Singapore, Putien, rewarded by Michelin is a must-try.
Jiangsu (苏菜; Sūcài) / Anhui (徽菜; Huīcài) / Zhejiang (浙菜; Zhècài) : These 3 provinces are next to Shanghai. People there cook and eat different vegetables, fishes and crabs according to the 4 seasons and 24 solar terms. The dishes could have some sweetness. In Singapore, DingTeLe is LingLong’s favorite place to try the unique and delicious 生煎shēngjiān. No need to introduce DingTaiFeng for its famous 小笼包 xiǎolóngbāo, the signature dish from these provinces.
辣 là！ Spicy !
Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài): Pandas live only in Sichuan region because of the scenery mountains and bambou forests. The region is also the paradise for 麻辣MáLà, spicy-peppery cuisine lovers. Sichuan pepper combining with chili creates a unique flavour and sensation. Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends to eat chili and pepper to chase away the humidity too much retained in the human body. In Singapore, HaiDiLao hotpot and ChongQing Grilled fish could be found in many places.
Hunan (湘菜; Xiāngcài) : The scenery in the legendary Avatar movie is inspired by the mountain in Hunan province. The dishes here are cooked with lots of red chili but without Sichuan Pepper. In Singapore, delicious Hunan dishes could be tasted in Hunan Cuisine Restaurant.
北京烤鸭 běijīng kǎoyā ！Beijing Roasted Duck- Imperial !
Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài) ： Shangdong province is Confucius’ hometown. The famous Qing Dao beer (青岛啤酒qīngdǎo píjiǔ) is also sourced from there. Because of its geographical closeness to 北京běijīng, the imperial city since Ming Dynasty, its cuisine could be often found during the noble banquet. The dishes are not spicy, since garlic, ginger and leek are used instead chili. 北京烤鸭 běijīng kǎoyā should be the most well-known dish in this cuisine. In Singapore, LaoBeijing with its modern touch prepares lots of northern style of Chinese cuisine. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck is the best in town for many people.
吃好 chī hǎo！Eat well ! 喝好 hēhāo！Drink Well ! 干杯 gān bēi ! Cheers !
Lao Long and Xiao Ling will explain to you some more words in the video hereunder.