Chiuchow cuisine or Chaozhou cuisine (潮州菜) originates from Chiuchow, a city of China in the Guangdong Province, not far from Canton. Hence the cooking style is very similar to Cantonese cuisine. However, Chiuchow cuisine does have some unique dishes that are not in Cantonese cuisine.
Chiuchow cuisine is particularly well known for its seafood and its vegetarian dishes. Its use of flavoring is much less heavy-handed than most cuisines from other parts of China and depends much on the freshness of the ingredients for taste. Chiuchow cuisine is also known for serving rice soup (潮州糜), in addition to steamed rice with meals, which is quite different from Cantonese porridge or congee which is very thick and gluey. The Chiuchow rice soup is very watery with the rice sitting loosely at the bottom of the bowl. Authentic Chiuchow restaurants serve very strong oolong tea in very tiny cups before and after the meal.
There is a famous feast in Chiuchow cuisine called "Gau Dai Gui" (九大簋) which roughly means "nine big courses" in the dinner. Chiuchow chefs pride themselves on their skill in vegetable carving. Carved vegetables are used as garnishes on cold dishes and on the banquet table.
Chiuchow is also known for a late night dinner called "Da Loun" (打冷). Chiuchow people like to eat out in restaurants or at roadside food stalls close to midnight before they go to bed. Some restaurants stay open till dawn.
Unlike Cantonese or Mandarin cuisine, Chiuchow restaurant menus will sometimes have a dessert section.
Some famous Chiuchow dishes include, among others:
- Steamed goose (蒸鵝)
- Cold crab (潮洲凍蟹)
- Fun Goh (潮洲粉果 a steamed dumpling filled with dried raddish, peanuts and ground meat)
- Shrimp balls (蝦棗)
- Oyster pancake (蠔烙)
Tiet Kwun Yum (鐵觀音 a premium grade Oolong Tea)
See also: cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Chinese cuisine, cooking
Last updated: 08-17-2005 02:52:31