Southern Chinese cuisine is famous not only for its bold flavors but also for its wide variety of dishes. Spanning several provinces, including Sichuan, Guangdong, Fujian, and Hunan, each region has its own unique culinary traditions and specialties. Let’s begin our journey with the ever-popular dim sum, which originated in Guangdong province.
Dim sum is a Cantonese style of cuisine that consists of bite-sized delicacies served in small steamer baskets. These exquisite bite-sized delights can range from dumplings filled with pork, shrimp, or vegetables to fluffy buns filled with barbecue pork or custard. Every bite is a burst of flavor, and dim sum is often enjoyed with a pot of fragrant Chinese tea.
Moving on to Sichuan cuisine, known for its bold and fiery flavors, one cannot miss the famous Kung Pao Chicken. This dish combines tender chicken with crunchy peanuts, dried chili peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns, creating a perfect balance of spiciness and numbing sensation. It’s no wonder Kung Pao Chicken has gained popularity worldwide for its unique and addictive flavor profile.
If there’s one dish that symbolizes Guangdong cuisine, it’s the Cantonese Roast Duck. With its perfectly crispy skin and succulent meat, this dish is a true masterpiece. The ducks are marinated with a blend of Chinese spices, then roasted until golden brown in a special oven. The result is a duck that is tender, flavorful, and incredibly aromatic. It’s no wonder the Cantonese Roast Duck is considered one of the most iconic dishes in Southern Chinese cuisine.
Next, let’s venture into the province of Sichuan again to savor the famous Mapo Tofu. This dish is a true representation of Sichuan cuisine with its bold flavors and numbing spice. Silken tofu is cooked in a fiery sauce made from fermented broad bean paste, chili oil, and Sichuan peppercorns. The combination of soft tofu, spicy sauce, and the unique tingle of Sichuan peppercorns creates a taste experience like no other.
No journey through Southern Chinese cuisine would be complete without sampling a classic steamed fish dish. Usually made with fresh and delicate white fish, such as sea bass or pomfret, the fish is steamed to perfection with a blend of soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. The result is a tender and flavorful fish that melts in your mouth. This dish epitomizes the simplicity and finesse of Guangdong cuisine.