Also known as Xiang Cai, Hunan cuisine has already developed into a famous culinary school in China. Hunan dishes consist of local dishes from the Xiangjiang River area, Dongting Lake area and Western Hunan mountain area.
While similar to Szechuan cuisine, Hunan Cuisine is often spicier and contains a larger variety of ingredients. Other characters distinguish Hunan cuisine from Szechuan cuisine is that in general, Hunan cuisine utilizes smoked and curing food in its dishes much more frequent than Szechuan cuisine. Hunan cuisine dishes are often more oily and look darker than Szechuan cuisine dishes. Hunan is known for its liberal use of chilli peppers, shallots and garlic. Many Hunan dishes are characterized by a strongly flavored brown sauce. Some rely on sweetness from ingredients such as honey; sweet and sour sauces are also characteristic of the style.
Hunan cuisine make extensive use of chiles, to cleanse the palate and to cope with the humid climate. (Hot foods such as red chili peppers dry out and cool down the body, making it easier to handle the heat and dampness). Hunan dishes are normally made with fresh chile peppers, including the seeds and membranes which contain most of the heat.
Hunan food takes curing, simmering, steaming and stewing as the main cooking methods. Dishes of this style are usually tinged with a sour and spicy flavour. Popular Regional Dishes: Hunan's culinary repertoire consists of more than 4,000 dishes, including Dong'an Chicken, Crispy Duck, Orange Beef, and Spicy Frog's Legs.
Famous dishes: Spicy Young Chicken, Fried Fish Slices, Steamed Soft-Shell Turtle, Steamed Cured Meat, Huofang Whitebait, Dongting Fat Fish Maw, Jishou Sour Meat, Oily and Spicy Tender Bamboo Shoots, and Chinese Chestnuts and Hearts of Cabbages.
||Dong'an Chicken was originated by Dong an people of Hunan As early as Tang Dynasty. So far, it has been more than 1200 years. This kind of dish is of nice shape, bright color, and rich in nutrition. It tastes hot, crisp, sweet, tender and tart. |
||Another popular dish is crispy duck, where the duck is seasoned with pepper corns, star anise, fennel, and other spices, then steamed and finally deep-fried. |
||Orange beef, where the beef is marinated overnight, then washed and marinaded again with a mixture including egg white, wine, and white pepper. In braised soy sauce beef, the meat is simmered in an aromatic mixture including anise, sugar, ginger, soy sauce, and wine. |
Spicy Frog's Legs A pricier dish is frog legs in hot sauce (ma-la tien-ji-tui). The frog legs are stir-fried with green peppers, then the whole preparation is glazed with a light reddish-brown sauce. The hot sauce has a slight kick, but is not
Well-known Snacks: Huogongdian Fried, Fermented Bean Curd, Sisters' Glutinous Rice Balls, Xiangtan Roll, Hengyang Pailou Tangyuan (stuffed balls made of glutinous rice flour served in soup), Shrimp Cake, Rice Tea, etc.
The King Bids Farewell to His Concubine
This traditional Hunan dish was first created at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Meticulously prepared, this nutritious course is tasty and aromatic, and will leave prolong aftertaste. It is one of the best courses for the banquet.
A Hundred Birds Flock around the Phoenix
It is a traditional Hunan dish, symbolizing a happy get-together under the same roof.
Zu'an Shark's Fin
Also known as Soy Sauce Shark's Fin, it is a traditional Hunan dish, prepared with highquality materials and unique techniques.
Mushrooms and Eggs Without Yolk
It is a traditional dish of Changsha. As early as in the 1930s, it enjoyed a high reputation. Customers will gasp in admiration when eating eggs without yolk.
Young Dragons Taking off Robes
As a traditional Hunan dish, this dish is prepared with eels, in the shape of ancient warriors taking off their robes. Hence the name. Prepared with unique techniques, this dish has won universal praise and has been well received by customers.
Three-layer Set Chicken
Liu Sanhe, a famous chef of Changsha, is good at preparing this traditional dish.
Three Outstanding Dishes Related with Oxen
These three outstanding dishes refer to Threadlike Stomach of Ox, Soy Sauce Tendons of Beef, and Stewed Ox Brains. Carefully prepared, they are beautiful in color, with a sour and spicy taste, and crisp and tender meat.
It is a traditional dish served as the first course at a family banquet, symbolizing a happy reunion.