As one of the eight main cuisines of China, Fujian Cuisine (Min Cuisine) was a latecomer in southeast China along the coast. It emphasizes seafood and river fishes. The Fujian coastal area produces 167 varieties of fish and 90 kinds of turtles and shellfish. It also produces edible bird’s nest, cuttlefish, and sturgeon. These special products are widely used in Fujian dishes. Economy and culture of Fujian province began to flourish after the Southern Song Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, Fujian cuisine gradually became famous in China.
The most characteristic aspect of Fujian cuisine is that the dishes are served in soup. The cooking methods are stewing, boiling, braising, quick-boiling, and steaming. Cutting is another important skill in Fujian cuisine. Most dishes are made of seafood, and if they are not cut in a right way, the dishes will fail to display their true flavor. Fujian dishes are slightly sweet and sour, and less salty. When a dish is less salty, it tastes more delicious. Sweetness makes a dish tastier, while sourness helps remove the seafood smell. In Fujian cuisine, an important flavoring and coloring material is red distiller’s grain. It made of rice fermented with red yeast. After being kept in a sealed vessel for a year, the grain acquires a sweet and sour flavor and a rose-red color. Chicken, duck, fish, and pork can be flavored with the red grain as well as spiral shells, clams, mussels, bamboo shoots, and even vegetables. As many Fujian people have emigrated overseas, their cuisine has become popular in the world.
Notable Sichuan Dishes: Buddha Jumps over the Wall, Braised Sea Clam with Chicken Soup, Sweet and Sour Litchis, Sliced Whelk in Red Vinasse, Fuzhou Fish Balls, Oyster Omelette, Drunken Ribs