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Zhejiang cuisine

Updated: Jul 20, 2017 Print

Zhejiang cuisine, abbreviated as Zhe cuisine, is among the eight culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine. It boasts a distinctive Jiangnan style and a long and rich history and tradition as a notable regional culinary style.

Zhejiang cuisine is meticulous about selecting the right variety of ingredients when they are at the peak of their growing seasons to fully bring out the tenderness and crunchiness of the food. Seasonality is the key in choosing seafood, vegetables and fruits. Livestock and poultry ingredients are mostly raised locally. The principle of using the best part of the most fresh and natural materials strictly according to the "Sequence of Time" is loyally practiced in Zhejiang cuisine.

Zhejiang cuisine uses a wide range of cooking techniques that are well-known in China and abroad.More than 30 commonly-used cooking techniques are used based on the ingredients, among which are stir-frying, deep-frying, braising, sautéing, steaming, and heating. The coordination between the main and seasonings and diversity of flavors are emphasized. 

Dongpo Pork


Dongpo Pork is a delicious dish enriched with color, aroma and taste. It is said that during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), great litterateur, calligrapher and painter Su Dongpo was appointed as the governor of the ancient Hangzhou. He led tens of thousands of peasants to build dams and irrigate fields, greatly benefitting the locals. To show gratitude, the local people sent him meat and alcohol, with which he cooked together and it turned out to be incredibly delicious. Therefore, everyone adopted the recipe and the reputation of Dongpo Pork has been passed down.

To make Dongpo Pork, fresh pork must be paired with Shaoxing rice wine, soy and other high quality ingredients. The skin is soft while the meat is tender, the color is red and lustrous, and the taste is rich and hearty. It's soft but not fragile, fatty but not greasy. It is an indispensable dish on the menu of all restaurants in Hangzhou.

West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy


West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy is a famous Hangzhou dish with its history tracing back to Song Dynasty (960-1279). West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy uses carp from West Lake. Before cooking, the carp won’t be fed for a day in the pond to ensure the contents of their stomach are eliminated. Heat control is important when cooking this dish and it only take 3 or 4 minutes to be cooked. When the fish is ready, pour hot sweet and sour sauce over it and stick up its pectoral fins, and then the characteristic dish is ready to be served. This dish is good for blood circulation, cancer prevention and appetite stimulation.

These days West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy can be found in a few famous restaurants in Hangzhou but it’s not common in local households. Additionally, some restaurants have replaced carp with bass for this dish.

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